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Young stars highlight Red Bull Arena opener
by Paul Kennedy, March 20th, 2010 1:32AM

TAGS:  brazil, mls, soccer business


[MLS] For Saturday's opening of Red Bull Arena (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, live, 6:30 pm ET) could be the only soccer game at $200 million stadium for a while. The New York Red Bulls will be without star Juan Pablo Angel and their opponent, Santos of Brazil, will be missing Robinho, who is also injured, but both teams could showcase young stars of their own for the sell-out crowd of 25,000.

Starting Lineups:
Red Bulls -- Coundoul, Hall, Petke, Ream, Miller, Richards, Ubiparipovic, Robinson, Lindpere, Kandji, Salou.
Santos -- Fabio Costa, Luciano Castan, Aguiar, Lucas, Alex Sandro, Alan Santos, Breitner, Germano, Zezinho, Neymar, Giovanni.
(Update: Red Bulls lead, 3-0, at the half. Goal: Lindpere, Petke, Richards.)

Angel's injury could give 17-year-old Juan Agudelo another opportunity up front, while Santos features 18-year-old Neymar.

At Tuesday's media day, new Red Bulls coach Hans Backe called the Colombian-born Agudelo, a member of the Red Bull academy program and a former U.S. under-17 national team, "something special" and compared him to young European forwards in terms of his ability.

With Robinho out, Neymar takes center stage in the Santos attack. He has attracted the interest of such clubs as Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

The 25,000-seat Red Bull Arena, which cost $200 million to build, is scheduled to host its first league match March 27 when the Red Bulls host Chicago.

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