Barclays NY Challenge: Red Bulls, Tottenham, Man City, Sporting Clube de Portugal

July 21, 2010 — by Suman3

It’s been 10 days since the World Cup ended, and if you’re like us, you’ve filled the days and nights watching replays of last year’s Champions League matches and episodes of “The Greatest” and “Great Rivalries” on FSC and FSE.

But here comes the Barclays New York Challenge (also on Twitter and Facebook), just in time to rescue us from this purgatory of top-flight-football-lessness.  Four matches over 3 separate days, with our very own New York Red Bulls hosting Prem Leaguers Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester City, and Iberian powers Sporting Clube of Portugal (commonly but mistakenly called Sporting Lisbon).

The schedule is as follows (all times ET, and all matches played at the quite nice and quite new soccer-specific Red Bulls Stadium in Harrison NJ, and all games will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol, and also streamed online via some website called Veetle):

July 22 – New York Red Bulls v. Tottenham Hotspur (8pm)
July 23 – Sporting Lisbon v. Manchester City (8pm)
July 25 – Sporting Lisbon v. Tottenham Hotspur (1pm)
July 25 – New York Red Bulls v. Manchester City (3pm)

There’s plenty of reasons to watch these matches, but the biggest one is probably the NY debut of Frenchman Thierry Henry–against Tottenham, a team he often burned during his glory years with Arsenal, but a team that is on the rise. From a preview of the rosters the various clubs are bringing to town which was posted on the Red Bulls website:

The Red Bulls’ newest signing, Thierry Henry, is expected to debut for the club when the Red Bulls take on Tottenham Hotspur FC of England to kick off the showcase on Thursday night. Tottenham is gearing up for the 2010-11 Premier League season, and also have qualified for this season’s UEFA Champions League thanks to their fourth place finish in last season’s Premiership. With many important fixtures in the near future, Spurs manager Harry Redknapp will require the services of many bodies going forward, and the Challenge will give him a good look at the depth of his squad. Star on the rise Gareth Bale will make the trip, and the Welsh international is quickly becoming one of the great young fullbacks in world football. Longtime Spurs marksman Robbie Keane will also travel to Harrison, bringing with him the scoring pedigree which has placed him eighth all-time on Tottenham’s scoring list. Croatian international Luka Modric provides a creative force in the midfield, and he’ll be looking to orchestrate some goals for Tottenham this week.

The other Premier League team in town is also one to watch this upcoming season:

Tottenham finished fourth in the Premier League in 2009-2010, much thanks to a dramatic victory over Challenge participants Manchester City FC in the penultimate match of the season. City finished fifth on the season, an excellent place after a slow start. Manager Roberto Mancini has some of world football’s greatest players to choose from when picking out an eleven, and many of them will go up against the Red Bulls on Sunday. Manchester City boasts the Toure brothers, defender Kolo and midfielder Yaya, who both represented Cote d’Ivoire at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Midfielder Patrick Vieira, who was a longtime teammate of Thierry Henry at Arsenal and with the French National Team, is also on the roster. City will look to score a lot of goals, and very well can with a strike force that includes the likes of Craig Bellamy, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jo. England World Cup selection Gareth Barry is likely to be the midfield general for Manchester City throughout the tournament.

Finally, SC de Portugal:

Portugal’s Sporting Clube de Portugal will take on Manchester City on Friday night and Tottenham on Sunday, and the 18-time Portuguese champions can look to their own collection of stars, including three 2010 World Cup players. Sporting will be happy to look towards Portuguese World Cup forward Liédson, who has scored 111 goals for the club in over 200 appearances. One of Liédson’s World Cup teammates, Pedro Mendes, will go up against one of his former teams when Sporting play Tottenham on Sunday. Chilean midfielder Matias Fernandez is also making the trip, and if his exciting play in South Africa was any indication, Fernandez will be ready to entertain this week.