The MLS All-Star Game against Manchester United is almost upon us as the regular season has a little less than two weeks before this magical time comes to Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, July 27th. After seeing the defending Premier League Champions dispose of Steve Nicol’s New England Revolution side so handedly at Gillette Stadium, many will be anxious to see what they will do against the top players in the league.
One who is chewing at the bit for this matchup is Red Bulls Head Coach Hans Backe as he can’t wait to meet up with the Scotsman as they have a bit of history with each other during Backe’s time at Manchester City as he was the assistant for Sven Goren Eriksson. So currently his record is two and zero against Sir Alex Ferguson.
This will be the first time that Hans Backe will be able to pick players for this special game against Manchester United. “I’m excited about this.” Said Backe, “I can pick any player I want. That’s what they (MLS) told me I can pick the players myself, except for those from Dallas, Seattle and Toronto since they will be involved with the (CONCACAF) Champions League.”
Members of the media asked him about a possible pairing up top in the second half with Luke Rodgers and Landon Donovan, but unfortunately for Backe he won’t have him due to that heel injury that hasn’t completely healed and will be out three to four weeks. Yet it sounds like Joel Lindpere could get the nod to fill in the rest of the roster.
Backe was also asked about former Toronto FC, Red Bulls and current DC United midfielder Dwayne DeRosario if he was going to be called in to play against Manchester United. “He’s been playing well the last two to three games, but I have to make a decision by Monday (July 18th)”
You can see the smile on Backe’s face when discussing The MLS All-Star Game. He looked like a kid in a candy store when he was told that he can pick certain players for this special game. I asked him if he enjoyed this American thing, he turned towards me and with excitement and said “Yep. Yes I am; I can decide that because I can pick any players that I want.”
You can tell from the positive reactions from Hans Backe that he’s never been involved with picking an all-star team and of course we all know that there are no such matches in Europe during their season unless it’s a testimonial for a famous player ending his career or doing a charity match for cancer or a terrible Tsunami that caused major death.
But on Wednesday night, July 27th everyone will be focusing on Red Bull Arena not just to see the best players in MLS compete again, but to see part two against Manchester United who looks like they are already match fit to start their next Premiership campaign and going for their twentieth league title.