Fun and games at the All-Star Game: David Beckham and Thierry Henry share a laugh Monday while practicing for Wednesday’s game (AP Photo).
Regular readers know I’m no fan of the MLS All-Star Game, an American sporting tradition that has no place in a global game. And after some of the antics and overall performances we’ve seen recently at games between MLS clubs and foreign opposition, combining the All-Star game with an exhibition against Manchester United is just combining two bad ideas.
Even worse (and something I neglected to mention in the column), international friendlies involving MLS clubs are being scheduled at the same time as regular season games, meaning soccer is essentially competing with itself for attention
How does that help MLS?
What do you think?
Do these games help grow soccer in this country or are they just about making money for those who are part of the soccer establishment here?
Read the column here and post your comments below.
Interestingly, I already received an e-mail this morning from someone who said they disagree with me, but several paragraphs of the e-mail seem to support the points I was trying to make in the column:
Not only is the MLS inferior, and boring with all the draws and scoreless draws, it also shoots itself by insisting to play while the best players are away on international duty too.
Sadly the display Saturday (actually, Sunday) showed how little the MLS cares as the kids that came for LA in the second half had energy and played well versus what was still a world class side from City. Too bad the MLS regulars don’t put out an effort like that on a 45 or 90 minute basis.
Personally, I only attend the international friendlies so I can see the best players in the world even if they are just in pre season shape.
Last year, I let me guard down and allowed a friend to persuade me into going to the Galaxy – Red Bull game since Henry would also be there. Instead it proved my point. It was by far the worst football game I have ever attended. Henry did not play, Beckham spent most of the night flailing his arms in the are clearly not interested in actually playing and my friend ultimately apologized to me as the horrid level of play had proven me right.
Doesn’t sound like someone who will be converted to MLS by watching these types of exhibition games does it? And isn’t that the point in scheduling them?
The Galaxy’s Juninho was added Monday to the inactive roster of six players for the MLS All-Star game.
The honor is presumably based largely on financial considerations.
The MLS Players Union labor agreement with the league calls for 32 players to be named to the All-Star team. Players usually receive a performance bonus for being named an All-Star.