Crystal Palace, who will be battling Manchester United in the FA Cup final on Saturday, are coming to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps in what is being billed as the Vancouver International Soccer Challenge, July 19, at BC Place Stadium.
“We’re honoured to be invited to take part in the Vancouver International Soccer Challenge against Crystal Palace FC,” Bob Lenarduzzi, president of Whitecaps FC, said in a release. “Facing an English Premier League side will provide a great test for our club, and great entertainment for local soccer fans.”
It’s the Whitecaps’ first friendly against an English Premier League team since 2011, when they fell 2-1 to Manchester City on a sod-covered pitch at Empire Field.
“It’s a trip that I think will be good for the club,” said Alan Pardew, manager of Crystal Palace FC. “As we prepare for our upcoming Premier League season, we had a number of teams that want to play us and we’ve taken this opportunity to go to North America to spread the word of the type of football we play. Our fan base continues to grow in North America and this is a perfect opportunity to reach out to those fans as well as introduce ourselves to many more new fans in the United States and Canada.”
The game is part of the sixth annual Vancouver – Guangzhou Friendship Cities Cup, a friendly match between a Select XI from the Vancouver Chinese Soccer Association and the Guangzhou Super Football Club to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the sister cities relationship between Vancouver and Guangzhou.
The Friendship Cities Cup will kick off at 9 p.m., immediately following the international friendly.
Whitecaps FC season ticket members have first priority to purchase their seats through an exclusive pre-sale ending on Wednesday, May 25 at 5 p.m. Tickets go on sale to the public through Ticketmaster on Friday, May 27 at 10 a.m.