South Bend Liverpool legend Ian Rush toured Notre Dame on Wednesday, including a visit to Notre Dame Stadium for the first time.
Rush is one of the best players in club history, and is the team's all-time leading goal scorer with 346.
Liverpool has come to the U.S. in previous years for these summer tours, and Rush is excited to help create a new generation of Reds fans.
"The preparation for preseason was perfect in America," Rush said. "We come back here again - different counties and everything like that, and we want to see what the fan base is like. Liverpool being European champions now, I think we need the younger generation. I'm fed up with the older generation saying to the younger generation, 'No, this team is good, they're good' - it's actually been proven now. We are the European champions, so I would love to see a younger generation of Liverpool supporters coming in and getting behind the club, because one thing for certain, it's going to be an entertaining game."
Rush is also pleased with how far soccer has come here in America.
"I first came to the U.S. in 1994 for the World Cup," Rush said. "I seen what it's like then, and then I've been coming back with Liverpool for six or seven years, and even when I come back last year, I see the massive amounts of people supporting not just Liverpool, but the [English Premier League]."
This will be the first time Notre Dame Stadium has ever hosted a competitive soccer match, and Rush hopes the crowd and gameday atmosphere rival what we're used to seeing on fall Saturdays.
"When Liverpool comes onto the field, the famous 'You'll Never Walk Alone', they sing that song, and it's like the 12th man, the hairs stand up on your neck and all that," Rush said. "But again, Borussia Dortmund, they do exactly the same, they sing that song as well, because what I'm looking for, before the start of the game, is both sets of teams singing that song, You'll Never Walk Alone, that'll get the atmosphere going and all that, and when the game starts, it's going to be just like European football."
"I think you'll find Liverpool, they'll be on the counter attack," Rush added. "They're very very quick upfront, so what they'll be looking for, is how quick the game is in the English Premier League. The game is so quick [...] and that's what Liverpool is all about."
Liverpool will play Borussia Dortmund in the first-ever competitive soccer match in Notre Dame Stadium history on July 19th.