The New York Red Bulls announced today that the Red Bulls will face Pumas UNAM in a friendly match on Thursday, Feb. 23 in a game called Red Bull Reto del Sol, or “Challenge of the Sun.” This will be a follow up to last year’s Red Bull Reto del Sol match, which pitted the Red Bulls vs. Club Atlas de Guadalajara. The 2012 game will be played at Chase Field, in downtown Phoenix, with doors opening at 6:00 p.m. local time and kick-off slated for 8:00 p.m. More information is available at www.redbullusa.com/retodelsol.
Red Bull Reto del Sol will once again bring professional soccer to the Valley of the Sun, with some of the top players in the United States and Mexico participating, including Rafa Márquez, Thierry Henry, Juan Agudelo, Martin Bravo, Efraín Velarde and Darío Veróne. The Red Bulls, who finished the 2011 season by advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals, will go up against Primera División Team Pumas UNAM. Pumas, widely regarded as one of the most popular clubs in Mexico, are champions of the 2011 Clausura tournament, having won their seventh championship against Monarcas Morelia.
“We are looking forward to returning to the Phoenix area to face Pumas, an elite Mexican side that will provide us with a big test,” said Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “We had a good match against Atlas in 2011 playing in front of a great crowd and we look forward to competing in a similar atmosphere at this year’s Red Bull Reto del Sol.”
In 2011, Red Bull Reto del Sol took place in Glendale, AZ, pitting the Red Bulls vs. Atlas, and drew more than 23,000 spectators. After a scoreless first half, the Red Bulls went down 0-1 when Atlas player Edgar Pacheco put up a ball that was inadvertently deflected into the net by New York defender Tim Ream. However, former Atlas star and current Red Bull Márquez converted a penalty kick in the 89th minute, earning New York a 1-1 draw.
Tickets for Red Bull Reto del Sol are now on sale, starting at $20 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also available at usual tienda locations in the Phoenix area and at the Chase Field box office in person or via phone at 480-339-5000. For additional information please log on to www.azchasefield.com.
The Red Bulls, who won the 2010 Eastern Conference regular season title, open the regular season with a two-game road trip starting on Sunday, March 11 against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park at 3:00 PM in a match to be televised live by NBC Sports Network – the first MLS game broadcasted by the League’s new national partner, NBC. New York’s home opener at Red Bull Arena will take place Sunday, March 25 against the Colorado Rapids at 4:00 PM ET and will be televised nationally on ESPN. For more information, log on to www.newyorkredbulls.com.
New York Red Bulls
The New York Red Bulls is one of 19 teams that comprise the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States – Major League Soccer. On the field, the team is led by World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League winner Thierry Henry, and his former Barcelona teammate, Mexican National Team Captain Rafa Márquez. The team is coached by third-year manager Hans Backe, a finalist for the league’s Coach of the Year award in 2010. In March 2010, the Red Bulls moved into their new home, Red Bull Arena, a 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Harrison, NJ. Red Bull Arena was voted the best arena in the MLS by fans according to a poll conducted by MLSsoccer.com. The Red Bulls have qualified for the MLS Cup playoffs for two straight seasons and eight of the past nine years. The New York Red Bulls are owned by Red Bull GmbH, the world’s No. 1 energy drink maker. For more information, log onto www.newyorkredbulls.com or call 1.877.RBSOCCER.
Club Universidad Nacional A.C., more commonly known as Pumas de la UNAM, is a Mexican professional football club based in Mexico City. Club Universidad represents the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the largest university in Mexico, and plays their home matches at Olímpico Universitario Stadium, located on UNAM’s main campus. Universidad is one of the most popular clubs in Mexico, and have won seven Primera División championships and four international titles. The team is also known for their youth development system, which has produced several top international players.