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ESPN2 to air FC Barcelona-Red Bulls friendly

Thierry_henry_the_associated_press

ESPN has announced that ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will air the Aug. 6 friendly between FC Barcelona and the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium (7 p.m.).

Barcelona will be making its first appearance at Giants Stadium since defeating the Red Bulls in a friendly, 4-1, two years ago.

Led by French star Thierr Henry and Euro 2008 standouts Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol, Barcelona’s star-studded squad is expected to draw more than 50,000 to the match (though Lionel Messi’s likely absence due to Olympic duty could keep the match from coming close to a sellout.)

Comments

  1. mikkkke, the reason people are concerned is because they don’t want to see an MLS team get embarrassed in front of a national TV audience (and any audience in Europe following this) while playing a world-class international side. The MLS has been struggling for years to gain national and international credibility and match-ups such as these (especially ones so visible) are yardsticks to determine how far the league has come. Many of the people watching will be rabid soccer fans who are only occasional casual viewers of the MLS and don’t take the league seriously. As much as some of the press (including Ives) might downplay contests such as the All-Star game these international friendlies do serve to increase MLS exposure and give audiences a sense of where the quality of play is in the league. If NYRB, with its decimated line-up, gets routed as it looks likely it will, it makes the MLS still look like a pub league that could never hope to play with the big boys.

    It’s a shame because if the MLS All-Stars were playing Barca, it might be a fair fight. I’m not sure they could compete overall with Barca’s speed and technical skill but I bet they stifle them enough to pull out a draw (kind of like the US-Argentina match-up at Giants Stadium earlier this summer). Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Red Bull back line will have much of a chance even without Messi and it could get very, very messy (4-0 Barca might seriously be a moral victory for NYRB). If so, it’ll be one more chance for MLS haters to scoff at the league and dismiss the real progress that has been made over the past few years both on and off the pitch.

    Reply
  2. mikkkke, the reason people are concerned is because they don’t want to see an MLS team get embarrassed in front of a national TV audience (and any audience in Europe following this) while playing a world-class international side. The MLS has been struggling for years to gain national and international credibility and match-ups such as these (especially ones so visible) are yardsticks to determine how far the league has come. Many of the people watching will be rabid soccer fans who are only occasional casual viewers of the MLS and don’t take the league seriously. As much as some of the press (including Ives) might downplay contests such as the All-Star game these international friendlies do serve to increase MLS exposure and give audiences a sense of where the quality of play is in the league. If NYRB, with its decimated line-up, gets routed as it looks likely it will, it makes the MLS still look like a pub league that could never hope to play with the big boys.

    It’s a shame because if the MLS All-Stars were playing Barca, it might be a fair fight. I’m not sure they could compete overall with Barca’s speed and technical skill but I bet they stifle them enough to pull out a draw (kind of like the US-Argentina match-up at Giants Stadium earlier this summer). Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Red Bull back line will have much of a chance even without Messi and it could get very, very messy (4-0 Barca might seriously be a moral victory for NYRB). If so, it’ll be one more chance for MLS haters to scoff at the league and dismiss the real progress that has been made over the past few years both on and off the pitch.

    Reply
  3. mikkkke, the reason people are concerned is because they don’t want to see an MLS team get embarrassed in front of a national TV audience (and any audience in Europe following this) while playing a world-class international side. The MLS has been struggling for years to gain national and international credibility and match-ups such as these (especially ones so visible) are yardsticks to determine how far the league has come. Many of the people watching will be rabid soccer fans who are only occasional casual viewers of the MLS and don’t take the league seriously. As much as some of the press (including Ives) might downplay contests such as the All-Star game these international friendlies do serve to increase MLS exposure and give audiences a sense of where the quality of play is in the league. If NYRB, with its decimated line-up, gets routed as it looks likely it will, it makes the MLS still look like a pub league that could never hope to play with the big boys.

    It’s a shame because if the MLS All-Stars were playing Barca, it might be a fair fight. I’m not sure they could compete overall with Barca’s speed and technical skill but I bet they stifle them enough to pull out a draw (kind of like the US-Argentina match-up at Giants Stadium earlier this summer). Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Red Bull back line will have much of a chance even without Messi and it could get very, very messy (4-0 Barca might seriously be a moral victory for NYRB). If so, it’ll be one more chance for MLS haters to scoff at the league and dismiss the real progress that has been made over the past few years both on and off the pitch.

    Reply
  4. Bring in more players? What do you think the man has been doing the last few weeks?? And since JCO took over at the end of last season, then no, it has not been a year. Its been half a season. Get a grip, man!!

    Reply
  5. why so much hate on the local team? after all, this is a friendly. not a real serious game. just a money maker. chill. that said, barca 1 rbny 1

    Reply
  6. Red bull are terrible. Isn’t it about time to change the coach and bring in more players. It has been almost a year?????????

    Reply
  7. They`ll probably just bunker in the defense the whole game, thus giving up a goal for the loss. However the optimistic sign in me hopes that they pull off at least one decent play.

    Reply
  8. The Redbulls should have made a push for Henry now, this transfer window.

    Attendance would jump to the 30K plus range for the remainder of the year and seasons tickets for the new park (yes, i know) would become a hot commodity. They would benefit now and in the long run.

    Oh, and the guy could score some goals…

    Reply

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