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Arsenal to play Colorado Rapids this summer as part of U.S. preseason tour

DENVER – English Premier League club Arsenal will face the Colorado Rapids on July 15 (7 p.m. MDT) in a summer friendly at Dick’s Sporting Good Park, the two clubs jointly announced Thursday afternoon.

“We are excited to be hosting one of Europe’s most iconic teams in Arsenal,” said Rapids executive vice president and general manager Pádraig Smith in a team release. “They are one of the top clubs in the world and we’re looking forward to testing ourselves against them on the field and providing sports fans in Colorado with the opportunity to be part of this outstanding matchup.”

The Gunners’ last U.S. tour took place in 2016 which included a 3-1 win over Chivas Guadalajara in Carson, Calif. and a 2-1 win over the MLS All-Stars in the MLS All-Star game. This summer’s match with Colorado kicks off a multi-city and team tour for Arsenal which will include International Champions Cup matches against Bayern Munich, AS Roma and Real Madrid, which are taking place in Los Angeles, Charlotte and Washington D.C. respectively.

“The match against Colorado Rapids in Commerce City is a great way to kick off our summer tour to the United States. We of course have very close links to the Rapids through our mutual ownership and we are looking forward to playing each other in a match which will provide both teams with a competitive challenge, in front of many American Arsenal supporters,” said Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham.

For Colorado, it will mark the second consecutive season with a scheduled international friendly, having won 5-4 on penalties over South American side Boca Juniors last July.

Both the Rapids and Arsenal share ownership under American businessman and billionaire Stan Kroenke, but this summer’s match will mark the first meeting between the two clubs.

Despite no prior meetings between the two clubs, two of the Rapids’ veterans have played against the English giants – Kei Kamara played against Arsenal as a starter for Norwich City in 2013, while Rapids captain Tim Howard faced the North London club numerous times during his time in the EPL (2003-16) playing for both Manchester United and Everton.

Arsenal’s visit marks the first trip to Colorado in the club’s 133-year history.

“We are obviously overjoyed Arsenal has elected to include Denver in their summer preseason plans,” said Drew Wiltjer, president of Arsenal America Denver Chapter, the Denver Gooners. “There is a fantastic soccer community here in Denver and we relish the chance to showcase that on an international stage. To our friends and family from all over the world who will be making the trip in July, we are eager to share the character and beauty of Colorado with you.”

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