Major League Soccer has tried several formats for the annual MLS All Star game over the years and former MLS and U.S. national team goalkeeper Tony Meola believes the league has it right in bringing in a foreign team to play the MLS All Stars. For the second year in a row, Manchester United will be the opponent in Wednesday’s MLS All Star game at Red Bull Arena.
“I love the format,” Meola told Soccer365.com. “I played in a bunch of different formats. I played in the East vs West format, the American MLS players vs foreigner MLS players, and the international format and I think this is the best because it is an international game. The game against a well known club team provides an opportunity for fans to see some of the top players in the world. The players they get to see on TV.”
“But it also gives MLS an opportunity to showcase their top players and their talents.”
The challenge is a tough one for the MLS side, however.
“(MLS) has to show ourselves well in the match,” Meola went on to say. “I think the All Star team will do that. From an MLS standpoint there is some pride to protect our league and the level of play.”
“And I am sure from the Manchester United standpoint there is a point where players go into every match believing they are one of the best teams in the world and must go out every match and back that up with their play.”
The Red Devils have thus far made MLS sides feel like they were in hell during the World Football Challenge. Since arriving in the U.S., Manchester United has defeated the New England Revolution 4-1, the Seattle Sounders 7-0, and the Chicago Fire 3-1. And the guests were just as dominant in last year’s MLS All Star game running away with a 5-2.
Fortunately for the MLS All Stars, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez is not expected to play. The Mexican international has re-joined Manchester United after a short break after his time with the national team but Sir Alex Ferguson has said he was not going to throw him into the mix yet.
The Manchester United forward scored against the MLS All Stars last year in his team debut and Meola sees the great talent in Chicharito.
“He is a different type of player. Guys like him, a dribbler, don’t come around that often. He is just another player like (Lionel) Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Since joining Manchester United, one of the top teams in the world, the game really opened up for him.”
With or without Chicharito in the lineup, Meola sees the match as a goalkeeper’s nightmare but dream come true for the fans.
“It should be a wide open game with two teams with not a lot to lose which creates a situation where teams will try and attack, try and get forward for the full 90 minutes. Makes for a fun atmosphere!”
Meola, a local New Jersey native, will be on hand for the MLS All Star match and fans can meet the him during a meet-and-greet autograph session at the Allstate Soccer Celebration on Riverbend Drive from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The family-friendly event will also feature cool soccer-themed games and prizes for fans of all ages.
For MLS fans who can’t make it to the game, Allstate is hosting a special MLS All-Star Game viewing at party at the South Street Seaport, Pier 17 in New York City. The event is free and open to the public and fans in attendance will also have the chance to register for fun prizes from Allstate.
The new PUMA evoSPEED 1.2 FG. A great new soccer cleat with classic look and first time for PUMA to be on the cleat.
One of the top soccer cleats for control the Nike CTR360 will not let you down on the field in tight spaces.
adidas has added some color to the Predator line with this new colorway. Released on May 17. Be the first to own a pair.
The push for more color on their cleats, adidas has added the infrared colorway to the adiZero f50 Line.
Ajax has released their away soccer jersey for the 2013/14 season. Get in the Gear.
The Liverpool 2013/14 soccer jersey is available for pre-order. The Reds are eager to compete for silver next season.
Bayern Munich are kings of Germany and hope to be crowned kings of Europe at Wembley later this month!
Chelsea won the Europa League on Wednesday. The Blues defeated Benfica 2-1 on injury time goal from Ivanovic.
The adidas Nitrocharge is the most talked about new cleat in years. It was released on May 15 and will take your pitch by storm.
The Juventus jersey for the 2013/14 was released earlier this week. Be the first to wear the colors of the Old Lady.