The Full 90

Visit suggests that Sporting will host MLS All-Star Game

Updated: 2013-01-09T00:35:01Z

By TOD PALMER

The Kansas City Star

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber is headed to Kansas City.

According to an announcement from Sporting Club and the MLS home office, Garber “will discuss the upcoming season and answer questions from media members” Thursday when he visits Livestrong Sporting Park.

He isn’t, however, expected to grace any other MLS cities on this week’s preseason trip, giving rise to speculation that Garber’s visit won’t be strictly to discuss the upcoming season, which is less than two months away.

Instead, it seems likely that Garber is headed to town to announce that the 2013 MLS All-Star Game will be played at Livestrong Sporting Park.

According to a report last summer in the Philadelphia Daily News, Livestrong was in consideration to host the 2012 exhibition against Chelsea, a game that ultimately was awarded to the Union and played at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

Perhaps that puts Kansas City at the front of line for the 2013 contest.

After all, when Livestrong opened, Garber promised the venue would host an All-Star Game, telling The Star in June 2011, “I know we’ll have an All-Star Game here. It’s not a matter of if, but when.”

Before Garber hits town, MLS will release its complete 2013 schedule at 11 a.m. today on MLSSoccer.com.

Sporting KC’s first three games, including the home opener against the Chicago Fire, were announced in mid-December.

Manager Peter Vermes’ club, which has won the last two Eastern Conference regular season titles, kicks off 2013 with two road games — March 2 at Philadelphia and March 9 at Toronto FC — before returning to Livestrong to battle the Fire on March 16.

In the upcoming season, Sporting KC also will seek to defend its Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship and vie for a title in CONCACAF Champions League.

Full season ticket packages for a 20-game home slate start at $400 and are available through SportingKC.com or by calling 1-888-4KC-GOAL (1-888-452-4625).

Single-game tickets will go on sale in February.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.

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