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22nd Jul 2018

Manchester United pre-season opener attracts less than 38,000 supporters

The match between Manchester United and Club America saw an attendance well short of capacity

Wayne Farry

Manchester United

The absence of key Manchester United stars is said to have resulted in a half-full stadium

Manchester United began their pre-season tour of the United States on July 21 with a 1-1 draw against Mexican side Club America.

The clash, which took place at the University of Phoenix Stadium, saw Juan Mata spare the Red Devils’ blushes with a late equaliser, after Club America had taken the lead through a header from Henry Martin.

It was a day when a number of United’s younger players were given the opportunity to stake their claim for regular appearances as the season goes on, with the likes of Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood both making their first team debuts.

However, it was the absence of several of United’s truly box office names which resulted in just 37,766 supporters turning up to watch the match at the 63,000-capacity venue.

A host United’s stars remain on extended leave following their appearances at the World Cup, meaning that players such as Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, David de Gea, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku were not part of the squad.

Those absences appear to have convinced enough supporters to stay away from the match, which ended up being a drab affair at the best of times.

Despite the disappointing crowd, it’s not all doom and gloom, with United’s match against Liverpool at the 107,000-capacity Big House in Michigan expected to break the record for a football match attendance in the US.