How does MLS All-Stars vs. Liga MX All-Stars sound?

Pablo Mastroeni's first MLS All-Star Game was in 2000 as a last-minute fill-in. The league was in a different place then with just 12 teams, divided into three divisions. It somehow found a way to divide the players into East-West teams in a game the East won, 9-4.

Mastroeni, who will coach the MLS All-Stars in Wednesday's AT&T MLS All-Star Game against Tottenham, says there's no comparison in the talent between then and now and thinks a return to East vs. West with a twist would be great.

"We were still playing East vs. West," said Mastroeni, the head coach of the host Colorado Rapids, "and there wasn't enough talent to make that game as exciting as it could potentially be today. I think moving forward as this league continues to grow, I there is a shout to consider the East vs. West game as you continue to get great talent coming in to showcase in a way that's ultra-competitive. Major League Baseball does it where it the West wins, the West hosts MLS Cup. That's just super-exciting stuff to think about."

Since 2005, MLS has bought in a top foreign team to face the All-Stars. The game has had considerable success, reaching new heights last year when the MLS All-Stars beat Bayern Munich, 2-1, in a match that saw Thierry Henry -- a huge proponent of the international format -- make his presumptive farewell and Landon Donovan score for the MLS All-Stars a day before announcing he was retiring.

The game was so competitive that Bayern coach Pep Guardiola did not like some of the All-Stars' challenges and refused to shake hands with Caleb Porter, the All-Stars' coach, immediately after the game.

One should expect Tottenham to take Wednesday's game more seriously than Bayern Munich, whose six German World Cup champions arrived the day of the game from vacation. It will be Spurs' first official preseason game, but it comes just 10 days before it opens the 2015 EPL season against Manchester United.

What is different about MLS then and now is that it had 12 teams in 2000 vs. 20 teams in 2015 and it didn't have the array of international stars it has now.

Just 14 of the 20 teams will be represented on the MLS All-Stars. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have both been scratched from the MLS team, but it includes such first-year stars as Kaka, David Villa and Sebastian Giovinco.

Michael Bradley also dropped out but six other players on the USA's Gold Cup roster are with the MLS All-Stars, in addition to DeAndre Yedlin on Tottenham.

Clint Dempsey, the top scorer at the Gold Cup, said a change to a East-West format would give the league a chance to best showcase more players.

"I like the East vs. West thing as well," Dempsey said. "I think the more players you reward, the better."

One issue is how to make an all-star game fun but meaningful. For many years -- in the days before interleague play -- the Major League Baseball All-Star Game thrived because of the competition between the National and American Leagues. In one stretch, the National League won 19 of 20 games, including 11 in a row from 1972 to 1982.

In a Facebook chat with fans on Tuesday, Garber said there was some consideration to going back to East vs. West but "there was some work to do."

He said the league was considering ways to make the All-Star Game better. One idea a fan threw out MLS vs. Liga MX all-stars. Garber's response: "A great idea and something we would like to see happen!"

2015 MLS All-Stars:
Goalkeeper: David Ousted (Vancouver Whitecaps), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders), Drew Moor (Colorado Rapids).
Midfielders: Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas), Sam Cronin (Colorado Rapids), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting KC), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew), Juninho (LA Galaxy), Kaka (Orlando City), Dax McCarty (NY Red Bulls), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC).
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC),  David Villa (New York City).

7 comments about "How does MLS All-Stars vs. Liga MX All-Stars sound?".
  1. Soccer Madness, July 29, 2015 at 11:28 a.m.

    What we should be worried about is the fact that most of our Mls all-star forwards and attacking mids are foreign and not american. And it looks like all of our all stars Wil soon be non American except for goalies and maybe some defenders.

  2. Soccer Madness, July 29, 2015 at 11:33 a.m.

    Everyone should pay more attention to homegrown game every year. Our best Mls developed players can't beat a MX LIGA U20 team. How much money is pumped in Mls DA's exactly and how does it compare to what LIGA MX invests in their Youth teams??

