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Red Bulls Weekly Update: July 19

BARCLAYS NEW YORK CHALLENGE KICKS OFF THURSDAY: Three European powerhouses visit Red Bull Arena this week when the Barclays New York Challenge gets underway on Thursday in Harrison. English clubs Tottenham Hotspur FC and Manchester City FC will be joined by Portugal’s Sporting Clube de Portugal and the host Red Bulls for the three day, four match tournament.

The Challenge kicks off on Thursday when the Red Bulls take on Tottenham at 8:00 PM ET. It will be the first time in club history the Red Bulls will play a club from England’s Premier League. Tottenham is coming off one of the most successful season in the club’s history in 2009-2010. Manager Harry Redknapp led Spurs to a fourth place finish in the Premier League, earning them their first ever berth in the UEFA Champions League, a landmark achievement for the club. Making the trip stateside for the Challenge are longtime Spurs forward and Republic of Ireland international Robbie Keane, who is eighth on the club’s all-time scoring list, as well as Welsh international defender Gareth Bale, Croatian international midfielder Luka Modric, and England midfielder Tom Huddlestone.

The tournament continues on Friday when England’s Manchester City and Portugal’s Sporting Clube de Portugal square off at 8:00 PM ET.  Under the tutelage of manager Roberto Mancini, Manchester City enjoyed its best league finish since 1992 last season. The club just missed out on a spot in the UEFA Champions League, finishing right behind Challenge participants Tottenham in the Premier League, ending up fifth in the final table. The club boasts a litany of world-class stars, many of whom will participate in the Challenge, including French midfielder Patrick Vieira and Togo international forward Emmanuel Adebayor. City will take on one of Portugal’s most successful clubs in Sporting Clube de Portugal. “The Lions” are 18-time winners of the Portuguese Liga, and have won the Cup of Portugal 15 times. Expected to appear for Sporting are Chilean international midfielder Matias Fernandez and Portuguese forward Liédson.

The tournament wraps up on Sunday with a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 PM ET when Tottenham take on Sporting. The match is followed by the clash between the Red Bulls and Manchester City, with kickoff slated for 3:30 PM ET.

RED BULLS SIGN THIERRY HENRY: Red Bull New York announced on July 14 that it signed star French forward Thierry Henry to a multi-year contract as its second Designated Player. His debut for the Red Bulls is expected to be on July 22 against English Premiership club, Tottenham Hotspur, in the Barclays New York Challenge at Red Bull Arena.

“It is without question that Thierry Henry is one of the most successful and recognizable soccer players over the past 15 years,” said Dietmar Beiersdorfer, Head of Red Bull Global Soccer. “We are thrilled that Thierry has decided to come to New York to help the Red Bulls compete for championships this year and for years to come. His international pedigree is second to none and he is a proven winner.”

“This marks an exciting new chapter in my career and life,” Henry said. “It is an honor to play for the New York Red Bulls. I am fully aware of the team’s history and my sole goal during my time here is to help win the club its first championship. Knowing Red Bull’s significant commitment to soccer locally and internationally, I am confident that my teammates and I will succeed.”

The former FC Barcelona, Arsenal, Juventus FC and AS Monaco striker known for his sublime technical ability, sharp acumen and nose for goal, most recently represented France in the World Cup for a record fourth time. Henry, a member of the 1998 World Cup-winning side and leading scorer, has scored a national-record 51 goals and earned 123 caps for his country. Henry also helped France win the 2000 European Championship and the 2003 Confederations Cup.

“Thierry is not only a world class player who will undoubtedly improve our squad, but he has shown most importantly throughout his career that he is a winner,” said Erik Soler, Red Bull New York General Manager and Sporting Director. “He has made it clear to us that he is committed in the short and long term to help in our vision of making our organization the premium franchise in Major League Soccer.”

Famous for his trademark “14” jersey, Henry most recently played for FC Barcelona, where he scored 49 goals and had a successful stint with the Catalan side. In his first season, Henry was the top scorer and led the team with 19 goals. A year later he went one better not only scoring 26 goals but being an integral part of the squad that went on to win six championships – the UEFA Champions League, La Liga Title Copa del Rey, Spanish Supercup, UEFA Supercup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Prior to joining FC Barcelona, Henry played for London-based club, Arsenal FC. Henry rose to legendary status with the Gunners, becoming the club’s all-time leading goal scorer with 226 goals from 1999-07. The French marksman was the top scorer in the English Premiership (2002, 2004-06) a record four times and helped his club win the Premiership championship in 2002 and 2004. The 32-year-old also helped lead his team to three English FA Cups and he won the European Golden Boot in 2004 and 2005.

