It’s not often an e-mail with word of a major announcement lands in my in box at 2:15 a.m., but that’s the way MLS chose to announce the opponent today for the annual game set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday July 29 in Salt Lake City (live on ESPN2 and Telefutura).
Everton, of course, boast U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard between the posts and are FA Cup finalists this year.
Regular readers will know I’m no fan of the All-Star Game, but with the format changed to playing against a foreign team at least MLS no longer has to find 22 (plus subs) worthy all-stars and no longer is the game scheduled to gobble up a precious weekend.
Plus, playing foreign teams who are (generally) in pre-season has proved something of an advantage for MLS; the MLS All-Stars have won all five previous meetings against international opponents, outscoring them 13-4.
And it’s certainly been a more authentic brand of soccer than watching, for instance, the Eastern Conference All-Stars battle to a 6-6 draw against their Western Conference counterparts as we did in 2001.
Apparently you must like British teams though; MLS has played teams from the U.K. the last four years in a row.