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MLS All-Star Game: Hans Backe Is Excited About This American Thing


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.

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  1. Tom

    July 21, 2011 at 12:00 am

    4-1 lose today vs Rapids. I guess planing the All Star team is far more important for Backe then making the playoffs. I already hate the fact that Metrostars changed their name to a terrible tasting energy drink, I hate the fact they bought a spoiled brat in Henry who cheated a whole nation out of a world cup and I hate the fact what happened tonight. Seriously I will finish being a freaking New York ( Yeah even though I live in Jersey and the team plays in Jersey) Red Bulls fan and wait til the reincarnation of the Cosmos come. Hell I will root for Seattle for now on because Drew Carrey and crew are the only people I know in this league that actually give a dam.

  2. Charles

    July 20, 2011 at 10:22 am

    You try to show you are superior because you root for the better, more talented league….but it is getting tough.

    The problem : IF Seattle keeps making more money than 1/2 of your league, what then ?

    How about some big putdowns of the fans and the accomplishments ?
    Seattle invented soccer and Mickey Mouse trophies should do the trick

    Alright insecure ones, you are superior again !!!
    Now throw in a Man U will win 5-0 over the Sounders and All-Star team comment and you are approaching Revered status !!!

    What are you going to do if most of the US actually starts caring about soccer ?
    Commit suicide or simply quit posting on this site and start feeling superior about Pakistani Cricket ?

    • montana lucky

      July 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      They lost 7-0. Just saying…

      • Alan

        July 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm

        I would hope so considering they buy players and spend a crazy amount of money. Arsenal, Man U, and Chelsea opened last season with 6-0 wins over EPL sides

  3. Cheerios

    July 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I wonder if MLS realize that if they put more effort into getting teams to win the Concacaf champions league or even try and get a couple teams in Copa Libertadoeres then they would get more viewership not only from people here in this country but ones in other countries. Does Garber realize how much publicity a MLS team in the Club World Cup would get? Does he realize how much publicity and new fans around the world he would get if an MLS team actually won the Club World Cup? Imagine Seattle Sounders vs Barcelona in a final that actually was for a true trophy instead of a friendly.

    • Cheerios

      July 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      Oh and how he could market it in the United States if say Seattle won the Club World Cup, they would be the only team in the United States that could use the title “World Champions” and it would actually be a true statement unlike how they use it for the other sports here even though the competitions they win are only national and not even continental let alone international.

      • Alan

        July 18, 2011 at 11:10 pm

        Winning the Club World Cup, or even qualifying for the tournament would be huge, but I don’t think the MLS should ever try to “put” a team in it. I hate the idea of buying championships.

      • dan

        July 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm

        lol, we are FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR away from that. And I wouldn’t put Seattle as the first team to do it, who knows though.

        Lets worry about actually winning the silly little Champions League here first, then we can worry about facing competition that is 1000 times better than our entire confederation

    • Jason

      July 19, 2011 at 4:03 am

      Uh, yeah, they do.

      They postponed league fixtures for RSL ahead of their CCL commitments (should also give a hat-tip to Peter Nowak for agreeing to do so).

      Copa Libertadores would be nice, but since that’s a CONMEBOL event, the South Americans have to agree to let us in; and even then, since it is a South American tournament, an MLS (or Mexican) side can’t go to the Club World Cup if they win it.

      Also, DC United played in the Copa Sudamericana back in 2007. But, as you might expect, neither our clubs nor South American clubs are particularly thrilled at the prospect of 10,000-mile round-trips. The South Americans really aren’t fond of the trip to Mexico, but the vast amounts of cash money available soothe the sting. We don’t have that kind of market for them to tap into.

      But given the team you’re using as an example, it’s understandable you’d think this way. After all, Seattle invented soccer, MLS, CONCACAF *and* the Copa Libertadores.

      Actually, maybe Seattle should put more effort into winning the Champions League:

      • dan

        July 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

        “But given the team you’re using as an example, it’s understandable you’d think this way. After all, Seattle invented soccer, MLS, CONCACAF *and* the Copa Libertadores.

        Actually, maybe Seattle should put more effort into winning the Champions League:


        These Seattle fanboys are so delusional on their team, sorry guys but the rest of MLS has been doing it longer than you and have been more successful. Keep winning your US Open Mickey Mouse Cup though 😉

    • Earl Reed

      July 19, 2011 at 8:14 am

      I don’t think that the future is really in the forefront of what matters most to Don Garber. I think the people in charge think of yearly profit. I think they want to do what they can to make the bottom line look good. Why? Because history hasn’t proven kind to professional soccer in the US. So he doesn’t want to embark upon a bunch of initiatives that will benefit the league, say, 15-20 years down the line. He wants to invest resources in items that will reflect positively on the 2011 bottom line, and perhaps 2012.

      I think the more that you look at Major League Soccer as operating on a year-to-year basis, things begin to clear up. I do think that they incorporate more longer-term investments in their plans as the league “doesn’t fail.” For instance, starting a reserve league/supporting academies is a step towards the future. But they operate under a very controlled, lower risk & lower reward model, and thus they seem to undervalue things that don’t directly earn them income towards their bottom line.

  4. Heimdall

    July 18, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Wow this is surprising. I thought he was traditional through and through. I hope he still goes all in for the supporters shield since he said it was so important to him earlier. I hope he reaches his goal, or at least expends a lot of energy to get there.

  5. Earl Reed

    July 18, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    This explains his complete mismanagement of the Red Bulls…he’s so worried about the Houston Dynamo being represented appropriately in the All Star Game that he’s forgotten how to make his team of All Stars win. Thus the reason he has to snub the entire Philadelphia Union defense, you know, the one that shut their asses out back in April?

    I hope Hans is on board at New York for the years to come, that team deserves him.

    • Clampdown

      July 19, 2011 at 11:27 am

      While I don’t necessarily disagree with you, Earl, and it would have been appropriate to include a Philly defender, the match last April was hardly a defensive masterclass by the Union. Agudelo missed a couple of easy chances, and Philly for the most part parked the bus. They didn’t look particularly organized, rather they clogged the box with almost everyone on their team. It was awfully boring.

      “That team deserves him.” What does that mean?

      • dan

        July 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm

        Earl is just a bitter lil tw*t

    • Charles

      July 20, 2011 at 10:10 am

      Well I don’t know that I agree that NY deserves him…..but

      Backe would tick me off if he was the Sounder’s coach.

      Let’s keep score here.
      He said he doesn’t care about MLS Cup
      He obviously doesn’t care about US Open Cup

      But he does care about a stupid friendly where everyones goal is don’t get injured.

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