The dog days of summer has come to the NYC, Northern NJ, Southern CT, tri-state area. Even though the weather is extremely hot, the football will be even hotter when two of the top premiership clubs in Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur joins Portuguese first division side Sporting Lisbon to play in the Barclays New York Football Challenge. The host of course is a resurging New York Red Bulls who are currently in second place of the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer.
From Tottenham Hotspur Manager Harry Redknapp and a late arriving Tom Huddlestone. From Manchester City Manager Roberto Mancini with Garreth Barry. Sporting Lisbon Manager Paulo Sergio with Daniel Carrico, Head coach of the New York Red Bulls Hans Backe along with Thierry Henry. “Delighted to be here in New York and much looking forward with the tournament” said Harry Redknapp. “To play with such good teams as we are competing with. The stadium looks absolutely fantastic and we are ready to go.”
It is very strange why a Portuguese side like Sporting Lisbon would want to be a part of this tournament with their league season starting on July 29th, but Paulo Sergio took it as an advantage to get his players some extra friendly matches and to face two of the top sides of the English Premiership. “I have to say in our proclamation to prepare well for the league opener on July 29th.” said Paulo Sergio. “We say thank you for this moment.” When it was Carrico’s turn to speak to the press he tried to say thank you for the opportunity, but his excitement to be here at Red Bull Arena overwhelmed him and his session ended.
Garreth Barry showed his pleasure when he spoke for his teammates representing Manchester City. “The players are delighted to be here in this tournament this weekend. It’s perfect preparation for the upcoming season & we can’t wait to get going at this fantastic venue.” During the private interviewing sessions Barry described the improvement of the American player in the premiership as well as the World Cup. “I think you have to look at the national team its self, they have been improving and they keep qualifying for the World Cup.”
On the New York Red Bulls end the players are anxious to get started this Thursday against Tottenham Hotspur. Juan Pablo Angel picked up a sprained L-ankle and won’t be available, but is targeted the Sunday afternoon match against Manchester City to return. That means for the first forty-five minutes Macoumba Kandji will be paired up top along with Thierry Henry and when he found out about it during training today at Montclair State University’s track field, he had a large smile from ear to ear as he will be playing alongside the man he idolized as a young boy.
“The guy is a legend” said Kandji “Of course I thought about it and it’s a dream come true. If someone in high school told me this would happen I would call him a liar. It’s amazing because he is one of the best players in the world, my birthday is coming and it’s a wonderful present.”