Major League Soccer has announced Everton as the opponent for this year’s MLS All-Star game.
“We are very excited about Everton FC agreeing to be the opponent for the 2009 MLS All-Star Game,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a league statement. “Everton is an elite European club that features many world-class players, including former MLS standout Tim Howard, who will challenge our unbeaten record against English Premier League teams in the MLS All-Star Game series.”
Everton are excited as well.
“We are all looking forward to the match in Salt Lake City,” said Everton manager David Moyes. “I am sure there will be a lot of interest in the game and it will be a valuable part of our preseason schedule. We always enjoy spending time in America during the summer because the facilities are first-class and there is a warm welcome wherever we go.”
The match will occur on July 29 at Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium. It will be televised on ESPN 2 at 9:30 PM EST.
Spanish clubs Valencia, Villarreal and Atletico Madrid were also rumored to be candidates.
The MLS All-Stars are unbeaten in the game against European competition in this fixture and have outscored opponents 13-4. One suspects they would not fare so well travelling to England at a time when Premier League players are in midseason form.
The match is the first confirmed fixture of the 2009 summer schedule but Everton supporters are advised that the first-team squad will not be based in Salt Lake City and the game will form part of a wider tour across North America.
It will be the Blues’ fifth visit to the USA in their last six pre-season tours, which have included stays in Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Colorado.
For the latest schedule of preseason friendlies involving Premier League teams around the world, visit the preseason friendlies page on EPL Talk.