New Jersey to host MLS All-Star match
Red Bull Arena will host Major League Soccer's All-Star game in July, and Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry hopes the opponent will be one of his two former clubs - Barcelona or Arsenal.
The league said on Tuesday that the game will be held on 27 July in Harrison, New Jersey. An opponent for the All-Stars hasn't yet been named, but in recent years the match has pitted the MLS stand-outs against a European club on a pre-season tour of North America. Last year Manchester United beat the All-Stars 5-2 in Houston.
"If it's Arsenal or Barcelona, it's going to be pretty special if I'm involved," Henry said. "Arsenal and Barcelona, not only I played there, but I think they are the two teams that play the best football right now in the world."
Last month Barcelona announced a pre-season US tour that includes matches against Manchester United at Landover, Maryland, on 30 July, AC Milan in Miami on 3 August and Mexico's America at Arlington, Texas, on 6 August.
MLS commissioner Don Garber said the league will announce the name of the opponent within the next 30 days. "It will be of the calibre of clubs we've played in the past," Garber said. "It will be a major, major international opponent. We're in very productive negotiations with a number of teams and we should be able to finalize it earlier than we have in the past."
The $200m 25,000-seat Red Bull Arena opened last year. The decision to stage the All-Star contest there brings the exhibition back to the New York area for the first time since 1997. The first two MLS All-Star matches were played at Giants Stadium in New Jersey in 1996 and '97.