CITY'S young stars will head out to the United States on Friday morning to record another major milestone for the club's world-renowned Academy in the wake of April's deserved FA Youth Cup triumph.
The Boy Blues have been invited to the prestigious Dallas Tournament in Texas on the strength of that Youth Cup victory over Chelsea and will kick off on Sunday against the cream of the Italian crop from AC Milan.
Jim Cassell's youngsters, who have never before played in what has become one of the world's top youth tournaments, will follow that Group A appetiser with games against Toronto and the leading Mexican club Tigres.
The potential opposition in the semi-finals is no less daunting. Group B is headed by Brazilian holders Sao Paulo and also incudes Eintracht Frankfurt, while Group C boasts River Plate of Argentina and Vancouver Whitecaps.
Academy manager Cassell said: "It's an honour for us to be invited to such a prestigious tournament. The age group is Under-19 but we'll take a younger squad to give them experience. It will help to educate the younger ones about playing against foreign opposition."
City will play five games in Dallas whether or not they reach the final, which is expected to be staged in front of a 20,000 crowd, and will return to Manchester on April 14th, eight days before their FA Youth Cup semi-final second leg at Arsenal, who lead 2-1.
Squad to travel: Abdi Ibrahim, James Poole, Jeremy Helan, Andrew Mitchell, John Guidetti, Joe Clegg, Tobias Johansen, Reece Wabara, Andrew Tutte, Robbie Mak, Alex Nimely-Tchineni, Greg Cunningham, Chris Chantler, Ahmad Benali, Jack Redshaw, Sean Tse, Dedryk Boyata, Omar Elabdellaoui.