Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
All-Star Game is a winner but ...
by Paul Kennedy, July 29th, 2010 12:01PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  americans abroad, england, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MY VIEW] Major League Soccer has a winner with its all-star format. What other sport can tout an all-star event played with the intensity of the 2010 game in Houston?

It didn't hurt that Manchester United lost to the Kansas City Wizards on Sunday. Its first goal by Federico Macheda after 20 seconds was a gift, courtesy of a horrendous pass by Kevin Alston, but United came right at the All-Stars and played with energy you'll never see in other all-star games.

***

If MLS is going to get spanked, it might as well give up some golazos. The brilliant goals by Darron Gibson and Tom Cleverley were featured prominently on the "SportsCenter" Plays of the Day.

***

Alex Ferguson would scoff at the idea he was fielding a second-tier team in Houston. Given the new EPL roster requirements that take effect Sept. 1, United is in good shape, thank you, with "homegrown" players like Gibson and Cleverley and a teenager like the Italian Macheda.

***

Don't believe for a second that Landon Donovan isn't thinking of moving abroad. Asked if he'll be leaving, Donovan told our SA alum Allen Hopkins, "I guess we'll see in the next month and a little bit." Donovan knows his future will be decided by Aug. 31 -- the deadline for the summer transfer window. It would be more convenient for Donovan to leave in January -- after leading the Galaxy to an MLS title with what could be the best MLS championship team since the great D.C. United teams of the late 1980s -- but the big money that Donovan's transfer might command in the summer wouldn't be available in the winter.

***

The elephant in the room on the broadcast was the Galaxy's 4-1 loss to the Puerto Rico Islanders. Did they ever mention the score? The timing of the Concacaf game, win or lose, couldn't have been worse. Donovan was the MLS lead to both the game broadcast ("Landon Donovan brings his post-World Cup journey to Houston") and "SportsCenter" segment (Donovan warming up). False advertising? There was no way he was going to play more than a quarter of an hour after playing the entire game on Tuesday night and arriving in Houston from Los Angeles at 4:30 in the morning. (He entered in the 74th minute.)

***

The ESPN commentators tried to tie the All-Star Game to the future of the U.S. national team, but it sure was a painful stretch to talk about All-Stars "pushing" to make the team in 2014 or Omar Gonzalez "being the future of the American soccer." If anything, the composition of the All-Stars showed the work Bob Bradley or his successor has cut out for him.

Only three Americans, all defenders, started against Man United. Two of them, Chad Marshall and Heath Pearce, didn't make the cut on the 2010 World Cup, and the third was Alston. Just 10 of the 22 All-Stars were Americans, and only Alston and Gonzalez will be under 30 in 2014.

Where is the future of the national team?

***

For great reading, check out si.com's Grant Wahl's interview with MLS Commissioner Don Garber. Fascinating stuff.

The notion that most of the best Americans play abroad certainly irritates Garber: "I don't quite get the intrigue with 'Americans Abroad.' I don't understand why people are so infatuated with the fact there are American players playing overseas." The idea of losing Donovan must worry Garber: "Never has he been more important now that he has become a real breakthrough personality."

The interview took place on Tuesday, before the Galaxy debacle against Puerto Rico. Garber said it was "incredibly important" that an MLS club win the Concacaf title and win in Mexico. He went on to note -- correctly -- the difficulty MLS teams have competing in the knockout stage, during their preseason.

Problem is, the three MLS teams competing in the preliminary round may not make it to the group stage, let alone the knockout stage. The Galaxy is all but out, and there's no assurance the 1-0 advantages Seattle and Toronto FC take to Central America will be enough.



0 comments
  1. John Pepple
    commented on: July 31, 2010 at 11:43 a.m.
    I don't know why we bother with the All-Star game. I think it's much more sensible to promote the open-cup competition, as I argue here: http://iwantanewleft.typepad.com/i-want-a-new-left/2010/07/allstars-games-vs-open-cups.html

  1. Kent James
    commented on: August 2, 2010 at 12:30 p.m.
    I love the all-star format. Great chance to see the best players together in a competitive (but not a win at all costs) environment. It seems to promote open, attacking soccer. The LA game was poorly timed, but I enjoyed the game and think the format is great.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Pep Guardiola: 'It's not normal to win, 7-1'    
[UCL: Week 3] It was Germany-Brazil all over again. Bayern Munich with five German World Cup ...
MLS set to break season attendance record    
MLS set to break season attendance record [CROWD COUNT] Major League Soccer is set to break ...
What They're Saying: Oli Makin    
"I can't thank [the] police enough. It has saved the club a fortune and the players ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25    
[COLLEGE RANKINGS] UCLA, Florida State and Stanford remained 1-2-3 in the Soccer America Women's Top 25 ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25    
[COLLEGE RANKINGS] Creighton moved ahead of Washington into the No. 1 spot in the Soccer America ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS: Week 32] A classic encounter left the LA Galaxy, No. 1 in the Soccer America ...
Guardiola is happy to be back in Rome    
[UCL: Three Games to Watch] Two matches involving former champions, plus Pep Guardiola's return to Roma ...
Klingenberg golazo highlights another easy U.S. win    
[CONCACAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP] The USA cruised into the semifinals of the Concacaf Women's Championship with its ...
Concacaf Women's Championship Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] Trinidad & Tobago beat Guatemala, 2-1, on late goals by Kennya Cordner of the ...
Agudelo trial at Wolves ends    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Juan Agudelo's search for a club continues as English League Championship club Wolves passed ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives