Dante Richards muscles past Club Atlas players Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool

At Red Bull Reto del Sol (Challenge of the Sun) yesterday, the New York Red Bulls and Mexican powerhouse Club Atlas de Guadalajara played to a 1-1 tie at the pre-season friendly match, hosted at the University of Phoenix Stadium in front of more than 23,000 spectators.

After a scoreless first half, the Red Bulls went down 0-1 after Atlas player Edgar Pacheco put up a ball that was inadvertently deflected into the net by New York defender Tim Ream. However, former Atlas star and Red Bulls Designated Player Rafa Márquez converted a penalty kick in the 89th minute (pictured below) to close the match in a 1-1 draw.

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Moments before the match’s kickoff, professional B.A.S.E. jumper Miles Daisher leapt 240 feet from the stadium roof, free-falling before pulling his chute to land on the middle of the field below. Daisher, now 42 years old, made his first jump at the age of 27 and has since successfully completed over 2,700 jumps (an unofficial record).

The event also featured stirring performances by Rogelio Martinez and Graciela Beltran, who performed the American National Anthem and Mexican National Anthem, respectively.

The Red Bull Reto del Sol match was also notable as it brought Márquez up against the club where he first got his professional start. He made his debut with Atlas in 1996, appearing in 77 matches over three years for the club before leaving in 1999.

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Márquez spent the last seven seasons with storied Catalan side, FC Barcelona, and was part of the 2008-09 squad that won an unprecedented six championships. He has appeared in 10 regular-season games and both postseason matches for the Red Bulls, and this year will mark his first full season with the club.

The Red Bulls, who won the 2010 Eastern Conference regular season title, open their schedule on March 19 when they host Seattle Sounders FC at Red Bull Arena at 7:30 PM.

Season tickets and partial plans are available now. For information, contact the Red Bulls at 1.877.RBSOCCER or visit their official site.

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Follow the team on Twiiter for up-to-the-minute info, and follow @redbull for more news from the world of Red Bull.

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