What was always going to happen became official this week. When Fenway Sports Group purchased Liverpool FC in October 2010, many thought it was only a matter of time before the Reds came to America.
On Tuesday, Fenway Sports Management announced LFC's plans for a 12-day, preseason tour of North America. The Reds will call Boston home, and even play a friendly against Italian club AS Roma at historic Fenway Park on July 25.
The stay in Boston will give a generation of LFC fans a chance to see their heroes up close. It also will give Liverpool Football Club — players, staff, and supporters from around the world — a look at how great Boston can be in the summer.
LFC will use the facilities at Harvard University to prepare for the 2012-13 campaign. The University may be 376 years old, but its fields and athletic facilities are state of the art. For LFC to base its operations out of Harvard is nothing short of a home run from a sporting perspective.
The AS Roma-Liverpool game itself will be a monumental occasion for players and fans. Fenway Park celebrates its 100th birthday this year, and the July 25 contest will be a shining moment in the ongoing celebrations. Players and coaches from both clubs will remember the time they played in front of the Green Monster for years to come.
LFC fans are ecstatic about the news. Tim Treacy, chairman of the Boston branch of LFC's worldwide supporters group, told LiverpoolFC.tv that local fans are planning to create the "Boston Kop" at friendly Fenway.
"We already know we'll have guys flying in from L.A., and there's a big group coming in from Toronto," Treacy said. "There will also be people from Florida, Texas, Chicago and New York, so we're hoping that if we can get all the supporters' groups together in one spot, we'll be able to sing our hearts out for the whole game."
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of people" he added. "A lot of them are students, and right now, they would not be able to afford to go to Anfield. Once you include plane tickets, getting to Anfield for just one person costs around $3,000 to $4,000, so this will be great for them as they'll be able to get a ticket for $50."
The trip will help create a lasting legacy for LFC not only in New England, but also in the U.S. And the game will signal Boston's growing clout on the world soccer scene. The owners of Liverpool FC and AS Roma are based in the area. Is it too soon to call the July 25 contest "The Boston Bowl"?
That remains to be seen. But what is certain is that Romans and scousers alike will descend on our "City on a Hill" in great numbers this summer. Let's show them a good time.
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