After a 1-0 win over Club América last week, Manchester United’s new-look squad will continue their preparations for an assault on the Premier League title when taking on the San Jose Earthquakes in California on Tuesday. It was one of United’s summer arrivals that got their tour of the United States, as part of the International Champions Cup, off to a winning start in Seattle, with Morgan Schneiderlin scoring inside five minutes.
Matteo Darmian, Memphis Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger also made their first appearances in a United shirt in the victory over the Mexican giants. And manager Louis van Gaal has given every indication that further signings could be arriving before the end of the transfer window. Having hinted that Real Madrid center-back Sergio Ramos remains a target, the Dutch coach has also stated that a “surprise” signing could be in the works to bolster the team’s attacking options. Speaking ahead of the match with San Jose, Van Gaal revealed he was keen to work on both how the team defends and goes forward following their narrow opening win.
“We can learn from our errors and we can also give a lot of compliments about the way we have played,” he told reporters, via the official Manchester United website. “Our defensive organization was solid. We didn't give away a lot of chances. But, still, I had remarks on the defensive organization.
“It's also our attacking organization -- the width of the pitch has to be guarded, for example, and in the first half it was not. I have seen the match again and it's confirmed that. So we trained 11 vs 11 and the second line-up has assimilated with the San Jose Earthquakes -- it's always the same process of preparation.”
Despite being strongly linked with a transfer to Real Madrid, David de Gea remains with the squad, although he, along with Antonio Valencia, won’t feature on Tuesday due to injury. Meanwhile, Ángel di María and Javier “Chicharito” Hernández will not join up with the squad until Saturday, when United will take on Barcelona in Santa Clara, California. The Premier League giants will then play their final match before heading home against Paris Saint-Germain on July 29.
United’s next opponents don’t have that same star quality, although Van Gaal explained that he expects the match with San Jose to be a useful exercise.
“Of course I think that we are at a higher level than San Jose Earthquakes but they are fit and they have played many matches,” he said. “We are not fit yet. Also the difference between San Jose and Club América is 20 centimeters. Every player is 20 centimeters taller. The corner kicks and the free-kicks are much more dangerous from San Jose Earthquakes than Club América. There are a lot of differences and the playing style is different.”
San Jose endured a miserable time against an English opponent just last Friday, when they were the victims on Steven Gerrard’s first appearance for LA Galaxy. The former Liverpool captain scored his first goal in Major League Soccer as San Jose relinquished a 2-0 lead to lose 5-2. San Jose, coached by Glasgow-born Dominic Kinnear, are currently on a three-match losing streak in MLS and sit in eight place in the Western Conference.
Kickoff time: 11 p.m. EDT
Where: Avaya Stadium, San Jose
TV channel: Fox Sports 2