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Friday, July 20, 2012
A look at soccer inside MLB stadiums

By Patrick Dorsey

Yankee Stadium
With the home team out of town, Yankee Stadium is preparing for a rather atypical event.
This weekend starts a wave of big-time international soccer exhibitions at Major League Baseball stadiums.

Saturday it's England's Liverpool versus Toronto F.C. at the Blue Jays' Rogers Centre. On Sunday, it's England power and UEFA Champions League winner Chelsea versus big-spending Paris Saint-Germain at Yankee Stadium (above), and Italy's AS Roma against Poland's Zaglibie Lubin at Wrigley Field. Wednesday comes Roma versus Liverpool at Fenway Park. And in August, the Mets' Citi Field hosts an international match between Ecuador and Chile, while Yankee Stadium hosts another pair of giants (Spain's Real Madrid and Italy's AC Milan).

This is a veritable explosion in soccer on the diamond. But it's not the first time we've seen the world's big clubs avoid dirt and basepaths as they entertain North America's association football fanatics.

Here's a peek at what it looks like when soccer invades baseball stadiums -- including one unmissable photo from a few decades back.

Fenway Park: Celtic vs. Sporting Lisbon
Fenway Soccer
Scotland's Celtic is on the attack against Portugal's Sporting during this July 2010 match.

Fenway Park: Celtic vs. Sporting Lisbon
Marc Fortune
... and again, during that same match.

Fenway Park: Celtic vs. Sporting Lisbon
This is from before the match, with Celtic training and the Green Monster looking on.

Citi Field: Ecuador vs. Greece
Greece, Ecuador
Large Greek and Ecuadorian populations in New York brought this match in June 2011.

Citi Field: Juventus vs. Club America
Citi Field
A general view as the Italian side Juventus faced off against Mexico's Club America in July 2011.

New York Cosmos at old Yankee Stadium
Featuring Brazilian legend Pele, in the mid-1970s.
Focus on Sport/Getty Images