Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SSN Match Report: Pedro B. at New York Red Bulls vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Life works out in funny ways sometimes. The Red Bulls opened their new arena this year. The early reviews were positive. I'm not a Red Bulls fan, but was interested in checking them out in the new digs. As one of my birthday gifts, my wife says "Pick a game and I'll get you tickets." Several weeks go by and my usual procrastination is starting to bother her. "Why won't you just pick a game?!"

For once the procrastination pays off. I hadn't kept close tabs on Spurs over the summer so when I saw the online ad for Red Bulls vs. Spurs at Red Bull Arena the sequence of events was pretty straightforward:

1. Calm down a bit.
2. Call wife, tell her I've found the game and I don't care what's happening on July 22.
3. Purchase tickets.

Great. I'm going. Can't be more excited. What's that? Thierry Henry is signing with Red Bulls? That's kind of interesting. Should be fun to see how he does. Oh, wait, what did you say? He's going to debut against Spurs?! On July 22? And I'll be there? Holy crap!! That's amazing.

OK. Prelude over, on to the stadium and the game.

First impressions were that Red Bulls must have gotten the land real cheap in Harrison, N.J., because there is nothing around the stadium. Nothing. Literally empty lots. And the PATH station was not build anticipating there would ever be a stadium within 500 yards. One stair case in, one stair case out for thousands of people. Fantastic. Could have done without the cattle call getting in and out. Hopefully they will add another exit or two. The building itself, however, was rather impressive. New, fresh, compact. Plenty of facilities. Everything close to the field. If it wasn't such a pain in the ass to get to, I might consider becoming a Red Bulls fan.

Everyone there was talking about the wanker. Henry jerseys (Arsenal, Barca, Red Bulls) were everywhere. The Spurs section was equally wound up. Giving anyone who walked through in an Henry shirt a good ribbing. Cue huge roars anytime his name is mentioned over the PA or image shows on the big screens. Whatever. He's still a wanker.

The first ten minutes are all Spurs. Ball spends the whole time at the far end in Red Bull territory. TH does show his pedigree with a couple nifty touch passes but is generally quiet. After ten minutes things begin to turn and the Spurs D looks shaky. Sure, its a preseason tune up but improvement is needed if they're gonna do anything in Champions League, let alone the Premiership. Then, in the 25th minute, the villain scores the opener on a weak little goal. Our corner is silent while the rest of the stadium erupts. What a wanker.

The next 20 minutes are uneventful. Happily Henry and Modric trade shirts at the half. Clearly their nights are done. I'll have to catch a couple more Red Bull games on TV to see how the team adapts to TH. Clearly a step above his teammates.

The second half goes quickly and to plan. Keane scores a goal as weak as Henry's to tie things up. And ten minutes later [my current favorite Spur] Gareth Bale scored on a nice little shot from just inside the box. Fantasy managers should pick up Bale now. Look for him to continue the great second half he had last year. He was all over the field.

Overall, a great evening out. Even though it initially sucked, Henry's opener did make the night a little sweeter to come back and get the win. The torturous slog home made me really wish they'd put the stadium in Long Island City as the original rumors years back had it. Red Bull Arena in LIC would see me a lot more. Harrison, N.J., not so much.

-Pedro B.


Unknown said...

Kind of a shame Bale is Welsh. England need a player of that quality. His quality could be seen a mile away even 3 years ago with limited play time. Now, he is truly fit to play with the big boys. Go Spurs! (but lose to the Gunna's!)

The Editor said...

Bale's a wanker.