Beautiful Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. A suburb of Salt Lake City was the host for this years All-Star Game which was a fantastic display of Goalkeeping we haven’t seen in a while. Both Kasey Keller & Tim Howard making diving save, after diving save to keep their sides alive for the eventual match winner that never came and all credit to Everton’s Manager David Moyes for taking this event seriously and having a little fun. Also for being a great guy when Zach Thornton got injured and allowing Keller to return to the net for the MLS All-Stars.
A fabulous penalty kick shootout showed that Kasey Keller still has it if he ever wanted to return with the National Team and Tim Howard showing why he is the starting keeper for the National Team right now. There was no reason not to name Timmy the All-Star Game MVP as he one upped Keller in the shootout. But with that being said I think it’s time to say what’s on my mind and I think some of you will be agreeing with me. It’s time to end the All-Star Game as it’s no longer a necessity.
I know that the entire population of Salt Lake City & the suburbs came to Rio Tinto Stadium to see the best of the league against one of the rising clubs of the English Premier League along with our National Team keeper to strut his stuff, but I’m sorry to say that if the past All-Star games had the best of the league involved, then they should all be apart of a club in MLS. No Designated Player Spots, no senior roster spots, no development spots. Build up a roster with talented American’s, Canadian’s, Mexican’s Central American’s, South American’s and so on and let them duke it out for ninety minutes.
There is always a problem with the schedule and it doesn’t need the continual interference of the All-Star Game as that day or that week could be used as a rest period for our players. It’s become more of a farce as DC United, Toronto FC & Red Bull NY are participating in their first leg matches in the CONCACAF Champions League qualifying round and some of their players weren’t at the match to help the league play against Everton. The All-Star game has become redundant in my eyes and as a League trying to grow in the right direction this match is no longer needed to show the clubs of Europe who are taking an American vacation to prove to them that our talent is improving. If that’s the case then what’s the purpose of qualifying for the Confederations Cup and defeating Spain two goals to nil in the Semi-Finals. How about qualifying for the World Cup and prove to the nations around the world that we can play this game.
When the league started their All-Star Game in Giants Stadium back in 1996 I always thought that we needed it to prove the country wrong that Soccer is apart of the American sports scene. Then when the format changed to bring in famed clubs or good clubs from Europe, Mexico or South America that our talent is just as strong as they are. But now it’s become a nuisances and just a waste of our time.
I’m sorry to say that the novelty has officially worn off. What needs to be done right now is to continue to make our league stronger, reducing or erasing some of the ridiculous rules that hamper our clubs to acquire players & that also means raising the salary cap to a higher & competitive level, but not break the bank. It also means in my view to make the US Open Cup an important tournament once again & to hopefully end the existence of the Superliga tournament that is also worn off quicker than the All-Star Game.