What kinds of International Soccer play come to the United States?
Every summer International soccer comes to the United States. It can get confusing because both the professionals and national teams come to play for the same reason... practice! One reason why the summer in the US is so great is that all the European teams normal season runs from August through May, so the team are free to travel for these practice and warm up games. The Americans are slow to the party, but fanatic fans and support for soccer is on the rise, and these International games often sell out the stadiums.
International Friendly or the "Friendlies"These are the games the national teams who are the teams representing their countries in International completions. Each national team belongs to an association or teams in their regions who govern the rules, and arrange the competitions. Often when they come to the US it is in practice or a warn-up game for upcoming Competitions between the associations. Currently they are preparing for International 2014 FIFA World Cup which involves two years of round robin elimination games.
The Olympics use the national teams, but their rules are such that all but three team members must be under 23 years of age. Normally those three players come from the pros and take off to join the team for the medal rounds. When it comes to Great Britain, they will have both national teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that play in their association and and the World Cup. However for the Olympics, only Great Britain is recognized so a separate Olympic team is formed.
When Brazil, Mexico, Argentina come to the US they fill up stadiums wherever they go. Look for Miami, New York, Dallas, Chicago, LA and Washington DC to host International Friendlies almost every year.
ExhibitionWhen you see teams playing in exhibition, that is usually the pros. Each country has different football leagues for their pros. Manchester United, Liverpoorl. Chelsea for instance are well known names that play in the English Premier League and often come to the US to play. Real Madrid and AC Milan are other teams you see a lot. They come in late July and early August as part of their pre-season. Usually there are 3-5 teams who travel to the US and play several games in different locations. Some are against the MLS professionals and some are against each other. You will always find English Premier League teams here, and the teams from Spain and Italy are popular too. The top teams are finding the MLS has some challenging players and teams and often hold rivalries and former members have moved to the US to play.
The East Coast often hold more of these games because of travel issues, the extra three hours to the west coast is not always in the cards. However with the Sounders and Galaxy on the west coast, two of the top teams in the MLS, you will see more exhibition games on the West Coast.