Those suffering from soccer withdrawal following the conclusion of the World Cup can get their fix in the form of the 2018 International Champions Cup, a three-week, 27-match tournament featuring 18 of the top clubs from around the world.
In the United States, every match during the tournament (full schedule) will be broadcast on either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPNews.
If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch every match live (or DVR them) on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNews.
You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of every match on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
Additionally, if you aren’t able to watch a match live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
ESPN and ESPN2 are both included in the “Sling Orange” channel package, while ESPNU and ESPNews are each in the “Sports Extra” add-on bundle. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of every match on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
Additionally, if you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on when signing up for your free trial.
All the matches can also be watched on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app. You’ll need to log-in to a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don’t have that, you can still sign up for one of the above options and then use your Hulu or Sling TV credentials to sign in and watch on the ESPN digital platforms.
First, lets get this out of the way. No, most of these clubs won’t be at full strength. Because domestic club leagues are start just after the conclusion of the International Champions Cup, and because the World Cup just ended, many top players will be sitting this tournament out.
“We are supposed to get all the players from teams that didn’t get past the Round of 16, and some players from quarterfinal teams may choose to come to get prepared for the club season,” said Charlie Stillitano, executive chairman of Relevent Sports, which runs the ICC. “Players from the World Cup semifinals and final will not be there because they get mandatory vacation, so we don’t expect players from France, Croatia, Belgium or England.”
So, definitely no Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Chelsea, for now), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Dele Alli (Tottenham) and Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), among others.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who just joined Juventus, will also sit the tournament out. And many other stars, even if they didn’t make it to the World Cup semis, will probably do so, as well.
Still, all of these elite clubs are so stacked with world-class players that no matter who starts, there’s going to be exciting talent on the pitch. And at the very worst, this will serve as a good opportunity to see new transfers, as well as a lot of up-and-coming young players who don’t otherwise get a lot of playing time behind the superstars.
Ultimately, even when the clubs aren’t at full strength, they still put forth the type of quality that makes it hard not to get excited by the number of mouth-watering matchups on tap: Juventus vs Bayern, Man City vs Liverpool, Arsenal vs PSG, Man United vs Liverpool, Bayern vs Man City, PSG vs Atletico, Man United vs Real Madrid, Arsenal vs Chelsea, etc.
It may not be the World Cup, but it’s the perfect bridge to get international soccer fans to the start of club seasons.
Source: Heavy Sports