The three match tour of the USA ended this morning with victory over the New York Red Bulls. The first game was in Carson, Los Angeles, in the Home Depot stadium where Spurs faced the LA Galaxy. It resulted in a 1 – 1 draw, with Bale scoring from a Sigurdsson cross. In all honesty, and with the number of substitutions, the game felt like a Sunday league kick-about. The high temperatures didn’t help the Tottenham Hotspur team, and it showed. They could be forgiven for coming away with a draw, for it must be remembered that Galaxy are midway through their season!
Liverpool were the second match for Spurs, and with fitness still below normal, the match ended with a goalless draw. The only key feature was Charlie Adams pursuit to permanently injure Bale. He had a go, Gareth Bale didn’t re-appear after the half-time interval, but fortunately, Bale was pronounced fit to face the third match of the Under Armour tournament, against the Red Bulls.
Compared to the previous two games, we could see the agility and ball movement expected from the stylish Spurs. AVB set the team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Goal keeper for this game saw Gomes between the posts. Whereas in the previous two games Cudicini and Brad Friedel took each their turn.
The back four would be the starting defense of our forthcoming season, with Walker and Benny Ekotto as full-backs and Dawson teaming up with Vertonghen in central defense.
Huddlestone and Livermore were slotted in central midfield and Bentley on the left opposite Lennon and Sigurdsson in the middle, and Bale was the centre forward.
With 7 minutes on the clock, from the lightest of touches from Vertonghen, the Red Bulls were awarded a penalty that was converted into a goal, and after that, I cannot honestly remember Gomes needing to make any other saves. Continuous passes from both wings and through the middle saw the americans defending and absorbing wave after wave of Spurs pressure. Bentley played well, combining with Benny and delivering accurate crisp crosses and passes, without the showboating that irritates most of the Spurs fans. Huddlestone was very classy, majestic, with a great vision over the whole field. He pinged balls from any position seeking to free up players with space.
After the first half, and many substitutions, the Lilywhites closed the Bulls in their own half like an invisible pen, and piled on the pressure. Once again, from a corner kick cross from Sigurdsson, Bale leapt above his marker to offer a great header into the net. 5 minutes later, Sigurdsson fired from the side into the far corner of the net to make the final scoreline 2 – 1, and giving Spurs their first trophy of the season.