  3. Juan Salas, July 29, 2015 at 12:11 p.m.

    Not only do I really hope that MLS brings back the East v West ASG, but the entire MLS weekend with the Skills Competition that I remember as a kid. Bringing in foreign teams worked back when there wasn't enough talent to create two full squads, but by now MLS has so much talent and has played every top European squad there is ... some twice already. I would rather much have a West team filled with Gerard, Keane, Dempsey, etc. vs an East time with Pirlo, Lampard, Kaka, etc...

  4. Kent James, July 30, 2015 at 4:54 p.m.

    How about an All-Star double header? The MLS East team against a European opponent, and the MLS West v. a South American one.

  5. David V, July 30, 2015 at 9:20 p.m.

    Just some comments (PART 1/2)... I'm not trying to bash MLS... but maybe considering trying to caputure more fans, some of my comments may be items to consider...

    ---I had chances to play in the NASL back in the day (70s, 80s), and attended years of NASL games at that time...so I'm not against American soccer leagues...

    ---I've only watched maybe 8-10 MLS games in 20 years (until this year when I've seen about 4 or 5 NYCFC games) going back to 1996. I've never watched an MLS all-star game until last night... I watch for two main reasons 1) David Villa (primarily) and 2)Ricky Kaka... both have impressive histories... but are aging, and can't compete at the highest level anymore...Villa has won everything in his career, Kaka nearly everything. Villa was the world's most prolific goal scorer (according to iffhs) from 2006-2010, he was a fixture on the best sporting team of all-time (http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303918204577448383166444226), he was top goal scorer in Euro 2008, and in WC2010 (tied), and though he didn't play in Euro 2012 due to a broken leg, he carried the Spanish National Team in scoring from 2006-2012, carrying them to tournament wins and quals for tournaments... World Cup Champion, European Champion for club and country, he was a fixture on probably the greatest club team to ever play the game, Barcelona 2010-2011... Kaka, whose career waned in Spain before Villa's (he sat the bench in Madrid for a few years after success in Italy), is also quite accomplished in his personal history winning WC2002 and a Champions League... these players were my draws to the game, if Pirlo had been here earlier, he'd have been another draw (WC2006 winner, and one of the world's top midfielders in his prime, of the caliber of Xavi and Iniesta)

    --- Until about now, with the advent of Villa, Pirlo, Kaka, Gerrard, Lampard, Gio Dos Santos, etc... I had no interest in the league... to me, the league is improving, but for several years, I couldn't stomach the level of play, that's still partly true, but less so now - they're improving, but I'd see Villa struggle for NYCFC due to poor midfield play and what we used to call "Kick and run" as a kid, and much of MLS is this way (by the way, hopefully Pirlo and Lampard can help Diskerud improve as a player). When you are used to dining on steak (Europe), it's hard to eat ground beef (America)

    --- Juan Salas(above) said the MLS all-stars have "played every top European squad there is"... that isn't true, I'd call only half of their opponents true upper tier European teams (last night's was not upper tier)... they've never played a Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao ... nor a Juventus, Inter, Milan, etc, etc, etc.

  6. David V, July 30, 2015 at 9:21 p.m.

    Just some comments (PART 2/2)...

    --- I have no idea who the Mexican all-stars would be. Mexican Americans (a good fan base) would know, but not so much the rest of the US fan base

    --- I quit watching the game at half-time, they pulled (and understandably so) the starting line-up for the all-stars, so no more interest

    --- there were only 18.671 fans in attendance in Colorado!!! Makes you wonder how we can possibly do only an east/west game... I can't imaging how little the attendance would be without some of the big name draws who played in the first half

    --- it does seem to me MLS has a few more years to go before it gets too ambitious and pulls the plug on the international draw (and who was it? Spurs, they weren't the draw for me, but Villa and Kaka were)...

  7. David V, July 30, 2015 at 9:31 p.m.

    PS... did you notice how many times Villa made very intelligent runs, but his teammates last night either couldn't get him the ball or (mostly) they didn't have any clue what he was doing and they made the wrong choice? I counted about 10 from my limited TV arm chair.

    One last thing, MLS players hold the ball too long (don't get me wrong, I love a dribbling fiesta), but so many times a simple ball can be played and the MLS players don't recognize the pass until it is too late

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