Saturday, June 18, 2011
REDS LEGEND: STATES READY FOR UNITED Denis Irwin believes Manchester United's pre-season tour to the United States will provide the players with the perfect preparation for the 2011/12 campaign. The Reds fly to America next month for a three-week tour that will take in five matches across the country - against New England Revolution in Boston (13 July), Seattle Sounders in Seattle (20 July), Chicago Fire in Chicago (23 July), MLS All-Stars (27 July) in New Jersey and Barcelona in Washington DC (30 July). Speaking in Boston, the tour's first stop, Reds legend Irwin praised the facilities and football across the Atlantic. "Pre-season's the most important time for a player," he said. "It's the time when a player needs to get fit and get up to speed for the opening day of the season. One of the reasons the club comes to America is because the facilities are fantastic. "The league's getting stronger, too, and the quality of players it's attracting is better. Kansas City Wizards beat United last year [on the pre-season tour] so we know the quality of football is high." Irwin, an official United ambassador, said America is always a popular destination for summer tours. "The players enjoy coming out here. The lads will be working hard in training and in the games, but they'll also have some time to relax. "[The tours] give our fans in the US a chance to come and see the team. We're coming with a full squad and we're hoping we'll have a couple of extra players. If we do sign some more players it will be the first opportunity for fans to come and watch them."