The showcase MLS All-Star game is at 6 p.m. tomorrow against Scotland’s Celtic in Denver live on ESPN2.
With reporters from around the nation in town, the league takes pains the day before to come up with some announcements in an effort to grab some headlines around what is largely a meaningless game.
Today was no different, although contrived as the timing is word usually leaks out about the biggest news and so we received confirmation of Tuesday’s news that a newly-reconstituted San Jose Earthquakes will start play next season.
It was expected anyway since Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff was considered ahead of the game, which means he was willing to ante up the ever-increasing price tag for an MLS franchise, not that the team has a stadium.
The Earthquakes don’t so they will lead a nomadic existence in the Bay Area for the first two years while one is built. That’s no way to build either a fan base or revenue stream, but at least the Galaxy (and Chivas USA) regain their closest geographic rivals.
Toronto will host next year’s All-Star Game, a reward to the public and team for the overwhelming response to the arrival of MLS.
Lastly, MLS unveiled something called the Coaching Diversity Initiative, essentially enshrining affirmative action in league policy.
“Beginning immediately, the new Coaching Diversity Initiative requires the leagues teams to interview candidates of diverse backgrounds for any open technical staff position, MLS said. “Technical staff positions include head coach, assistant coaches, youth coaches and technical director.”
There are two minority head coaches — Colorados Fernando Clavijo and Chicagos Juan Carlos Osorio — and nine minority assistant coaches in MLS, officials said.
To hype the game, Kansas City’s All-Star defender Jimmy Conrad appears on “ESPN First Take” (the successor to “Cold Pizza” Thursday morning. His segment airs at 8:30 am.