Liverpool, Roma to play at Fenway

LIVERPOOL, England -- Liverpool will play an exhibition against Italian side Roma at Boston's Fenway Park on July 25 as the American-owned Premier League club attempts to increase its exposure in the United States.

The match will be part of the ballpark's 100th anniversary celebrations and one of two confirmed games Liverpool will play on its 12-day tour of North America this summer.

Liverpool was bought in 2010 by the Fenway Sports Management, which also owns the Boston Red Sox.

A group of four Boston executives closed a deal for Roma in August to become the first foreign majority owners of a Serie A club. New Roma president Thomas DiBenedetto is also a limited partner in the Fenway group.

"During its 100-year history, Fenway Park has hosted some of the best in athletic competition, and a match between Liverpool and Roma -- two of the world's most well-known and respected clubs -- is an appropriate way to ... showcase our ballpark to an international audience," Liverpool owner John Henry said.

The match also features the two teams that contested the 1984 European Cup final, which Liverpool won in a penalty shootout.

Liverpool is the fourth Premier League team to announce a preseason tour of the United States, following Chelsea, Tottenham and Aston Villa.

Boston will serve as Liverpool's base throughout the tour, and the team will train at Harvard University.

The club last traveled to North America in 2004, playing matches in Connecticut, New Jersey and Toronto.

"Our goal is to create an unforgettable experience for our North American fans while building a lasting legacy for Liverpool here in the States," Liverpool chairman Tom Werner said.

Both Liverpool and Roma have supporters in the Boston area.

"As an ownership group we have made growing the Roma brand in the U.S. one of our top priorities and this is a big step in the right direction," said James Pallotta, chief executive of AS Roma Holdings. "I cannot think of a bigger stage for Roma to play on than Fenway Park, in my hometown, in what is hopefully just the beginning of an on-going derby between these two great teams."