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European clubs heading to U.S. for pre-season tournament

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during their Spanish King's Cup match against Espanyol at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid January
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during their Spanish King's Cup match against Espanyol at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid January

(Reuters) - Leading European clubs including Real Madrid, Manchester United and AC Milan have been signed up to play a pre-season tournament in the United States in July, organizers said on Tuesday.

The English trio of United, local rivals Manchester City and Liverpool will join Real and Milan plus AS Roma, Inter Milan and Olympiakos Piraeus in the Guinness International Cup, which takes place from July 26-August 4.

The tournament, which is in its second edition, was won by Real last year when Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in a 3-1 victory over Chelsea.

"Year one of the Guinness International Champions Cup set the new gold standard for soccer in the United States," Charlie Stillitano, Relevent Sports CEO, said at the tournament launch in Miami.

"Our only goal was to provide fans with the best football experience in their own backyards. We look forward to building on these successes in 2014."

The eight teams, who account for 150 domestic titles, 88 domestic cups and 27 European Cup/Champions League trophies, will be divided into two groups of four with the winners of Group A and Group B meeting in the final.

The showpiece match will be played at Miami's Sun Life Stadium on August 4. There will also be matches in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Washington DC and two additional cities.

The participation of the English Premier League teams depends on games not affecting any European qualifying matches.

(Writing by Michael Hann, editing by Stephen Wood)

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