Sporting KC to host French Ligue 1 champs Montpellier HSC on July 24
Sporting Kansas City will host French Ligue 1 champions Montpellier HSC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, July 24 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, the club announced on Friday. Tickets begin at $20 and are on sale to the public at Ticketmaster.com or at the LSP Box Offices.
All Sporting Kansas City Season Ticket Members will receive a ticket to the match, Special Game C, as part of their full-season ticket packages and parking is free for all Sporting KC home matches at LSP.
Founded in 1974, Montpellier Hérault Sport Club is coming off the club’s best season in the team’s storied history, winning the French Ligue 1 Title for the 2011-12 campaign. Led by French national team players Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (captain) and Olivier Giroud (21 goals and nine assists), as well as talented Moroccan international Younes Belhanda (awarded as best African player in France), Montpellier won 25 games and finished three points ahead of Paris Saint-Germain.
The first-place finish qualifies Montpellier HSC for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League group stage to compete against the top clubs in Europe next season.
“This match is very interesting for us on several levels,” Montpellier Head Coach René Girard said. “We will play Sporting Kansas City who has a very high ranking in MLS and will play in one of the most beautiful stadiums in the U.S. It will be a high level match. It is a way for us to discover a type of soccer that we don’t know very well, which is very important in perspective of the Champions League that we’ll be competing in next season.”
Montpellier will be the first French club to face Sporting Kansas City at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park and is the fourth international club announced to visit the state-of-the-art stadium, along with Newcastle United FC and Stoke City FC of the English Premier League and Club Deportivo Guadalajara from Mexico.
“For the first time in its history, our club Montpellier Hérault SC will play a match on American soil and it will be a very exciting moment,” remarked Montpellier Président Délégué Laurent Nicollin. “I am very happy and proud that we have the opportunity to play against Sporting Kansas City. The match will be a very good test for us.”
The match against Sporting KC will serve as a precursor for Montpellier as they face Coupe de France winners Lyon in the Trophée Des Champions on July 28 at Red Bull Arena. The Trophée Des Champions is the first official match of the French season and one of the four trophies a club can win in France.
"We look forward to hosting the winner of the French Ligue, Montpellier, and helping them in their preparation for another successful season and their quest to win the Tropheé Des Champions," Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said. "It is no surprise that LIVESTRONG Sporting Park is becoming a top destination for international clubs to play during the offseason and we look forward to the game.”