Street. POLL, MN – On any Wednesday night, you’ll undoubtedly find countless Golden Boot winners and super attackers patrolling the midst of quarterbacks around the world – just find the right FIFA lobbies. Outside of PlayStation and Xbox, though, any manager who makes his number nine holding water in the team’s engine room will have all kinds of questions to answer after the match. Unless this coach runs the MLS All-Stars.
Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath fielded Austin FC striker Sebastian Driosi (who scored 16 goals in 24 regular season games; two more than his closest rivals) on the left side of midfield with three goals in a 2-1 win over the Liga MX All- Stars .
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“I was joking about it today; I had seven or eight 10th-placed players to try and fit into the format,” Heath said after the challenge match in a squad heavy on offensive talent.
The other No. 8 in that midfield, next to Darlington Ngby? Emmanuel Reynoso, one of the league’s premier playmakers, who also took set pieces for the MLS team. Why was Loons’ No. 10 chosen before others on such a highly talented team? “Because I’m in charge,” Heath joked. “I can tell who will take what.” This captures the essence of the All-Star Game. This is fantasy football comes alive.
None of the 19,727 attendees at the handsome Minnesota home of Allianz Field will feel left out. This was as intense as the show could be. After the hosts opened a 2-0 lead through Carlos Vela’s header and the penalty kick by Raul Ruídias. Kevin Alvarez’s 84th minute goal cut the gap in half to put the great team of Mexican fans on their feet and fill the ground with equal measures of anxiety and enthusiasm in the final moments of the match. It was a victory on the field for MLS, but the night overall was a win for both leagues.
As Liga MX and Major League Soccer continue to converge, though – this was the second game of the All-Star in which the leagues compete against each other, while next season’s reinvented League Cup will see both leagues pause their domestic seasons. , so all 47 leagues can take part in the month-long tournament in the group stage and knockout round – the novelty and necessity of this All-Star format already appears to be waning.
Of the top five scorers in the Mexican Clausura Championship that concluded in May, only one was in the Liga MX squad: Germany’s Berterame of Monterrey. None of the current Apertura Championships are included. Their regular season resumes barely 24 hours after the full-time whistle blows in Minnesota. It’s hard, then, to feel that this was the best Liga MX had to offer.
One of the words Heath repeated during his press conference after the win was “competitive”. That his players were competitors. that their opponents were rivals. The game was competitive. And it was – as far as any gallery can be.
The rivalry that exists between Mexico and the US men’s team carries real weight in this part of the world, and it’s clear that both MLS and Liga MX want to capture that feisty and sexy spirit, yet the All-Star Games inherently lack that department. There’s no bite, and there’s not a lot of bark either.
There will be a lot of that next summer in the League Cup, where we can enjoy the World Cup tournament mode that teams from these tournaments compete in exclusively. Undoubtedly more when Mexican clubs set out to prove that the Seattle Sounders’ CONCACAF Champions League victory – a first by an MLS team in its current form, and the first Continental Cup by an MLS club since 2000 – was a fluke, and that Mexico truly is home to the best clubs in the world. Region. But there was none on Wednesday.
This is the start of what should be a very fruitful partnership between MLS and Liga MX, and this is exciting for tournaments, players and fans. But in the four years since this tandem introduced their intentions to form the world’s soccer teams, launch the Campeones Cup and put them on their way to the All-Stars Cup and Leagues, they’ve already been courting market saturation.
However, there was quite a buzz at Allianz Stadium about the fifth competition between these two: the skills challenge. It was fun. was different. This is something that MLS, as a league, should embrace.
This summer, MLS clubs welcomed European powers – the kind of teams that in past years had been destined to face the league’s All-Star Teams – and in many cases were competitive. Three weeks ago until night, Minnesota defeated Frank Lampard’s Everton team
Between these increasingly popular July schedules filled with international opposition and the newly equipped Seattle Continental Crown, the appetite for MLS vs. World competitions can be considered somewhat satiated.
But people always want more Goalie wars.