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Soccer returns to the Bronx: Yankee Stadium set to host Chelsea vs. Manchester City, Spain vs. Ireland

WFC: David Luiz, Chelsea FC (July 18, 2012)

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The soccer world's biggest names – both club and country – are headed back to Yankee Stadium for the second straight summer.

On Monday, it was announced Chelsea FC will face Manchester City FC on May 25 at 5:30 pm ET, while reigning World Cup and European champions Spain will play Ireland on June 11 at 8 pm ET.

Chelsea are the reigning champion of Europe, having won their first Champions League title last May by defeating Bayern Munich on penalty kicks, and Manchester City are the current Premier League holders. Spain are ranked No. 1 in the world by FIFA, having won the most recent World Cup in 2010 and each of the last two European Championships in 2008 and 2012. Ireland, led by manager Giovanni Trapattoni, participated in Euro 2012 and narrowly missed qualification for the 2010 World Cup.
 
Tickets for both exhibition matches will go on sale to the general public as a bundle package including both games beginning on Wednesday, April 10 at 10 am ET.

The contests will mark the third and fourth soccer matches at the current Yankee Stadium. The first took place on July 22, 2012, with Chelsea FC and Paris Saint-Germain playing to a 1-1 draw in front of 38,202 fans. On August 8, 2012, Real Madrid defeated AC Milan, 5-1, before a sellout crowd of 49,474 with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring two goals.
 
The current Yankee Stadium carries on the soccer tradition of the original Yankee Stadium, which hosted some of the most famous teams in world soccer, including Manchester United, Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus, Napoli, Celtic, Benfica and Sparta Prague, along with the national teams of England, Israel, Italy and the United States.

Pelé also called Yankee Stadium home in 1976, when he played for the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League.