The first ever Barclays New York Challenge produced some highly entertaining and competitive soccer games for fans to enjoy in New York’s recently opened Red Bull Arena. The event showed promise for soccer in America both in terms of the fan support and the performance of the New York Red Bull MLS squad. Fans flocked to the state of the art, soccer specific stadium to watch their Red Bulls take on the likes of the European Premier Leagues Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City as well as Sporting Lisbon.
Sporting Lisbon, a Portuguese club, tied Tottenham 2-2 on Sunday to take the tournament trophy on goal differential. The second game of the day between EPL powerhouse Manchester City and the New York Red Bulls was equally exciting and provided a surprising result when the Red Bulls won 2-1. Red Bull midfielder Dane Richards showed his speed and skill in the victory, contributing an assist and a goal on a terrific shot that he hit upper 90 in the second half.
Thierry Henry, the New York Red Bulls newest and most high profile player showed moments of brilliance while on the pitch but failed to score. Henry, who has surely solidified his place as a legend of the sport scored in his debut with the Red Bulls against Tottenham on Thursday. Henry appears to be embracing his role with the team and will undoubtedly make New York a serious contender to win an MLS championship. As a soccer fan I would declare the inaugural New York Challenge a success and look forward to it for years to come.
The MLS All Stars will take on Manchester United on Wednesday at 8:30 ET in Houston’s Reliant Stadium. The MLS All Stars have taken five of the first six games since switching to the current All-Star vs. EPL squad format in 2003.