During Henry’s first season, he recorded 26 goals – an indicator of his future success with Arsenal. In the 2003 and 2004 seasons, Henry was a runner-up for the FIFA World Player of the Year and was the first-ever back-to-back winner of the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year. In 2005, Henry was given the Captain’s Armband and became the club’s all-time goal scorer with a brace against Sparta Prague on Oct. 17, snapping Ian Wright’s previous record of 185. He again was named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, becoming the only player to win the award three times.

LAST WEEK: Red Bulls 0, Columbus Crew 2 at Crew Stadium on July 17.

THIS WEEK:  Barclays New York Challenge at Red Bull Arena:
Red Bulls vs. Tottenham Hotspur FC (England) on July 22 at 8:00 PM
Manchester City FC (England) vs. Sporting Clube de Portgual (Portugal) on July 23 at 8:00 PM
Tottenham Hospur FC vs. Sporting Clube de Portugal on July 25 at 1:00 PM
Red Bulls vs. Manchester City FC on July 25 at 3:30 PM.
All matches of the Barclays New York Challenge will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel

NEXT WEEK: Red Bulls at Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium on July 31 at 8:30 PM (TV: MSG; Radio: WQBU 92.7 FM.


RED BULLS FALTER IN COLUMBUS: The New York Red Bulls had their five-game unbeaten streak snapped on Saturday night, falling to the Columbus Crew, 2-0, in a battle between the two top teams in the Eastern Conference. With the loss, the Red Bulls dropped to 8-6-2 with 26 points while the Crew extended its lead in the division to five, improving to 9-3-4 and 31 points.

Columbus took the lead in the 20th minute. Guillermo Barros Schelotto had possession in the Red Bulls’ half and slipped a ball through to Emilio Renteria, who went in on goal and ripped it past goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul for his third goal of the season.

The Red Bulls looked to get right back into it four minutes later, with Dane Richards playing a give-and-go with Sinisa Ubiparipovic into the box. The Jamaican slid a shot towards the near post that goalkeeper Will Hesmer was forced to tip it away. In the 33rd minute, Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven fired an attempt that went straight to Coundoul.

Columbus doubled its lead three minutes into the second half. The ball bounced around the Red Bulls’ penalty box before it fell out to Brian Carroll, who hit a left-footed volley that Coundoul got a piece on but couldn’t keep out, as it nestled into the side netting.

The Crew was reduced to 10 men with one minute left in the match when Frankie Hejduk kicked out at Red Bulls midfielder Carl Robinson while the Welshman was on the ground.

ANGEL NAMED TO 2010 MLS ALL-STAR TEAM: New York Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Angel was added by MLS All-Star coach Bruce Arena to the 23-man MLS All-Star Team that will face legendary English side, Manchester United, on Wednesday, July 28 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas at 8:30 PM ET (TV: ESPN2, TeleFutura). It is the third career All-Star selection for Angel, who is second in MLS in goals scored this season with nine.

“It is an absolute honor to play in this year’s All-Star Game,” Angel said. “I want to thank Bruce for selecting me for this year’s match and I hope to help represent Major League Soccer well.  Manchester United is one of the world’s premium clubs and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to play them.”

Now in his fourth season as a Red Bull, Angel has developed into one of the league’s most prolific strikers, tallying 54 goals in 88 regular season games over his MLS career. The Colombian Designated Player, who also played in the 2007 and 2008 All-Star Games against Celtic FC and West Ham United, respectively, and was the game’s Most Valuable Player after scoring the opening goal in a 2-0 win over Celtic, is New York’s all-time leading goal scorer.

In 2010, Angel has steadily moved up the league charts in goals scored. After his two-goal performance against the Kansas City Wizards on June 26 in a 3-0 Red Bulls win, Angel won the MLS Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career. The 2007 MLS Most Valuable Player runner-up has also tallied one assist and has not missed a game this season, starting in all of New York’s 15 matches.

BARCLAYS NEW YORK CHALLENGE TRAVELING ROSTERS RELEASED: The traveling rosters of the visiting clubs for the Barclays New York Challenge have been released.

