Confirming a long-standing rumor, D.C. United will face Olympique de Marseille in a friendly on July 24th at Audi Field. The game will be the closing match of the EA Ligue 1 Games, a four-team preseason tournament between Marseille, AS Saint-Étienne, Montpellier HSC, and FC Girondins de Bordeaux that will see doubleheaders on Buzzard Point on July 18th and July 21st.
United’s friendly will kickoff at 8:00pm, and will fall between away games against Atlanta United on the 21st and the Chicago Fire on the 27th. With another road game on July 18th against FC Cincinnati and a possible Open Cup match to account for should the Black-and-Red advance a round or two into the tournament, we may not be seeing Ben Olsen’s absolute strongest side.
Marseille, who feature one-time United target Mario Balotelli along with numerous other well-known internationals, are currently in 6th place in Ligue 1 with one round of games left to play. They face 5th place Montpellier in their final game of the season, and could overtake them with a win. Marseille’s owner, Frank McCourt, is well-known in American sports, though not for particularly good reason.
According to the club, there will be a watch party at Audi Field for United fans for that game against Atlanta, which takes place at 4:00pm, allowing fans to stay and watch the second doubleheader between the visiting French clubs. We will update this piece with more information about that when we hear more.
United’s agreement with the Ligue de Football Professionnel is to hold this tournament for each of the next three years, though both sides have the option of ending that contract early if dissatisfied with the outcome.