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Manchester United vs Celtic at Rogers Center

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The Rogers Center with the Roof open. The Hotel is under the giant scoreboard.
The Rogers Center with the Roof open. The Hotel is under the giant scoreboard.

So we are less than 4 hours away from this afternoon’s Celtic match as Manchester United begins preparations for the up coming season. A season in which we will be looking to get our title back. Today is the first stop on the North American tour for United who will line up at The Rogers Center in Toronto Canada. The Rogers Center, a victim of corporate sponsorship which is rampant in North America, used to be called the SkyDome and was built back in 1989. It had the world's first motorized retractable roof and features a hotel in the stadium with 70 rooms that overlook the field. It is the home of the Toronto Blue Jays in major league baseball and the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League. Rogers Center will also be the centerpiece of the 2015 Pan American Games hosting both the opening and closing ceremonies.

 

Today it will host the most important event in the stadium's history as Manchester United grace Canada with their presence. Despite a severe lack of information on the interwebs, as far as I can see, this is the first time United have played in Canada since they played an exhibition game in Vancouver at the old Empire Stadium sometime in the late 70s. The only information I have on that game, despite hours of searching for more, comes from my parents who were both at the game. Apparently Empire stadium have artificial turf and it was pouring rain in Vancouver. There were giant puddles on the field and the ball would stop in them when United tried to play the ball on the deck. My father said he was embarrassed for Vancouver, his adopted home, and pissed that he didn't get to see his beloved United in full flow. I have no idea who won and who lost. And I only know that Wee Willie Johnston played for the Whitecaps. He was my mothers favorite player at the time and is famous for being a bit of a wild card.

 

 

WillieJohnston 1979 Beer Swig (via TheKrammerhead)

 


The game today is being shown on live TV here in Canada so I will be able to provide some details on how the game went, who played well, etc etc. Hopefully wherever you are in the world you will get to watch the game as well. For some reason I always enjoy it when United play Celtic. Once I find lineups for this afternoon's match I will post a game thread and those of us who are lucky enough to catch the game live can post while the game is on going if we so desire.