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Everton FC vs. River Plate

Tickets on sale Monday for “The Edmonton Cup”

EDMONTON, AB – Tickets for the friendly Everton FC vs. River Plate FC match on July 25th at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium go on sale through TicketMaster at 10:00 AM (MST) on Monday, June 22nd.

The Edmonton Cup

“‘The Edmonton Cup’ will become an annual prize,” says Bruno Mastroprimiano of Abbey Lane Homes, one of two principal partners. “It is our hope that it will be awarded regularly to the champions of friendly international matches held in Edmonton.”

Tickets From $36.75

“We tried to make the event as affordable as possible,” says co-partner Tom Fath of Fath Industries. “Tickets will be available starting at $36.75.”

Ticket information is available through www.TicketMaster.ca or any retail TicketMaster locations.

GST and service fees are applicable to all ticket prices.

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Darin Kowalchuk

James Rosnau

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El Burrito scores brilliant goal

Argentine superstar bears several similarities to Maradona, including his number and style of play;

River Plate 1 Everton 0

Jim Matheson Edmonton Journal July 26, 2009

The tempestuous Ariel Ortega has been known to suffer the odd brain cramp--he once head-butted a Dutch World Cup goalie -- but judging by his body of work Saturday, he's still got the legs to play, even at age 35.

The dashing Argentine midfielder put on a clinic against the English Everton side in a 1-0 exhibition victory at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, giving the sparse but enthusiastic crowd of 15,800 their money's worth.

"Brilliant finish by Ortega," said Everton manager David Moyes, who is also a fan of the player once thought to be the heir apparent to Diego Maradona--same number (10), flair, creative link between the midfield and scorers, and, unfortunately, lifestyle issues off the pitch.

Ortega is called El Burrito, but he doesn't run like The Little Donkey. He blew past Everton defender Jolean Lescott in the 27th minute, and casually chipped a 20-yard shot over the head of Everton goalkeeper Carlo Nash.

He was the most dangerous of a creative, fast River Plate team that toyed with the short-staffed English FA Cup finalists, at least over the first 45 minutes. He came off in the 67th minute for a substitute, along with striker Cristian Fabbiani, but the three-time World Cupper didn't disappoint anybody.

"He is an idol in our country, and not just for soccer ... everybody loves him," said River Plate manager Nestor Goracito, whose club beat Toronto FC on Wednesday on penalty kicks and will wind up their three-game Canadian tour against the Impact in Montreal on Aug. 4.

It was only 1-0 on the scoreboard, but River kept the backup Nash, who was subbing for one of the world's best keepers--U. S.-born Tim Howard--busy.

"I thought we were the superior team ... we deserved to win this," said Goracito.

Everton, which has four injured regulars, including national teamer Phil Jagielka and Mikel Arteta (knees), chose to fly to Edmonton on the day of the game. The team didn't arrive until about seven hours before kickoff.

Moyes chose to sit his most celebrated player, versatile Phil Neville, until the 68th minute, which stung the crowd.

Howard, who helped the U. S. end Spain's 35-game unbeaten streak in the Confederation Cup, will play against the MLS all-stars in Utah on Wednesday, didn't get off the bench.

"I wanted to see our young Jack Rodwell, who's an under-21 international. He did well," said Moyes, who watched Rodwell take down Rodrigo Archubi in the first half that turned the "friendly" into a shoving match. Fabbiani came into the scrum and got a yellow card.

Everton had a glorious chance in the first half, but Tim Cahill's rocket was volleyed aside by River keeper Daniel Vega.

In the 84th minute, substitute Luis Saha was taken down.

"I thought that could have been a penalty," said Moyes.

Moyes knew the crowd wasn't big, but he wasn't disappointed.

"I don't know what they were expecting," said Moyes. "There's lots of pre-season games back home where the attendances aren't big. But I thought they saw two good teams.

"We've had some severe injuries for six to nine months. We've had a small squad over the last couple of seasons and it's important everybody gets a chance to play," said Moyes.

"I didn't think we played very well in the first half. We gave them too much possesion, but I thought the game was very tight in the end."

