Wednesday, July 31, 2013

MLS All-Stars vs AS Roma Preview

The MLS All-Stars (probably 9 starters that you've never heard of) are playing AS Roma tonight in Kansas City. The format is foreign opposition against the American (and Canadian) league’s very best. It has an exhibition game feel and tempo, but that's because it is an exhibition game. It's not that no-one cares, but it's a pre-season game for the Italian side, and hard to convince players like Thierry Henry and Marco Di Vaio that they should go all-out. Some players may be trying to impress foreign scouts, and to prove that they can compete.
The showcase was awarded to Kansas City last year following a successful rebranding and subsequent passionate fanbase culture that has led to its 18,000-seat stadium constantly selling out. The all-star festivities--with citywide parties, charitable causes, activities and a state-of-the-league conference with the league commissioner, Don Garber--mirrors that of what the Big 3 sports usually produce annually.

It's also a way to celebrate the US winning the Gold Cup (7 of that team are in the squad), and a good way to show the progress the MLS is making.
They'll be plenty of flag waving and people with faces painted, but unfortunately the majority of American 'sports fans' will be watching game 107 out of 162 in the regular season of baseball or talking about how many snaps Tim Tebow will get in pre-season NFL games!  
Get ESPN2 on at 9pm (US Eastern time) for the game (you'll never guess what's on regular ESPN at that time).