MLS All-Star Game

What is your ideal format for the MLS All-Star Game?


Photo by ISIphotos.com

With every passing year, the format for the MLS All-Star Game seems to continue to be a point of contention among fans and media, but even with that, the 2012 version won't be providing any drastic changes.

While officially awarding this year's game to Philadelphia, the league announced that it will maintain its unique MLS vs. foreign club format for the eight straight year (and ninth out of the last 10). There is no denying that the format has been successful from an attendance standpoint, as each of the last seven games have drawn announced sell-out crowds.

The game against Manchester United in 2010 drew more than 70,000 to Reliant Stadium in Houston, and the confines of PPL Park combined with the fervent fan support in the region practically guarantees that another capacity crowd will be on hand to see the top stars in MLS compete in the July exhibition.   

There are some who would argue, though, that the format is a bit obsolete because of all of the summer international friendlies MLS clubs play. In addition to that, some might say that MLS can more than hold its own at this point and doesn't need the lure of a European club to fill the seats with promise of quality entertainment.

In the early days of MLS the league used the typical-American-sports East vs. West format and even tested out a U.S. stars vs. International stars edition in 1998. In an effort to showcase more of the league's players and put less of a dependence on foreign clubs, perhaps it would be appropriate to shift back to either of those two arrangements.

With all that being said, what is your preferred format for the MLS All-Star Game? Cast your vote after the jump:


How did you vote? Which format do you prefer for the All-Star Game? Do you have a practical idea for an All-Star format that hasn't been explored yet? Do you like the current format and its uniqueness?

Share your thoughts below.

  • THomas

    This is a great idea and maybe even a home/home series w/ away goals counting? Not sure if Mexico has an All-Star game, if so this could be a way to accomodate both.


  • gandhi

    amen Louis. i havent responded on here in ages, but once i read the title of story the mexicans came to mind immediately. it should always be about our most hated enemy. and hey, the numbers arent too bad on univision or telemundo when it does involve those scoundrels (there’s something about putting on el Tri jersey that affects the moral character of otherwise right standing ppl…hey, my mom&pop were from there). I’m thinking it could either be mexican all stars from FMF or if the MLS all star game were held during a summer break perhaps mexican all stars worldwide (dos santos, barrera, etc).


  • THomas

    Yes…look at the World Football Challenge. Think the biggest clubs in the world are coming to play friendlies in America because there isn’t massive profit to be gained?


  • THomas

    I sincerely hope you meant ACC-Big Ten Challenge as a metaphor, not putting those leagues agains professional European Leagues. Even at that I don’t understand what you’re saying?


  • Surle

    I would even be for MLS All-Stars Vs. J-League or A-League All-Stars…I think both teams would be surprisingly competitive for the Americans/Canadians


  • gandhi

    uh, say what Charles? you do know that US Spanish networks have to fork over more dough for world cup rights then US English networks. The reason is that Mexican game ON US Spanish networks can get 4, 5 or 6 million viewers…in the US alone! Geez man, you dont even know where the real fooball tv money is being made in the US market. Ratings for football/soccer on Univision or Telemundo is like 10 times for a MLS game. I think you meant to say, “in terms of soccer, Mexico has the money and the drawing appeal, and MLS could benefit from getting some of that”


  • mistadobolina

    i agree with most here MLS vs. FMF is the most intriguing option.

    first MLSXI vs. Bimbo Stars is hilarious!

    second it would be a very difficult game to coordinate because the number of clubs that would have to release players.. all that said it would be the most exciting and impactful use of this game.

    but i guess if its about making $$$ then keep bringing in Euro clubs and taking money $$$ from idiots who think they are watching great soccer.


  • Gnarls

    The All-Star game is dumb. It’s great opportunity for players to injure themselves and then lose to Man United. It’s a stupid side effect of MLS’ inferiority complex vis-a-vis the big four American sports. Stop it.


  • mistadobolina

    agreed, most of the ppl who watch and show up to these games are rooting for the big Euro club and just want to re-enforce the idea in their mind that best that MLS can come up with is still inferior to their big Euro club.

    and to be honest I don’t see how a All Star team could knock off a big team with just a day or two of playing together. More likely that a club could beat a Euro giant, like KC vs. Man U a few years ago.


  • PD

    MLS vs USMNT

    Plus skills competitions — goalies saving breakaways, juggling, passing, celebrate the skills within the game that are seen as frequently always thrill. The equivalent of the slam dunk or home run competitions in other leagues… Then we ‘ll have the airing of the grievances and finally the feats of strength.


