Reports claim Charlotte could host Liverpool-Manchester City match

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It’s one of the greatest rivalries in soccer, Liverpool versus Manchester City, and it could be coming to Charlotte in August.
Online reports this weekend claim it’s happening.
But the Champions Cup says it will make an official announcement Tuesday, and what's been leaking online isn’t necessarily true.
Kristiane Pedersen, the owner of a soccer-themed pub uptown, said he's already been getting calls from Liverpool fans around the country.
"I’ve been contacted by the Liverpool fan club. They are all over America and want to come here. There are 600,000 people in that club. They will come,” Pederson said.
Charlotte city leaders will only confirm they are working to get the event, which would be held on one of the rent-free days taxpayers get at Bank of America Stadium in return for helping to pay for stadium upgrades underway right now.
The Champions Cup is downplaying the leak on its Facebook page, stating, “Don't believe everything you read online."
Just the prospect of a big match has Charlotte's soccer community buzzing.
Charlotte Eagles director Tom Engstrom said soccer is huge here.
"I think it’s about time.  The city is really ripe for it," Engstrom said.
Jim McPhilliamy, who is starting a new United Soccer League pro soccer team in Charlotte next year, says Charlotte proved it has enough fans to fill the stadium when it hosted Mexico and Iceland in 2010.
"We've had some international matches here that were successful. It’s a proven model here,” he said.