Zlatan Ibrahimovic set to play against D.C. United

Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed in a press conference today that newly signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic will play between 40-45 minutes for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) against D.C. United in a friendly match at RFK Stadium on Saturday, July 28, at 7: 30 p.m. Photo: D.C. United.com

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2013 - Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed in a press conference today that newly signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic will play between 40-45 minutes for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) against D.C. United in a friendly match at RFK Stadium on Saturday, July 28, at 7: 30 p.m.

“For the game on Saturday we have to check his physical condition, and if there are no problems, maybe he can play 40 or 45 minutes,” Ancelotti said, according to D.C. United.com.

The game against PSG is a major coup for the D.C. outfit which originally was set to play Juventus before the Italian team pulled out. At the time when PSG replaced Juventus for the RFK Stadium fixture, Ibrahimovic had not signed with the club.

Ibrahimovic arrived in the United States yesterday and joined up with his new teammates at their training camp in Princeton. The French Ligue 1 team signed the Swedish star last week from AC Milan for an estimated $25 million, the biggest transfer in the club’s history.
PSG are using the game against United to prepare for the upcoming season where they will be watched closely due to their blockbuster summer signings.

“It’s a very important match because we played on Saturday against Chelsea and the next game against Washington will be the fourth friendly game of our preseason,” Ancelotti said. “I think that after Washington we have to play against Barcelona in Paris and then our season will start. It will be important for us to show improvement from the game against Chelsea. I think United is a very good test because Washington was in the first place of [MLS]. So, it will be for us a very important test.”

The Qatari-owned club has spent over $137 million on players this summer in its quest to win the French title and make an impact on the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League tournament. In recent weeks the club also signed Brazilian defender Thiago Silva (AC MIlan), Italian midfielder Marco Verratti (Pescara) and Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli).

Ibrahimovic, 30, has also played for Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona and Inter. He was the top scorer in Serie A last season with 28 goals at Milan, a feat he also accomplished with Inter.

In other United news: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic plans to air encore presentations of five memorable D.C. United matches July 30-August 3 as a part of D.C. United Goalapalooza.

The games include:
Monday, July 30 at 7:00 PM ET
D.C. United vs. Colorado Rapids (April 12, 1997)
Tuesday, July 31 at 7:00 PM ET
D.C. United vs. New England Revolution (May 9, 2001)
Wednesday, August 1 at 7:00 PM ET
D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls (June 10, 2007)
Thursday, August 2 at 7:00 PM ET
D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls (June 14, 2008)
Friday, August 3 at 7:00 PM ET
D.C. United vs. Real Salt Lake (September 24, 2011)

Also D.C. United’s U-16 team wrapped up a successful 2011-2012 USSDA season last weekend in the National Championship held in Houston, Texas. The U-16’s finished the tournament with a 1-2-1 record, scoring five goals and allowing four, as well as securing the seventh place in the nation’s Academy ranking.

For over 20 years John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times. He has covered two World Cups and has written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon


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John Haydon

John Haydon has covered soccer for The Washington Times for two decades. He has reported on international soccer events in Germany, South Korea and Spain. John hails from Birmingham, England and has lived in the Washington D.C. region for over twenty years.  

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