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How the MLS All Star Game Should Be.
July 25, 2012Posted by on
The MLS All-star Game takes place here in Philadelphia at PPL Park on Wednesday night at 7:30 against the champions of Europe Chelsea FC. The match against CFC marks the 10th consecutive year that a team of MLS players will take on a foreign club. This format is a neat take on the All-star game which traditionally is East vs. West in the rest of the major American sporting leagues. I have many qualms with the MLS setup.
Before I get into modifying and sharing my version of what the MLS All-star game could be I want to commemorate both MLS and CFC. Chelsea brought a fully stacked squad filled with their top talent. Roberto Di Matteo has an arsenal of options and from what it appears will give everyone a shot. Personally I am excited to see Chelsea’s big new signing Eden Hazard. On the other side MLS has brought the league’s best. I simply can’t find fault with this roster, very talented and dangerous. This team isn’t a squad of DP’s although the ones on the squad have earned it.
Football/Soccer is the world’s game, it is a beautiful game, and no country knows how to put on a show like America. The two should be a match made in heaven. The MLS All-star game should be a giant festival and just a crazy party. This is an opportunity to display the great starts of both the global game and the league. A chance to grow the game the game and MLS brand.
I would love to see the MLS implement a competition night a lot like NBA. The NBA has the slam dunk competition, three point competition along with other fun fan friendly activities. I know the NBA is on the decline mainly because the players lost interest. But the MLS has a chance at having a night of festive activites. Some suggestions I have are:
******I know my ideas are half baked and will never happen, but it would be fun to see stuff like this happen.
A. A 5 v 5 match: Featuring a youth player, a retired player, a female player, current player and a celebrity. The World Football Challenge brings many of the world’s best teams to the states, if they were to offer up a few players this 5 v 5 match could be an amazing hit. Just imagine a team of Javier Pastore, Freddy Adu, Will Smith, Tasha Kai and a youth player taking on Kasey Keller, Sydney Leroux, Mario Rosales, Drew Carey and a youth player. It would be a great event to say the least.
B. A freestyle contest: Everyone has seen the freestyle videos of street ballers doing absurd tricks. It would be cool see how creative MLS players can get. A trick could be anything from freestyle juggling or long distance shots off the crossbar.
C. PK contest: A contest having goalies take and save PK’s to declare who is the best PK stopper in the league. Or could bring in a few MLS goalies and they could go up against Chelsea goalies.
D: Steve Nash Celebrity Match: Every summer in Chinatown, NY, Steve Nash hosts a celebrity soccer pickup game. The game features players like Inter Milan defender Ivan Cordaba, Baron Davis even stars like Demba Ba show out. The MLS should strike a deal with Steve to make this event a part of the All Star game.
E. Supporters group games would be epic! THe MLS flys in 7 people from every supporters group in the league. They compete in a worldcup stlye tournament to decide who is the best supporters group. The games would be short and played on a smaller pitch but would be so much fun for the fans. Just a side thought it would be cool if a player representative was coach of the supporters teams. Forinstance Chris Albright would coach the Sons Of Ben team against Kris Boyd and Timbers Army.
Apart from the competition night I believe the MLS Allstar game is great, I do like the idea of playing a giant European team. I would like to see the MLS switch back to the old format in a few years as long as the league continues to grow at a steady pace. Once the league grows a little more I would love to see the MLS go back to the East v West Format.
Just for Kicks I put together a team of East v West all stars.
GK: Dan Kennedy (CHV), John Busch (SJ), Nick Rimando (RSL), DEF: Steven Beitashour (SJ), Jay Demerit (Van), Justin Marrow (SJ), Marc Busch (Sea), Sean Franklin (LA), MID: Mario Rosales (SEA), David Beckham (LA), Osvaldo Olanso (SEA), Landon Donovan (LA), Kyle Beckerman (RSL), Jamie Castrillion (COL), Camilo (Van), FW: Chris Wondolowski (SJ), Eddie Johnson (SEA), Sabiro (RSL).
GK: Jimmy Nielsen (SKC), Tally Hall (HOU) DEF: Austin Collins (SKC), Heath Pearce (NYRB), Carlos Valdes (PHI), Chris Tierney (REV), Sheanon Williams (PHI),Andre Hainnault (HOU) MID: DeRosario (DC), Graham Zusi (SKC), Michale Farfan (PHI), Joel Lindpere (NYRB), Sanna Nyassi (MON) FW: Saer Sene (NE), Theirry Henry (NYRB), Kie Kamara (SKC), Chris Pontius (DC).