Liverpool FC will play a three-game US tour this summer, including a match against Sevilla FC at Fenway Park at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 21, the team announced Tuesday. The Reds, contending for the Champions League and Premier League titles, will also meet Borussia Dortmund at Notre Dame University on July 19 and Sporting CP at Yankee Stadium on July 24.
This will be Liverpool’s third game at Fenway Park, home of its parent group, Fenway Sports Group, and seventh appearance in Massachusetts since 1946.
The availability of the Reds’ Brazilians — goalkeeper Alisson, midfielder Fabinho, and striker Roberto Firmino — plus Mohamed Salah (Egypt) and other African players, has not been determined because of conflicts with continental tournaments.
Since its most recent Fenway appearance. in 2014, Liverpool has added German manager Jurgen Klopp and spent 712.81 million euros ($801 million) acquiring high-priced transfers such as Naby Keita, Sadio Mané, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Virgil van Dijk. Liverpool has reached the Champions League semifinals and leads the Premier League by two points over Manchester City.
“Since Jurgen’s come to the club he’s been spectacular in re-energizing and reinvigorating the playing staff, and the playing philosophy,” former Liverpool defender Phil Babb said during a news conference at Fenway. “Liverpool are dining at the top table of European football now, which is great, and its rightful place. Unfortunately, the Premier League’s not in our hands. If Man City wins all its games, they’ve won it. [But] the confidence in the team at the moment is super high. We have a great marquee tie against Barcelona in two weeks — [Lionel] Messi at Anfield. Everyone’s looking forward to that. You never know. Champions League final last year, can we get there this year? It would be a special, special season.”
Only captain Jordan Henderson remains with Liverpool from the team that sustained a 1-0 loss to AS Roma at Fenway on July 23, 2014.
“The team is a much different team from a player perspective, and Jurgen and his [coaching] team, and how we’ve operated as an organization is different,” Liverpool managing director Billy Hogan said. “When the team came here in 2012, we were still very early in the process, from an operations standpoint and changing the business itself. Thinking about the investment that needed to be made in the stadium, which we’ve completed with the main stand being redeveloped, the commercial side and investing in the team. Quite a bit has changed.
“It’s been a strategy over the course of nine years, really led on the football side by Jurgen and [sporting director] Michael Edwards and [director] Mike Gordon. As it relates to recruitment they’ve done an incredible job and, obviously, from a coaching perspective the team is performing really well.”
Liverpool (27-1-7, 88 points) has not won the English first division title since 1990, two years before the competition was rebranded as the Premier League. The Reds have won 18 titles since 1901, including 10 during the 1970s and ’80s, when they experienced some of their greatest highs and lows. After reaching the 1985 Champions Cup final, a 1-0 loss to Juventus, Liverpool and all English clubs were banned from European competition because of supporter violence — 39 spectators died at Heysel Stadium, site of the ’85 final. Four years later, 96 Liverpool supporters died during an FA Cup semifinal at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.
Such tragedies led to the reorganization of soccer in England and the launch of the Premier League in 1992.
FSG has helped raise standards since purchasing the club from George Gillett and Tom Hicks in 2010. Liverpool finished in second place in the Premier in 2008-09, but experienced financial problems. The Reds returned to a No. 2 finish in 2013-14, slipped to eighth in 2015-16, and fourth the last two seasons.
“Success breeds success,” Hogan said. “The team and the way they’re performing on the pitch, obviously, it’s terrific from the perspective of our supporters, the team, the club. All our commercial partners are [pleased] with the increased marketing exposure. John Henry, Tom Werner, Mike Gordon, the ownership at Fenway, has been about operating the properties in a sustainable way and that’s what we’re doing.”