  • Joe

    I agree with a lot of your post and I know you are pointing out what others are clamoring for but copying Europe’s Sept-May schedule would be very bad and possibly catastrophic to MLS. The current March-Nov has MLS largely avoid ‘competing’ against the NFL. Setting it to Sept-May would do not only cause that but also directly against the College Football, NHL and NBA seasons. MLS is just not there yet and I think they would get hit hard if it tried to. Also having the schedule the way it is now allows MLS players to train with European clubs during our off-season since it does not run as long as most other leagues. I think having our players train over there is very beneficial as it gets our better players better (or bought). This will only heighten the appeal for players to come to MLS, even if it is only a stepping stone for some.


  • mistadobolina

    +1 the NFL pro bowl and MLS All Star game don’t make for a good game for the same reason.

    and why isnt there a MLS Cup Winner vs. SS Winner or USOC winner game?


  • Vic

    I realize there’s massive profits for the European teams. However, is there massive profits for MLS?


  • RandomTimberFan

    Gandhi, how on earth is this idea gonna fly?

    Hey, had a great season in MLS? Cool! While most of your peers get to kick back for a few days, you get to play in a highly competitive game against a team known for very physical play for… you’re gonna love this… “national pride”.

    I’m sure everyone from the GM’s and coaches on down will just LOVE this idea.


  • Grant

    I haven’t read all the posts so excuse if it’s been said before. But I’d love to see like a skills challenge during All-Star weekend, like the NBA. Maybe a dribbling course, longest punt/goal kick, shot placement, free kick challenge. I think that would be a fun thing to watch.


  • Grant

    AH I just posted under you PD, but I’d love to see the same thing lol. Sorry to steal your thunder.


  • hartley

    No, no. I meant making the U.S. Open Cup and the MLS Cup the big games for U.S. soccer fans to watch.


  • Lee

    Agree: MLS All Stars v FMF All-Stars

    Why wasn’t this an option? It seems so natural to me.



  • Edwin in LA

    Exactly what Angel of LA are you? lol

    Because I know an Angel in LA that read this site, last name Zelaya…lol


  • blaise213

    #$%^ mexico and the mexican league

    How can you relate to watching players the size of 5th graders play soccer….. I can’t


  • anikan

    Get rid of the worthless Allstar game and use that week to schedule regular season matches so we can have a balanced schedule again.


  • eddie

    I agree with you 100%. Who cares, it doesn’t really prove anything and the idea is ridiculous. I’m more interested in strengthening the MLS league. MLS clubs playing friendlies against EPL clubs or other leagues makes sense.


  • Keith

    I like the MLS vs Foreign Club format, but it should be limited to 3 subs per team to make it more realistic.


  • tom

    Instead of All-star team vs “Fill in the blank” with tons of other friendlies, have a week where each team competes in a groups stage with foreign teams. Here’s how I would see it play out:
    Two MLS teams with two foreign teams in a group. The two MLS teams play a game on weekend one (that also counts for MLS schedule) with a game immediately after featuring the two internationals. Then, midweek games and games the following weekend featuring MLS vs International. Total points wins the group. Groups can be regional rivals with two internationals.
    One big week where the focus is on international competition across the league instead of scattered games. MLS teams are often better than all stars because of familiarity. All fans get to see two international teams in their stadium.


  • Ivan

    Get rid of the “All Star Game”. Do not zombify the beautiful game in the vein of NFL, NBA, etc., where fans are told how loud to cheer, when to cheer, and who to cheer for.

    Garber out. A footballer must take over at the helm of the league, not a former NFL CEO.


  • Mike Caramba

    Two proposals:

    1. Colombia vs. the world (all MLS players, obviously).

    2. Do East vs. West, and take the top 20 vote-getters from each conference, without taking position into account. So the East could have five GKs, while the West sends 18 mids. CHAOS.


  • Eurosnob

    Injuries are part of the game and there is no evidence that rivalries result in greater number of injuries. USMNT-Mexico games are intense, but it is not like the players are routinely carried away on the stretches with broken bones. Real Madrid-Barca games are filled with passion and intensity, but how many players suffered serious injuries in recent el Classicos? By your logic, NHL should not have played the Summit series against the Soviets in 1970s, but it proved to be a great event that became the stuff of legends and benefited hockey in general and the NHL in particular.


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