A proposed soccer doubleheader at FedEx Field this summer, featuring three European powers and D.C. United, is in severe jeopardy, multiple sources told the Insider on Thursday.
The July 28 matches would have featured AC Milan against Chelsea and United against an Italian club. The games seem certain to be played on that day but at separate venues: Milan vs. Chelsea in Miami and United against a club to be announced at RFK Stadium.
The Washington Redskins, who own FedEx Field in Landover, had prematurely promoted a doubleheader on their Web site: Milan-Chelsea and United against Juventus, Italy’s most storied club.
In addition, Chelsea had confirmed the Milan match in the Washington area on its Web site last month — only to removed the story a few days later.
It’s unclear, in the wake of the doubleheader’s demise, whether Juventus has committed to a U.S. tour. But at this late stage in the planning process, Juventus remains the front-runner to play United at RFK. The Serie A leaders are undefeated this season with a 21-0-15 record.
If that game comes to fruition, it would fall on the same day as a 1 p.m. friendly between English rivals Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. A match at RFK would presumably take place in the evening, United’s preferred time for weekend matches.
According to the sources, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the doubleheader negotiations, there was no single reason for the failure to finalize a FedEx Field deal. Rather, “there were just too many moving parts to make it work,” one source said.
FedEx is set to host a friendly between the U.S. and Brazil national teams May 30. Last summer, European titans Manchester United and Barcelona collided at the NFL stadium.
A call to a Redskins spokesman wasn’t immediately returned. United officials said they didn’t want to comment on potential opponents for friendlies this summer.