Chelsea, Man City and DC United – Celtic’s US summer line-up

Celtic’s US line-up is complete. Brendan Rodgers’ Hoops to play Chelsea, Manchester City and top MLS side DC United…

Celtic yesterday confirmed the final pair of the 2024 USA Tour opponents this summer. First, the Bhoys go head to head with Manchester City in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Tuesday, 23 July.

The University of North Carolina’s Kenan Stadium will host the match against Pep Guardiola’s men, with the sides having only met twice before in competitive action in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League back in 2016/17. Having drawn on both previous occasions, it’s set to be an exciting encounter as the Celts look to secure their first victory over Man City during this summer USA Tour.

Tickets for the match will go on general sale via Ticketmaster on Wednesday, March 27 at 10:00 a.m. local time.  Fans can sign up now for an exclusive 24-hour presale which will also be accessible to Season Ticket holders at The pre-sale window will be open from 10am on 25th March. Proceeds from the match will benefit UNC Children’s Hospital. Last year, $150,000 was donated to the hospital.

“Both of these teams are champions, and we are excited to bring them to a campus that has no shortage of trophies,” said Molly Pendleton, Senior Vice President, Unified Events.

The third match to be confirmed will be the first game played by the Bhoys on their U.S. Summer Tour when Celtic take on MLS side DC United in Washington at Audi Field in the American capital on 20 July. One of the founding clubs of Major League Soccer in 1996, DC United are among the most decorated teams in the United States with 13 domestic and international trophies.

The Black-and-Red have won the MLS Cup four times (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004), the Supporters’ Shield four times (1997, 1999, 2006 and 2007) and the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup three times (1996, 2008 and 2013).

“We are committed to continuing to provide the DMV with world-class friendlies against globally recognisable opponents,” Danita Johnson, D.C. United President of Business Operations, said. “We are proud to welcome Celtic FC to Audi Field and we know how deep their support runs in the United States and across the world. This will be a unique experience for soccer fans in the DMV to see DC United lining up against another elite European opponent at Audi Field.”

Celtic supporters can register for Priority Pre-Sale of tickets for the DC United match between March 19 and March 25 by visiting here. Tickets for all Season Ticket holders and fans who signed up for Priority Pre-Sale tickets will be available for purchase on Monday, 25 March. Tickets will be available to purchase for the general public on Wednesday, 27 March.

This morning the former Celtic midfielder Alan Thompson looks back on the Celtic summer tour of the States from twenty years ago, although he struggles to differentiate from the other trips across the Pond with his old club as Celtic were regular visitors to the USA back then.

SEATTLE – 24 JULY 2004: Arjen Robben of Chelsea is pursued by Stilian Petrov of Celtic during the Champion’s World Series match between Celtic and Chelsea at Qwest Field on July 24, 2004 in Seattle. (Photo by Ben Radford/Getty Images)

Speaking to Daily Record this morning Thompson recalls Martin O’Neill not being there for the first two games against Chelsea and Liverpool, which Celtic lost before the gaffer showed up and promptly lifted the fortunes with a win over Manchester United. Martin’s absence from the start of the tour was related to his wife’s illness.

“We went that many bloody times to America it’s hard to remember which trip was which! I think I was there four times in total. But it’s a great break. Definitely not a jolly but a great chance to prepare. The weather is great. The training facilities are great and you get looked after.

SEATTLE – 24 JULY 2004 Alexei Smertin of Chelsea and Ross Wallace of Celtic in action during the Champion’s World Series match between Celtic and Chelsea at Qwest Field on July 24, 2004 in Seattle. (Photo by Ben Radford/Getty Images)

“If you have new team mates then it’s a chance for them to get to know the lads better rather than being in Scotland and just going home after training. The games are of a high level and you get big crowds in nice stadiums. That summer of 2004 is a good example.

“Martin missed the first two games and we got thumped by 4-2 Chelsea and 5-1 by Liverpool. John Robertson was in charge so that’s probably why we got hammered! But the gaffer flew out and took us against Manchester United and the next thing you know we’ve beaten them 2-1.

“Those were really good teams. Chelsea had John Terry, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Arjen Robben. A proper Premier League side. Against Liverpool I was up against Steven Gerrard, John Arne Riise, Dietmar Hamann, Harry Kewell. It’s top quality opposition and the result doesn’t really matter. The fitness and sharpness is what matters and it certainly serves a purpose on that score.

“It looks like Brendan Rodgers has the same idea this summer. Chelsea will be a great test for Celtic. And Manchester City … wow. Listen, these are great games for the players. They want to be playing at the highest level.

“No disrespect but they are playing week in and week out in Scotland but here they get a chance to go up against some of the best players in the world. If that was me I’d be buzzing. Not just Haaland but they have top players from back to front. I love watching them. It’s a great opportunity for the Celtic lads.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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