Manchester City’s roster:
Goalkeepers: Shay Given, Stuart Taylor, David Gonzalez, Joe Hart
Defenders: Micah Richards, Pablo Zabaleta, Kieran Trippier, Nedum Onuoha, Wayne Bridge, Javier Garrido, Greg Cunningham, Joleon Lescott, Vincent Kompany, Ben Mee, Dedryck Boyata, Kolo Toure
Midfielders: Adam Johnson, Stephen Ireland, Michael Johnson, Scott Kay, Patrick Vieria, Andrew Tuttle, Jeremy Helan, Abdisalam Ibrahim, Yaya Toure, Shaun Wright Philips, Gareth Barry, Vladimir Weiss
Forwards: Jo Silva, Craig Bellamy, John Guidetti, Emmanuel Adebayor, Alex Tchuimeni-Nimely

Tottenham Hotspur roster:
: Carlo Cudicini, David Button, Ben Alnwick
Defenders: Alan Hutton, Garreth Bale, Younes Kaboul, Kyle Naughton, Verlan Corluka, Kyle Walker, Calum Butcher
Midfielders: Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar, Jake Livermore, Adel Taarabt, Andros Townsend, Ryan Mason, Daniel Rose
Forwards: Roman Pavlyuchenko, Robert Keane, Jonathan Obika

Sporting Clube de Portugal roster:
Rui Patricio, Tiago Ferreira, Vitor Golas
Defenders: Marco Torsiglieri, Daniel Carrico, Anderson Polga, Evaldo Fabiano, Leandro Grimi, Nuno Coelho, Joao Pereira, Abel Ferreira
Midfielders: Pedro Mendes, Marat Izamilov, Nuno Ribeiro (Maniche), Matias, Jaime Valdes, Miguel Veloso, Ander Santos, Simon Vukcevic
Forwards: Carlos Saleiro, Florent Sinama-Pongolle, Yannick Djalo, Helder Postiga, Andre Martins, Liedson, Diogo Salomao, William Owusu Acheampong

BARCLAYS TO SPONSOR CHALLENGE: Barclays announced that it will be the inaugural title sponsor of the Barclays New York Challenge, the international soccer tournament that will take place between July 22 and July 25, 2010 at Red Bull Arena, home of the New York Red Bulls.

Tickets are available now for the Barclays New York Challenge at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ from July 22-25. The showcase event features English Premier League sides Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting Clube de Portugal and the host team, the New York Red Bulls. Tickets can be purchased for the Barclays New York Challenge by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or CLICKING HERE.

The tournament is being organized by the World Series of Football Limited.  The inaugural sponsorship agreement gives Barclays the naming rights for the tournament as well as a series of other rights including broadcast, ticketing and hospitality branding during the tournament.

Robert E. Diamond Jr., President of Barclays PLC, said, "The Barclays New York Challenge is an exciting new tournament that will bring the best of European and US soccer together, allowing us a great opportunity to build on our already successful sponsorship of the world’s most popular domestic soccer league, the Barclays Premier League."

“Barclays is one of the world’s leading investment banks, with a significant presence in North America and a growing presence in wealth management and credit cards in the region.  This is a great opportunity to sponsor a new soccer tournament in one of the most exciting sports markets in the world.”

Christian Eidem, Chairman of World Series Football Limited said, “The tournament will take place at the 25,000 seat Red Bull Arena that was officially opened earlier this year and has already established itself as one of the best soccer stadiums in the USA.”

REAM LEADING THE WAY: New York rookie defender Tim Ream is the only field player on the team to log all 1440 available minutes in 2010. Goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul has also played every minute thus far.

MATCH TICKETS FOR SECOND HALF ON SALE: Match tickets for the second half of the Red Bulls’ season are on sale now. Fans can purchase Groups, Family Packs and individual match tickets for all Red Bulls’ matches in August and beyond by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or by CLICKING HERE. Also, tickets for the New York Football Challenge from July 22-25 featuring the Red Bulls, English Premiership clubs Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur and Portuguese side Sporting Clube de Portugal are on sale to the general public as well. The full schedule of matches that are on sale is as follows:
Wednesday, August 11: Red Bulls vs. Toronto FC - 7:30 PM
Saturday, August 14: Red Bulls vs. Los Angeles Galaxy – 6:00 PM
Saturday, August 28: Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes – 7:30 PM
Saturday, September 11: Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids – 4:00 PM
Saturday, October 2: Red Bulls vs. Kansas City Wizards – 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 9: Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake – 4:30 PM
Thursday, October 21: Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution – 7:30 PM.

SOLO FUTBOL AIRS SUNDAY: Red Bulls WADO 1280 AM and 92.7 FM announcers Ernesto Motta and Robert Sierra host their weekly call-in radio show, Solo Futbol, on Sunday night from 8-11 PM on WADO 1280 AM. Motta, Sierra and their panel of experts and guests analyze the Beautiful Game and the New York Red Bulls.