The Earthquakes will get the chance to play against one of the big boys of British soccer today against club partner Tottenham Hotspur in a 1:00 PST friendly. The game will be televised live on ESPN as Tottenham continue their preparation for one of the most important seasons in their history.
The Earthquakes will relish the chance to play against elite competition and give some rehabbing players a chance to regain their fitness in a live game setting. Their biggest off-season signing, Brazilian striker Eduardo, is ready to make his return from injury and should see action. Arturo Alvarez will look to build on his brief but successful return from injury after scoring the winner against Philadelphia. Forward Scott Sealy will also be looking to continue his return from injury.
With a late season surge that included shock victories over Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, Tottenham qualified for the Champion’s League for the first time in team history. While many players who were instrumental to their run will not be on the trip after participating in the world cup (Jermaine Defoe, Peter Crouch, Aaron Lennon and Giovani Dos Santos among them) a number of star players will be in attendance:
Tottenham players to watch:
Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar and Vedran Corluka – The World Cup’s loss was our gain because Croatia failed to qualify for South Africa all three will be in attendance and should see action on the field. Modric is the brightest star of the three, an attacking midfielder with great vision, ball control and passing skills. But Spurs fans will be most interested in seeing how Niko Kranjcar looks as he returns from an ankle injury that prematurely ended his 2009-10 season.
Robbie Keane – Ireland’s biggest star and all time leading goal scorer, he scored the only Irish goal against France before his country was eliminated by L’affaire de Henry. He was actually loaned out by Tottenham last February, in part because he could not be guaranteed much playing time amidst a competition for minutes with strikers Jermaine Defoe, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko. Nevertheless he was very successful playing for Celtic and Spurs fans hope he returns in the same form that saw him score 91 goals in his Tottenham career.
Roman Pavlyuchenko – The mercurial Russian appears finally to be happy with his role for Tottenham after multiple demands for a transfer. Upset with being 4th choice amongst strikers, Pavlyuchenko seized his opportunity when Keane was transferred to Celtic and played very well down the stretch in 2010.
Gareth Bale – One of the most exciting young stars in the Premiership, the 21 year old Welshman is looking to build on a breakout season. Although he frequently plays left back, his surging attacks forward added a new dimension to Tottenham’s offense. His speed and aggression make him a danger anywhere on the field.