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ICC Cup – Valencia vs. Milan Preview: To the Batcave!

The Guiness International Champions Cup is upon us, which means a series of three friendlies spread out over two countries and twelve days, after which Milan could, in theory, be crowned king of meaningless summer friendlies. Which is about as exciting as writing this post looked to be for me. But then I remembered we’re playing Valencia. The team with the bat on their logo. Holy summer friendly, Batman! I realized that this preview could just find meaning after all, even if the game might not. So without further ado, to the Batcave!

Nothing to fear, they're just a little batty

The bat in Valencia’s logo comes directly from the coat of arms of the city of Valencia. The bat in that crest seems to have originated with King James the First of Aragon around the 13th century. Scholars have a couple of theories as to how it was added to the coat of arms, one being simply that there are a lot of bats in the area. The other theory was that a bat was rumored to have landed on the flag of King James I upon entering the city, and he considered it good luck and had it added. My theory is that it is awesome. Totally wicked.

As for the football part, I know much, much less. I know that the arch villain, coach Miroslav Djukic, is going to bring Los Murciélagos (the bats) to Estadio Mestalla on Saturday night. I’m pretty sure he’s going to start eleven players. And those players are likely to come from this list and perhaps a B team or some youth players, too. Valencia finished 5th in La Liga last season, and thus should be excellent competition for our Milan squad. They have the added advantage of playing at home, the only team in the ICC Tournament to do so (The only MLS team playing in the US is the Galaxy, and they will play at Dodger Stadium rather than their home field of the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles.) With that advantage, I expect a tough game. This is definitely no Gotham City.

Antonini is not relishing another Spanish clash this week

As for Milan, Alfred… er… ummm… Allegri has all of his Superheroes back at Milanello. Only Balotelli has run a fever of late, Abate is probably still out injured, Saponara probably won’t be ready until midweek, and Allegri will likely still not call up Muntari just yet. So probably at least those four players down. Antonini tweeted the other day that he was fine and available to the coach after his “I’m Batman!” moment with Llorente. Also, there is the matter of testing out some new/younger players as well as the primavera players who have been training with the squad. Certainly, we have our share of Boy Wonders. With Boateng and Urby still our most likely candidates for the trequartista position, I expect our starting lineup to be more Joker, less Riddler.

Whatever the result, the awesomeness of this match cannot be overlooked. While the Commissioner (aka Galliani) looks to reinforce the team, our Superheroes will take on Los Che in a battle of good and evil. Or at least a battle for a meaningless friendly title. This match has all of the makings of a training match. But fire up that Batsignal and get ready for action. This one is gonna be epic. (or something, anyway.) To the Batcave!


This post inspired by the music of the Batman Theme




Our next match is the
International Champions Cup First Round
Valencia vs. Milan
Saturday, July 27 • 20:00 CEST (2pm EDT)
This match will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel in the U.S.
Check here for stream links prior to the match

Note: this post was written with all of the fervor and intensity of a summer preseason friendly. However, I did provide numerous links for your entertainment, in red bold font, within the post. You’re welcome.