Manchester United topped Liverpool in final; Did it raise ICC profile?

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A trophy was kissed after a championship match played between Liverpool and Manchester United on Sunday in Miami, a title tilt played as part of the two clubs’ preseason tours of the United States. United claimed a 3-1 decision in the final game of the 2014 Guinness International Champions Cup (Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard scored for Manchester, while Steven Gerrard scored for Liverpool).

And despite 51,000 fans in attendance at Sun Life Stadium, the question remains: how far away is the tournament from having relevance outside of big names and big crowds?

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There’s no question the tournament itself was a success in terms of attendance and promotion of the clubs branding in America. And many of the matches were a good watch, as fans got to check out superstars plying their trade for major clubs.

And, as mentioned, on the one hand, there were the championship photos and celebrations…

…but on the other hand there are the post match comments like these:

The tournament is by invitation, not qualification, and features managers trying to try out new faces while be limited in selections by transfers, international duty and fitness. And certainly a major tournament for van Gaal doesn’t include subbing out Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Jonny Evans.

Manchester United: De Gea, Evans (Blackett 45), Smalling, Jones, Valencia (Shaw 8), Herrera (Lingard 78), Fletcher (Cleverley 45), Young, Mata (Kagawa 69), Rooney, Hernandez (Nani 69).

Liverpool: Mignolet, Kelly, Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho (Toure 74), Gerrard (Lucas 62), Allen (Can 62), Henderson, Coutinho (Peterson 77), Lambert (Ibe 62), Sterling.

It’s enough for the tournament to be a fun summer run-up for fans and a showcase in America, but wouldn’t it be neat if we were talking about the first notable trophy of the new club season being won in America? Is this possible within 10 years? 20? Perhaps not, as managers make snide comments about their preseason scheduling, but it’s fun and easy to imagine the significance growing.