AC Milan v Panathinaikos? In the Pontiac Silverdome? On grass?

August 7, 2010 — by Suman

"Panathinaikos' Sotiris Ninis, front left, and AC Milan's Alexandre Pato fight for this ball in the first half at the Silverdome on Friday. (JULIAN H. GONZALEZ/DFP)"

Doesn’t it seem like every club in Europe is somewhere in the United States over these few weeks, playing warmup matches and making odd publicity appearances?  Thierry Henry scoring on Spurs yet again, but this time after “Coming to America” (really MSG?), making a memorable appearance on NY1, and taking the lovely PATH train from Manhattan to Harrison NJ; Sir Alex eating ribs while competing with a gospel choir in Kansas City; Cristian Ronaldo lecturing at UCLA (hat tip for that link to faculty member Steve Lee (although some are pushing him to try out for goalkeer on the 2014 South Korean squad–Be the Reds Steve–literally!)); and hapless Portsmouth on the pre-season tour from hell.

Amid all those sides, plus Juve and Man City and Sporting Clube de Portugal and Celtic, was anyone even aware that AC Milan and Panathinaikos are also in the country, and in fact played each other earlier this evening–in the inglorious Pontiac Silverdome (which could have been yours for a grand total of $583,000 btw).

It’s not often one looks to the Detroit Free Press for soccer news, but here’s the local paper on the game, and a note at the end about USMNT defender Oguchi Onyewu:

Daniele Bonera’s goal gave AC Milan a penalty-shootout victory, 5-3, over Panathinaikos after a scoreless draw tonight in the first major sporting event at the Pontiac Silverdome in seven years.

The game, which drew an announced crowd of 30,514, was played on a temporary grass field like the one used for the 1994 World Cup.


American defender Oguchi Onyewu did not play for Milan while continuing to recover from a knee injury that cost him most of last season and limited him in this summer’s World Cup.