A heat dome persists over much of the country. Weekend afternoon action in MLS was painful. At least if you were New York City FC or Seattle Sounders fans.
Bad weather in China had its effect also: Monday's Manchester United-Manchester City was canceled at the last minute. The decision
was made “due to the extreme weather events in Beijing over a multiple-day period.” Torrential rain made the field at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing unplayable.
There were questions about the field conditions -- the Guardian reported that United had a groundskeeper working to get the field, plagued by fungus, for 10 days -- even before the rains came. But the decision left English fans waiting to see the first meeting by managerial rivals Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola at their new clubs, United and City, respectively. Worse, fans arrived from across China to find out that the match, part of the International Champions Cup's Asian tour, had been canceled.
The Wall Street Journal termed the cancellation a "wet blanket on Chinese soccer fans' derby dreams." One fan from Shenzhen brought 30 fans who paid $150 each for tickets (which will be refunded) and spent four nights at the United team hotel (another $285 a night, which won't be refunded). Tickets on the secondary market were going for as high as $3,000.
The move by ICC's Revelent Sports into China is part of the quest of European clubs for a piece of the big money being thrown around on soccer. Teams have been coming to Asia for years, and weather issues have been there before. Training sessions have been canceled because of weather and matches shortened. An Argentina-Brazil friendly was almost canceled because of smog and pollution in Beijing.
United's long trip to China ended after playing one game: a 4-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai. All with less than three weeks before it plays its first EPL game under Mourinho.
When he coached at Inter and Real Madrid, Mourinho regularly took his teams to the United States -- specifically to train at UCLA. It was a long trip from Europe to Los Angeles, but Mourinho could be sure of one thing: good weather.
That's why United will likely be headed back there in 2017.