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FC Cincinnati To Play Crystal Palace Of English Premier League

Tana Weingartner

Cincinnati soccer team FC Cincinnati will host English Premier League side Crystal Palace at Nippert Stadium this summer. The game is set for July 16. Crystal Palace finished in the middle of the pack this season.

The team will play two other international friendlies during a summer tour to the United States and Canada. They include the Philadelphia Union on July 13 and the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 19.

Crystal Palace play in the FA Cup final Saturday against Manchester United. FC Cincinnati General Manager Jeff Berding draws a parallel between the FA Cup and the U.S. Open Cup, in which FC Cincinnati just won its first match Wednesday night.

Berding says the front office team had been working on an international game and had been "presented with many inquiries of clubs who wanted to play us." He says the Crystal Palace opportunity came up within the last few weeks and the team felt it was the best option. Berding wouldn't say how much the team is paying to bring in Crystal Palace, but describes the opportunity as "very affordable."

Coach John Harkes says the players were "giddy" when told about the game. "Any time you get to challenge yourself and play against a club of this level, it's exciting," says Harkes.

Season ticket holders already have a ticket to the international game in their season ticket package. They'll also have an opportunity to purchase additional tickets. General admission tickets will range from $10-$30.