In advance of the festivities in Houston this weekend, PST friend Matthew Doyle takes a look at some of the best stadium debuts. He highlights BMO Field, JEN-WELD Field, and LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. All good choices, but I’ll take the opening of Red Bull Arena.
March 20, 2010. The joint was packed. There were fireworks and dancers. A race car drove on the field to deliver the game ball. Reggie Bush skied a PK into the stands.
And then the game started. Joel Lindpere scored. Mike Petke (Mike Petke!) scored. Dane Richards scored (on a blast). Santos played a ready and willing adversary, running up and down the field.
A week later, the Red Bull defeated Chicago 1-0 in the stadium’s MLS debut. They would win the next two at RBA before falling apart.
But that first game was really something special. A video of the events below. Enjoy. (There are many more videos here.)
Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.
Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.
[ MORE: Ultimate guide to USMNT vs. Mexico ]
Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.
Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.
The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.
McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.
The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.
The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.
Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.
Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.