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D.C. United to play Bayern Munich in summer friendly at Audi Field

Bayern Munich will play at Audi Field in July. (Martin Meissner/Associated Press)

In a July 20 friendly, D.C. United will host European power Bayern Munich, the biggest opponent to visit Audi Field since it opened four years ago.

Bayern is also tentatively planning to face Manchester City on July 23 at Lambeau Field, home of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. The matches fall during Bayern’s run-up to the 2022-23 German Bundesliga season, which is scheduled to begin Aug. 5.

With four matches left this season, Bayern is on the cusp of a 10th consecutive Bundesliga championship and a 32nd league title overall. Last week, the club was eliminated by Spain’s Villarreal in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League, a competition Bayern has won six times, most recently in 2020.

The current roster features some of soccer’s biggest names, including striker Robert Lewandowski, forward Thomas Müller, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Canadian defender Alphonso Davies.

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Bayern last visited the United States in 2019 for matches against Arsenal in Carson, Calif.; Real Madrid in Houston; and AC Milan in Kansas City, Kan.

Since its debut in 1996, United has periodically played friendlies against global brands. The list includes Real Madrid, Chelsea, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham Hotspur, Celtic, Ajax and Boca Juniors.

In 2019, United hosted Spain’s Real Betis, France’s Olympique de Marseille and Mexico’s Puebla.

The Bayern matchup will be played on a Wednesday night, lodged between weekend league games at Minnesota and at home against Montreal. Because European teams are in preseason and MLS sides have more pressing games, these friendlies typically feature numerous substitutions, an array of young players and dialed-back intensity.

Before the Bayern visit, United will host El Salvador’s Águila and Guatemala’s Xelajú the first week of June in the Capital Cup. The tournament takes place during United’s three-week MLS break.

With pandemic restrictions easing, several European teams are expected to resume U.S. summer tours. Arsenal announced it will face MLS’s Orlando City on July 20 and Premier League rival Chelsea three days later, both in Orlando.