Red Bulls to host Pseudo-Testimonal Against Arsenal in July

Richard Heathcote

After playing host to Tottenham, the Red Bulls will welcome their North London rival to Harrison this summer.

Arsenal will be making their first stateside appearance in a quarter century and it's going to be in Harrison against the Red Bulls.

The friendly, set for Saturday, July 26 at 5 p.m. will pit Thierry Henry against the club where he made his name in his current team's home stadium.

While other English Premier League clubs have used friendlies against MLS teams to prepare for meaningful competition -- Manchester United and Chelsea among them -- Arsenal has been loathe to make the trip across the Atlantic. The last time they did was in 1989, when they beat Argentine side Independiente 2-1 in Miami. Before that, in 1986, they played indoors against the New York Express in Nassau Coliseum. In recent years the North London club has opted for Asian tours, despite a considerable Arsenal fan base both in New York and nationally.

The choice to play the Red Bulls is a natural one. Despite Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh's desire to extend Henry's contract, the Frenchman's career is winding down. It gives Henry, Arsenals' all-time leading scorer (by a considerable margin), the chance to play a kind-of, sort-of testimonial against the team he lead to an undefeated Premier League title in 2004.

The last time the Red Bulls and Arsenal faced off, they played to a 1-1 draw in the 2011 Emirates Cup.

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