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"Moyes chose to sit his most celebrated player, versatile Phil Neville, until the 68th minute, which stung the crowd."

That's a bit desperate there Jim.

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quote:Originally posted by Ed

"Moyes chose to sit his most celebrated player, versatile Phil Neville, until the 68th minute, which stung the crowd."

That's a bit desperate there Jim.

I was going to highlight and discuss that exact quote, but you beat me to it!

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A lot of negative reactions from people I know that went. Here's an email sent to Terry Jones at the Edmonton Sun from a friend of a friend....

Dear Everton FC,

You should be ashamed to call yourself a class organization after failing to provide any sort of opposition or entertainment against River Plate. Your decision to fly to the match on the same day and not field any of your so- called "stars" reeks of a money grab. It was obvious from the kickoff that you had no interest in being there, and

your tactics were disgraceful. I've never seen so many back-passes to a

goalkeeper; every time the ball was turned over to you (not by any aggressive tackling on your part but by missed passes by River) instead of turning the play up field you were content to maneuver the ball back your goalkeeper (what's his name, because it wasn't Tim Howard).

I was really hoping to see an excellent match but you turned this into a farce. I would think that after River scored there would be someone on your team to rally the troops; what I saw was no emotion, no anger, and no motivation.

After that I was hoping that River would have pumped in another 6 goals just to see your reaction. Being unfamiliar with many of your players, I wasn't sure who on the pitch was fighting for a first team selection; it didn't matter, because the instructions from your manager were clear: Let's just get out of here boys! Putting Neville in for the final 20 minutes was useless, by that time you had already shamed yourselves and the Everton fans who came out to watch their beloved team; they were embarrassed and embarrassed for you.

I hope you are proud of yourselves. You missed a great opportunity to earn the respect of the neutrals in attendance, myself included. I used to have sympathy for you, playing second fiddle to your city rivals, but no more.

Why does Manchester United have so many fans around the world? Because when they travel to another part of the world they take time to meet the fans, and many of their best players take part in the matches; they go out to sell their brand of football. You obviously don't.

Your management should do the right thing: return your (non) appearance fee and issue a public apology to the fans and organizers (who aren't without some blame also). After that, I may be able to feel good about your club again.

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And another...

Dear Bruno Mastroprimiano and Tom and Dave Fath, How could you justify the outrageous ticket prices for the Exhibition match between Everton and River Plate? Do you realize that you priced out thousands from attending this game? Yes, I understand that you need to recoup your money, but you also need to make if affordable to do so. I purchased the second lowest priced tickets, and each of those tickets cost $70.25 (when you also take into account Ticketmaster's ridiculous "convenience charge", but that's

another issue). You need to realize that you can double your attendance

by lowering the ticket prices by 30-40%

AND make more profit, and created a greater atmosphere at the game The ticket prices left only the "die-hard" fans with any desire to attend. I wanted to take 4 of my nieces and nephews to the game (and I take them to many events), but their parents could not justify the price; so you lost 4 fans and revenue as such (if tickets had been ~$30, you would have had $150, instead, you got $70 (less whatever you had to pay Ticketmaster) for my single ticket.

Your comparison to the Oilers cannot be substantiated. Yes, ticket prices are high for the Oilers but the building only holds 17, 000. You had a facility that could hold 60,000 spectators so you had a LOT of room to play with.

You must realize that you're not going to sellout Commonwealth for a soccer match unless it's for a national team of very high pedigree (Brazil, Italy, Argentina, Spain, etc.). Brazil was special. It was always going to be special because of who they are, what they represent to the football world, and the timing of the game (one week prior to the World Cup, final tune up, and the opportunity to show us the magic that was Brazilian football). Everton vs. River Plate was never going to do that.

I believe you did an adequate job of advertising but you could have done more. Did you go to the EDSA and EMSA to encourage team ticket packages? I saw very few youngsters in the crowd.

One thing you should do immediately is ask for a refund from Everton FC.

They were absolutely disgraceful and it

was extremely obvious that this was a money grab on their part.

I hope that you will try again next year to bring in some top quality teams. With the right promotion and the right ticket prices I'm confident that you will be successful. I just hope you haven't done irreparable harm.

Thanks.

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