English Premier League football club Manchester United has set up shop at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center this week ahead of Friday's International Champions Cup (ICC) friendly at Seattle's CenturyLink Field.
The matchup, which comes against Mexico City's Club America, marks the first stop on Manchester United's 2015 tour in the United States, with the club also making stops in San Jose and Santa Clara, Calif., as well as Chicago, Ill.
Seahawks headquarters represents a familiar setting for the club's captain Wayne Rooney, who's one of just four players in team history to score 200-plus goals (Rooney has 230). Rooney and the Red Devils trained at VMAC in 2011 prior to the club's friendly against Seattle Sounders FC, a 7-0 win that saw Rooney record a hat-trick in front of 67,000-plus fans.
"We trained there last time we came as well, and they've really looked after us," Rooney told SeattlePI.com on Tuesday. "Great facilities, great training pitch for us to train on, so that's really important. … As a group of players and as a team, we appreciate them letting us use their facilities, and we can't thank them enough."
This week, Rooney and his teammates have had the chance to meet a few Seahawks on the practice field.
"I saw a few at the training ground today," said the 5-foot-9, 182-pound Rooney. "It's amazing, the difference in size. To be honest, I watch (NFL football) now and again, but it's not something I watch all the time. I know a few of the players on the squad do watch it. They follow it quite closely, so it's very exciting for them to see players who they might follow and support. There's an excitement around the players when we go to the playing ground."
Friday night's match at CenturyLink Field starts at 7 p.m. PT. Tickets to the game are still available.