Tonight began the Barclay's New York Football Challenge. As explained before the game, tonight may have been the most important match in franchise history, as there were 20,000 future fans in the building who are potential future season ticket holders. Anything but a good showing and the media exposure from our signing of Thierry Henry would be for naught. Tottenham are a fantastic team from the English Premier League who finished in Fourth place this past season. Much can be said about how MLS teams can't compete with EPL teams and how MLS players have subpar skills.
This past week saw Manchester United play against the Philadelphia Union in an extremely close match where Philly played well and had some missed chances to score. Going into that game no one expected Philly to be able to keep up with the famous ManU. So the NYFC is going to be a pretty good measuring stick as to where MLS teams sit in the grand scheme of world soccer.
The first half of the game tonight was some of the best soccer the Red Bulls have played this year. Some missed chances with Thierry Henry putting one in the back of the goal on a ball set up beautifully by Joel Lindpere. Bouna Coundoul looked amazing with his box control and was backed up by the great play of Tim Ream. Going into the second half many thought the Red Bulls could keep a clean sheet against the Spurs.
The second half was completely different due to substitutions. The Spurs took on the Red Bull reserves and showed their superiority. Greg Sutton made a mistake and allowed the first goal and the second goal was due to a misplay by Jeremy Hall. The Red Bulls had a chance to equalize but the ball went off the cross bar.
The team should hold their heads high. They took on a fantastic squad and our starting XI showed they were more than competent and able to hold their own. I'm excited with how they play on Sunday against Manchester City.
Highlights after the jump...