The Richmond Kickers announced today that they will be playing English Premier League club Crystal Palace in a summer friendly. The game will take place in Richmond's City Stadium, the Kickers traditional home stadium, on July 28 at 7:00 PM. Tickets will cost $30 and will go on sale May 26. Crystal Palace rode a hot streak at the end of the season to finish 11th in the Premier League table, after flirting with the relegation zone throughout the season.
I am normally against summer friendlies, especially when they are not against world-class foes. However, bringing any Premier League team in to play a lower-division American team, like the Kickers or Minnesota United's scheduled friendly against Swansea City, is a boon for them. Whereas in many markets, non-MLS fans are aware of the teams near them, soccer fans in locales served by lower-division teams may not even know of their existence. And cash grabs, while sometimes necessary at all levels of soccer in the United States, feel less cynical when it is a lower division team getting the money. This is also the first time a Premier League team will play in Virginia.
What do you all think? Anyone considering coming to see the game?