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Red Bulls to face Santos FC in Red Bull Arena opener

Red Bull Arena

The New York Red Bulls will open their new stadium, Red Bull Arena, on March 20 with a friendly against legendary Brazilian club Santos FC.

The Red Bulls had been scheduled to open play at Red Bull Arena in their MLS season opener, on March 27 against the Chicago Fire, but the friendly vs. Santos should provide an enticing first match for the large Brazilian population that lives in the area near Harrison, New Jersey.

Santos is best known as the club that Pele made famous, though there has been no word on whether Pele will be in attendance for the Red Bulls-Santos match. Pele famously ended his playing career in a testimonial match between Santos and the New York Cosmos at Giants Stadium in 1977.

What do you think of this development? Plan on attending the first match at the new stadium? Disappointed the Red Bulls didn't keep the MLS season opener as the first match at the stadium?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Santos have been playing great in the Paulista Championship and today they won again. The “kids” are showing flashes of an awesome team. Too bad tickets start at $90 for this friendly, while for regular season games, the starting price is $20.. anyway, hope Pelé will be in hand, have a couple of Santos jerseys I’d like him to sign for me.

  2. The club announced today that it will field an Under-23 team in the National Premier Soccer League.

    “We are very excited to enter the NPSL, which is one of the top men’s amateur leagues in the country,” said Red Bulls Director of Youth Programs Bob Montgomery. “It gives the Red Bulls a chance to keep the top homegrown players through their college careers.”

    The league has 32 teams from around the country competing in four conferences. The New York Red Bulls will join the Atlantic Division of the Northeast Conference. The Maine Sting, New Hampshire Rapids, New York Athletic Club, Morris County Colonials, Brooklyn Italians and Long Island Academy FC comprise the remainder of the Atlantic Division. The Red Bulls will play home and away fixtures with each divisional team for a total of 12 regular season games. Division champions will compete in Conference Championship on July 17 or 18, with the winner advancing the National Finals from July 29–31.

    The team’s roster will include the core players from the 2009 Super-20 League National Championship team that defeated Chivas USA 7-0 in the final on Aug. 2.

  3. Can’t wait. For those that say this move is horrible for RBNY… I have to disagree. I think this is a great move. I know I’m MORE stoked now then before. Imagine a sold out stadium for an opener? Imagine all those hot ass brazilian women dancing? Imagine if RBNY actually won?!(I don’t think they will.. but you never know, that’s the beauty of futbol) Yeah, I only see good things coming from this.

    Anyhow, here’s hoping for a great season. I’ve been waiting as far as I can remember for a SSS in NY. Soccer finally has a home in NY. And I have season tickets. Can’t be a happier person right now.

  4. OK, GJJ, what if they beat Santos?

    NY played pretty well once Osorio was gone last year. In fact, down the stretch they had the third best record in the league. Even before making significant moves this year, the squad has improved. (Hell, they improved just by getting rid of Rojas and Pacheco.)

    Are you willing to give them credit when they play well? Evidently not, as you dismissed the post-JCO results.

    Worse Metro sides than the current one beat better teams than Santos in friendlies. It’s worth seeing how the team plays in La Manga and Disney tournaments before making half-baked predictions.

  5. I’m just so glad that NYC finally has a soccer specific stadium. I live in Seattle and this is one more road game I’m going to be itching to go to!

  6. I’ve never understood this “______ will want to go back” fill-in-the-blank comedy. Even if I assume the mental outlook of someone who hates Brazilians, it just isn’t funny.

    That is of course assuming that you intended this to be a joke. If you didn’t, and it is truly some kind of hope you are clinging to, I regret to inform you that the mere occurrence of Santos playing a game in the US will convince no Brazilins to return to their homeland.

    How about you try again.

  7. Loss to Santos, loss to the Fire, wind goes out of new stadium balloon, same old Red Bulls. Marketing disaster. If they get killed by Santos, you can expect precious few of the Brazilians to come back.


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