Reds returning to Australian shores
FOOTBALL: Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan's first appearance in a Liverpool jersey could happen in Australia after the Premier League giant confirmed plans to play pre-season matches in Brisbane and Adelaide.
The Reds will kick off their Australian tour against the Roar in Brisbane on July 17, before heading to South Australia to take on Adelaide United on July 20. It follows Liverpool's hugely successful tour Down Under in 2013, where it played against Melbourne Victory in front of 95,000 fans at the MCG, the biggest crowd to attend one of its matches.
The stirring rendition of the club's famous "You'll Never Walk Alone" went viral on social media, before captain Steve Gerrard scored a goal in the 2-0 win.
Gerrard will not be in the team on this visit after agreeing to terms with MLS team the LA Galaxy, but Ryan could be.
Speculation has been strong the gloveman, presently playing for Club Brugge in Belgium, is in the sights of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers who dropped his No.1 keeper Simon Mignolet earlier this season after running out of patience with the Belgian.
Liverpool, runners-up in last year's EPL competition, are seventh on the ladder this season. Their roster includes England internationals Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, Slovakian defender Martin Skrtel and Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure. Skrtel, part of the team that played at the MCG in 2013, said he was looking forward to returning to Australia.
"It was a great experience for every single player, because we travelled down there - it's far from here - but we found great support from the fans," he said.
Liverpool's visit will add to an already packed schedule of international football for Australian audiences in July, with Manchester City, Real Madrid and AS Roma also set to play in the International Champions Cup tournament in Melbourne.