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Manchester United to return for 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game

Time for the rematch.

Major League Soccer announced on Monday that storied English club Manchester United FC will return to the United States this summer to again face the best of MLS in the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.

The Red Devils took on the MLS All-Stars in 2010, coming away with a 5-2 win in front of more than 70,000 fans at sold-out Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

This year’s match will take place at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, July 27 (5:30 pm PT, TSN).

“We are pleased to host Manchester United again for our marquee summer event,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “Our All-Star Game has become a true celebration of soccer, and our best players look forward to the challenge of competing against one of the top clubs in the world.”

The MLS players, of course, hope not only to compete with, but also to return to winning ways in the All-Star Game. Last year’s loss was the first for the All-Stars in seven matches against foreign competition. (The 2009 match was decided on penalties, with Everton besting the All-Stars thanks to a world-class performance by United States international goalkeeper Tim Howard.)

But longtime Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who will be present for a live media event at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday (9:30 am PT, live stream on MLSsoccer.com), seems already to be preparing for second consecutive win.

"We're delighted to have been invited to play the MLS All-Star Game for the second year running,” Ferguson said in a statement. “Last year's game was a special occasion in front of a noisy, passionate crowd. Obviously, we'll be looking to repeat the performance and the scoreline."

Ferguson’s confidence is understandable. United, whose trove of superstars includes England international Wayne Rooney, Mexican striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, and Portuguese winger Nani, are arguably one of the most successful clubs ever. They have won the domestic league 18 times and have been crowned champions of Europe three times. In 2008, they lifted the trophy at FIFA Club World Cup.

The Red Devils currently sit atop the English Premier League table, five points ahead of Arsenal FC. United have also advanced to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, where they will face EPL rivals Chelsea FC, and to the FA Cup semifinals, where they will square up with crosstown rivals Manchester City FC.

Tickets for the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, June 2, at 11 a.m. PT. For more information, visit www.newyorkredbulls.com/tickets/allstarinfo or call 1.877.RBSOCCER.

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