Melbourne Victory and Socceroos striker is disappointed to be missing Melbourne Victory's sold-out exhibition match at Liverpool on Wednesday, as Australia prepares to face Japan in the East Asian Cup.
Archie Thompson says he is disappointed to be missing Melbourne Victory's sold-out exhibition match at Liverpool on Wednesday, as Australia prepares to face Japan in the East Asian Cup.
Thompson and his international team-mates are in Seoul, getting ready for the second game of the EAFF tournament, having escaped with a 0-0 draw in their opening game against a dominant South Korea on Saturday.
Despite the national team being in action, the eyes of the Australian football public are likely to be glued to the glamour friendly between Victory and Liverpool, with a capacity crowd set to see Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez match up with Ange Postecoglou's team.
While Australia have released Nathan Coe and Connor Pain back to Victory for the Liverpool clash, club colleagues Thompson, Mark Milligan and Mitch Nichols have all remained in the South Korea capital.
"I am disappointed to be missing the Liverpool game," veteran forward Thompson said.
"[It's my] home town, and you don't get Liverpool coming to Australia very often. 90,000 people, it's difficult to be here and missing that match, but saying that I am part of the national team and it has its goods and bads."
When asked if part of him wanted to join Pain and Coe on the flight back to Melbourne for the Liverpool game, he said: "[I] would have loved to, but they have to go there, play the game, fly back here, be around for the game [against China] on Sunday then fly back and I wouldn't be looking forward to doing something like that."
Concerns over a demanding travel schedule aside, Thompson did acknowledge he was disappointed to have to skip two of the biggest clubs games to be played in Australia in recent years.
"Just off the back of the Man United [vs the A-league All Stars] game, which I missed too," he said.
"Manchester and Liverpool in the space of a week, that would have been brilliant too."
As for Victory's chances, Thompson is tipping his under-strength team-mates to have a tough fight on their hands against a Liverpool team far more advanced in their pre-season preparations.
"We have played state league games, but they are nowhere near the calibre [of Liverpool] ... look at the All Stars, most of those guys hadn't played for three or four months, Ange only had a week to put the team together with some kind of game plan, so it was always going to be hard.
"For us against Liverpool we have had two months of training and we know the game plan Ange wants to play. I don't know whether the players we have got there are experienced enough.
"Me, Millsy [Mark Milligan], Gui [Guilherme Finkler], Mitch [Nichols], Adama [Traore] is not playing, we have lost [Marco] Rojas and [Marcos] Flores.
"There are some good young players coming through, but I think as a Victory supporter if I was in their shoes I would like to see the best team you can have out there, and I think we haven't got that, but hopefully the young guys can step up and do something."
While envious and perhaps surprised glances have been cast by other football codes at the bumper crowd expected to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday, Thompson is not surprised by the enormous level of interest shown in the arrival down under of the two English Premier League heavyweights.
"They are massive clubs," he said.
"United, Liverpool, who wouldn't pay to go watch a match like that? I would pay to watch those teams and I am a pro-footballer. It's the attraction of Manchester United and Liverpool and the chance to see some of those world-class players.
"We are talking two enormous clubs. No disrespect to other clubs, they are not at that level for people who don't see EPL live and want to see those kinds of players."
For Thompson however, the focus will be on Australia's second match of the East Asian Cup against Japan on Thursday, as the Socceroos look to improve on their fortunate 0-0 draw against South Korea.