As I was watching the MLS All-Star game last night, I could not stop thinking how pointless and somewhat embarrassing the All-Star game has become for the MLS. How can a team comprised of the leagues best players in the middle of their season not beat a team that is in the middle of their off-season, and most of the time missing some of their best players?
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that the MLS All-Star team was able to beat the men in Chelsea jerseys, but if it weren’t for a fluky goal off a deflection, the best players in the MLS would have tied a team that is in their off-season. That’s a little embarrassing don’t you think? I understand that it is fun for fans to see a top English Premier League club and the winners of the Champions League. However, instead of having our All-Stars play them, why don’t we get actual MLS teams to play a few friendly matches with a European team that wants to come over to the United States for a pre-season tour. That is where people can get a better idea of how far the MLS has come in terms of quality. Chelsea has only played one actual MLS team, the Seattle Sounders, during their tour.
The MLS All-Star game should go back to its old format, East versus West. That way, the fans of MLS still get the fun of an All-Star game but will be able to watch their own best players facing each other. This is the way the NFL, NBA, and MLB do it.
The idea of bringing European teams over to the United States to show that the MLS is able to compete is a good idea, but we shouldn’t put the best players in the league on a team to take on a single European team. That seems a little desperate on the part of the MLS to be seen as equals to top European leagues. The MLS should go back to the old All-Star format and have actual MLS teams play friendlies against European teams if we truly want to gauge the progress of the MLS.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
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