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All-Star Embarrassment In Houston, Brings Back Article From Last Year

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After what happened on Wednesday night at Reliant Stadium I just had to bring back my article after the All-Star Game at Rio Tinto Stadium. I understand it’s a glorified money maker for Major League Soccer, but I still contend that this event must be scrapped for good.

From July 30th, 2009

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.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. eplnfl

    July 29, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Lets put this in perspective, how many people in the seats? Over 70,000, THAT IS A HUGE SUCCESS! End of story. How can anyone judge the on the field result as a failure of the league. It’s a All Star game, they all suck on the field.

  2. Jason

    July 29, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    My God, do you have absolutely no sense of whimsy.

    It was fun. It’s over. So what? Why are you so up in arms? This is one game in the middle of the summer that means nothing. Again, so what?

    Why does everything have to be so g-damn serious all the time with you people? You won’t be satisfied until absolutely everything about American soccer is stiff-upper-lip British, will you?

  3. Tom

    July 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    The game is fun, especially for the host city. They just need to avoid the CCL weeks so that the league can have it’s best. I like the playing a foreign club, it makes the team hard to make- only 11 starters and 11 subs from 18 teams.

  4. Arnie

    July 29, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Soccer is a team sport. If these two teams play a set of 5 matches over a 3 week period, the MLS guys would learn to play as a team and look much better in games 3, 4, and 5.

  5. Charles

    July 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    My first inclination is to see go to East versus West like every other big time sport. I love the baseball All Star game.

    But even when I was a huge Supersonics fan I barely watched the All Star game and I am a Seahawk’s fan but couldn’t tell you if the last time I watched a ProBowl…before anyone playing in it not named Farve for sure.

    Baseball is the only one worth a hoot.

    • SSReporters

      July 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm

      Hey! A fellow Seahawks fan. Wallow in the misery with me. 😉

      Pro Bowl is absolutely garbage. Now they’ve moved it before the Super Bowl and it still sucks.

      • Charles

        July 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm

        We might just have to root for the Storm and pretend.

      • Charles

        July 29, 2010 at 8:32 pm

        I forget where you stand on pro/rel, but being a Seahawks fan you better not be for it.

        • SSReporters

          July 29, 2010 at 10:13 pm

          I want several Seahawks players to be relegated to the bench. 😉

  6. SSReporters

    July 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I agree the All-Star game should be scrapped but this is about money. All the MLS cares about is money and not improving the league. The Champions League gets no attention both on TV and in the stadium because there’s no money in it. To the American fan Pachuca vs. Houston is boring but if you put in a brand name like Manchester United in there they’ll go to the game in a heartbeat. This pretty much applies for teams who wouldn’t go to a regular MLS game but would go if David Beckham or Thierry Henry was playing.

    • Charles

      July 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      You say all they care about is the money. I have no idea of knowing if that is correct, but don’t you think that goes hand in hand with improving the league ?
      Almost no big time athlete is going to go into soccer. Unless the NFL is on strike and you name is Chad 83.
      The next step being not enough watch if Chad 83 and guys like him don’t play soccer….

      Money, money, money, money, moooooneeey….

      • SSReporters

        July 29, 2010 at 4:05 pm

        Improving the league with useless friendlies? No way. Improve it by going to the kids level first then build your way up. I think Klinsmann already made this point in the World Cup.

        They don’t go into soccer because this is just not a soccer nation. It’s never been a soccer-first nation and never will be with the popularity of the NFL. You can’t just buy success.

        • SSReporters

          July 29, 2010 at 4:06 pm

          Sorry, you can buy success (New York Yankees) but I’m saying from a national team perspective you cannot just be an elite league buying past-it European players. You start at the youth level.

          • Charles

            July 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm

            Let me just say, the friendlies and especially the tools wearing their Man U jerseys have never been my cup of tea, but money will improve the league.
            Compare the USL Sounders to the MLS Sounders. The US players. IF all the US were paying was the old USL salaries, many, many more players would be playing overseas, and not just foreigners….US players.

            Most of the first round draft picks for MLS over the last few years. Gone. Or maybe never play in the first place.

        • This One Guy in Detroit

          July 29, 2010 at 6:46 pm

          Charles is right: “Only cares about money” and “improving the league” are not mutually exclusive.

          You wrote: “All the MLS cares about is money and not improving the league.”

          Charles responded that “caring about money” and “improving the league” are not separate things, and in fact, go hand in hand.

          You then responded: “Improving the league with useless friendlies? No way. Improve it by going to the kids level first then build your way up.”

          But that simply reflects an opinion about the way improvement should take place. It doesn’t say anything about the league’s desire to improve, which is the point that is actually at issue. Just because you think Thing X would be better than Thing Y at improving MLS, that doesn’t mean MLS is not actually seeking improvement.

          (That doesn’t even address the fact that no one has claimed that the intent of “useless friendlies” is to “improve” the league, nor that MLS is already doing exactly what you’re proposing, by establishing an academy system.)

          The bottom line is that MLS could care about nothing but making money, and still be extremely determined to improve the league. In fact, that drive for money would be the very thing that spurs the drive for improvement. In other words, your first comment was off-base, and your second one was a non sequitur.

  7. Troy Patterson

    July 29, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    A league desperate for attention and money should give up a game that sold 70,000+ tickets and I’m sure had fairly solid ratings for MLS. For a fair comparison look at the NHL in the 60’s and 70’s when they had the all stars or league winners play teams like the Russians to bring recognition to the game. You say the “novelty” has worn off, but do the people attending or watching all agree?

    When an east vs west all star game can draw 80% or more of last night the league will probably switch to a more standard format.

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