D.C. United finalized its plans to host Spain’s Real Betis on May 22, the MLS organization’s first friendly against a European club since Audi Field opened last summer.
The match will fall four days after Betis’s La Liga finale against Real Madrid.
The Betis roster features Mexican national team players Andres Guardado and Diego Lainez and Argentina’s Giovani Lo Celso. Seville-based Los Beticos, founded in 1907, will visit the United States for the first time.
They are eighth in 20-team La Liga and lost in the UEFA Europa League’s round of 32 and in Copa del Rey’s semifinals.
“This is just one of a few high-profile friendly games we are looking to secure at Audi Field for our fans and the District’s soccer community,” United co-chairman Jason Levien said in a written statement Thursday.
United was in talks with French side Monaco for a July friendly, but a different opponent now seems more likely. A Latin American club is being lined up for a match during United’s two-week break in early September. Last September, United hosted Honduran club Olimpia.
Because the Betis match comes between MLS weekend games — at Houston four days earlier and at New England three days later — United Coach Ben Olsen is expected to give most, if not all, playing time to his second unit.
Meanwhile, Audi Field seems almost certain to stage Loudoun United’s first five USL Championship matches. Talks with George Mason University have failed to yield an agreement.
Loudoun is D.C. United’s new second-division team. The first six league games are on the road. The home opener is May 3. A 5,000-seat stadium will open Aug. 9 in Leesburg.