Totttenham complete their pre-season tour in America with a match against New York Red Bulls this evening. They travelled to New York immediately after Saturday’s draw with Liverpool and have been involved in promotional events for supporters as well as continuing the team’s build-up for the start of the Premier League season. On Sunday, Andre-Villas Boas and the coaching staff were involved in a ninety minute coaching clinic for children, many aged from 8 – 12 years, in Manhattan. The squad had an open training session at the Red Bull Arena on Monday where players signed autographs for watching Tottenham supporters.
Tottenham have played in New York on a number of occasions. Spurs’ first match on American soil was part of a tour of North America in the summer of 1952 and was played in New York. It was the only match in the US, an exhibition game against Manchester United which Tottenham won 7 – 1. The goals were scored by Ted Duquemin (4), Les Bennett (2), Sid McClellan.
They returned to New York five years later as part of another summer tour and defeated Glasgow Celtic 4 – 3 with Bobby Smith scoring a hat-trick and Micky Dulin getting the other goal.
On their most recent tour to America in 2010, Tottenham competed in the Barclays New York Challenge which involved them in two matches against the Red Bulls and Sporting Lisbon. They defeated the Red Bulls 2 – 1 and drew 2 – 2 with Sporting.
In their opening match against New York Red Bulls, their old adversary, Thierry Henry was making his debut having signed from Barcelona. He gave the home team a first half lead but Spurs rallied with second half goals from Robbie Keane and Gareth Bale. In the match against Sporting, Keane and Jonathan Obika were Tottenham’s goalscorers.
Totttenham will again face Henry this evening as the two clubs compete for the Barclays New York Cup. Red Bulls are currently top of the Eastern Division. They are undefeated at home this season with 7 win and three draws. They lost 3 – 1 in Montreal on Saturday where Henry scored their only goal. Red Bulls have further strengthened their squad with the signing of Tim Cahill from Everton. A former Tottenham ‘old boy’ with Red Bulls is Teemu Taino who signed in 2011 from Ajax. He made over 70 League and Cup appearances for Tottenham, scoring three goals and was part of the Carling Cup winning squad in 2008. He was transferred to Sunderland in the summer of 2008.
Andre Villas-Boas will be hoping that Spurs can achieve the first win on their tour but with absences and injuries taking their toll on the trip it could prove difficult. Gareth Bale was involved in only light training yesterday as he tested out his ankle following Charlie Adam’s tackle in the match against Liverpool so may be another player missing tonight.
The tour has given Villas-Boas an opportunity to assess squad players but there has been little indication that many are ready for a recall to the first team. On returning to London he will have a better idea of the capabilities of the squad and commence preparations for the upcoming matches against Watford on Sunday and Valencia the following Thursday evening where the Coach would hope to have a full strength team available.