Detroit Welcomes Back World-Class Soccer With Crystal Palace-Sevilla Match

Comerica Park put away the bats and gloves on Sunday night and rolled out the world’s most popular sport as 313 Presents brought the return of top-level professional soccer to Detroit. Crystal Palace, one of London and England’s traditional clubs that finished middle table (11th) in last year’s Premier League (ahead of Chelsea) and LaLiga’s Sevilla F.C., one of Spain’s big 6 LaLiga clubs and second oldest club (1890), redefined what “pitch” means in the home of the Detroit Tigers.

The friendly marked the return of international football to Comerica Park after six years.

The last international soccer match played in Detroit was in 2017 when French League powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain defeated Italian Serie A side AS Roma in front of 36,000 fans at Comerica Park.

“We are thrilled to have international soccer return to Comerica Park for a match between two elite football clubs,” said Howard Handler, president of 313 Presents, before the match. “This matchup will provide metro Detroit’s soccer fans a unique opportunity to watch their favorite European clubs play once again in person.”

And it was all of that – and so much more!

The game attracted more than 21,000 people and many of them were kids – and all of them had smiles on their faces as they got a glimpse of the sport they love played at the highest level. The weather was perfect. The atmosphere was perfect. And for an early preseason match, the quality of play on the pitch was impressive.

It was a very even match – both teams had 50 percent possession in the game with Palace taking 15 shots to Sevilla’s 8. Palace double Sevilla in corner kicks with 10 to 5. And even though it was a “friendly,” both teams played hard – and it even got a little “unfriendly” in the second half with some pushing, shoving and yellow cards. Sevilla’s Gudelj was dismissed in the second half for a second bookable offense following some rough play in the middle of the pitch.


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