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Man U and Spain have Foxborough plans

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / March 18, 2011

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Gillette Stadium is planning to host major international exhibition soccer matches in June and July.

Defending World Cup champion Spain has been recruited to meet the United States in early June, before the Gold Cup starts. And Manchester United is slated to begin its summer tour with a match against the Revolution July 14.

Both games, pending the signing of contracts, are expected to attract crowds of 50,000-plus, according to a Revolution source.

The Gold Cup is set to start June 5, but the US does not open play until meeting Canada in Detroit June 7. This would be a rematch of the US’ 2-0 victory over the Spaniards in the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Spain returned to South Africa to win the World Cup, taking a 1-0 victory over The Netherlands in the final.

Manchester United has announced it will play exhibition games against Seattle July 20, Chicago July 23, an MLS All-Star team in Harrison, N.J., June 27, and Barcelona in Washington, D.C., July 30.

The addition of the game in Foxborough means Manchester United could spend much of the early part of its tour training in the Boston area. The Revolution recently changed the date of an MLS game against Philadelphia to accommodate the visit of Manchester United.

Spain would be making its second appearance in Foxborough. La Furia Roja lost to Italy, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the 1994 World Cup at Foxboro Stadium.

Manchester United performed in the area in 1950 (2-0 win over New England All-Stars), 1952 (11-1 win over Fall River Stars), and 1960 (7-0 victory in over Fall River), all three games in Fall River.

The largest crowds listed for soccer games at Gillette Stadium are 67,584 for Brazil’s 3-1 win over Mexico Sept. 12, 2007, and 61,316 for the 2002 MLS Cup final, the Los Angeles Galaxy taking a 1-0 victory over the Revolution.

The Revolution, who open their MLS season at Los Angeles Sunday, lost exhibitions last year to Benfica and Cruzeiro.

A grass surface would cover the stadium’s artificial turf field.

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