After hosting two exhibition matches between some of the biggest clubs in Europe last year, this is the first time that the Yankee Stadium in New York is going to be the venue for a high-profile international friendly.
Reigning European champions Spain square off with Republic of Ireland on June 11 at 8 pm ET, with both sides stepping up their preparations for the decisive battles in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Tickets for the exhibition game can be purchased on Ticket Center (http://www.ticketcenter.com/exhibition-spain-vs-ireland-tickets/2067228 – 5% off your order when you join their Facebook page! ).
Spain and Ireland were placed in the same group at the Euro 2012 finals, and after La Furia Roja recorded a 4-0 win on the road to their third consecutive trophy at major tournaments, their opponents will be eager to get revenge for the embarrassing defeat as well as get a much needed boost before the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign resumes.
Spain remain the team to beat having won three major tournaments in a row, although they did experience some problems in the current qualifying campaign. Home setbacks against Finland and France could have proved costly, but Vicente del Bosque’s side proved who’s the boss in Europe by beating les Bleus at Stade de France and thus returning to the driving seat.
La Furia Roja have staged three friendlies in June, and the match against Ireland is going to be their final warm-up game for the Confederations Cup that starts just six days later. This basically means that Vicente del Bosque is set to field his strongest side at the Yankee Stadium, with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Alonso and Fabregas all tipped to feature. Having won their last eight friendlies, Spain can be trusted to take the Ireland match very seriously as well and present their qualities to the soccer fans in the United States in the best possible way.
Republic of Ireland are not exactly one of Europe’s top national teams, but they have progressed a great deal under experienced manager Giovanni Trapattoni. Having narrowly missed out on the 2010 World Cup, the Irish improved to reach the Euro 2012, although they could do little to avoid three defeats after being placed in the same group as Spain, Italy and Croatia.
The team have since enjoyed a promising start to the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, but the late goal they conceded against Austria last time out could prove very costly in the end. Giovanni Trapattoni is expected to take his best side to the Yankee Stadium, with La Galaxy’s own Robbie Keane leading the team as captain. Former Manchester United defender John O’Shea, his Sunderland teammate James McClean and Stoke’s John Walters are the other high-profile names in the squad.
On May 25, 2013, Yankee Stadium will host a friendly between two Premier League giants, Chelsea vs Manchester City. More info on the event and how to get tickets for the game here: http://www.soccernews.com/yankee-stadium-to-host-chelsea-vs-manchester-city-in-exhibition-match-on-may-25/117923/