Well, Don Garber has given Kansas City the gift of its second-consecutive All-Star Game. (Kauffman Stadium hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game last June.) This time, Major League Soccer will host its midsummer festivities at Livestrong Sporting Park on July 31.
The Kansas City Star
Last season, Sporting Kansas City sent three players to the All-Star Game in Philadelphia: Graham Zusi, Aurelien Collin and Jimmy Nielsen. With fan voting a primary component, you have to think that trend will continue.
The next question: What snazzy European team will be here to take on the all stars?
For the last eight years, a team from Britain has visited to challenge the best that MLS has to offer: Fulham ('05), Chelsea ('06 and '12), Celtic ('07), West Ham United ('08), Everton ('09) and Manchester United ('10 and '11).
In those eight matches, the MLS side is 5-3 with the only losses coming to Man United and Everton (on penalty kicks, even).
In 2003, the MLS All-Stars took on Mexican side Guadalajara and won the game 3-1.
So, who will be the next team?
Given that the game is at Livestrong and its somewhat limited capacity (max: 21,000 or so), it's hard to imagine a global icon (Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea and the like) being part of this game.*
*I wouldn't be surprised if a big team where in the offing. It would be the single toughest ticket to get in town if that were the case. Remember, Manchester United came to KC in '10 for a friendly, more than 50,000 folks turned out and filled up Arrowhead.
There are still plenty of enticing options though. A few off the top of my head that would be great draws:
• Borussia Dortmund. Fun, high-pressing team, but German teams don't travel to the States that regularly.
• Tottenham Hotspur. If only for Clint Dempsey.
• Napoli. Another young, fun team. Only, this team features some fantastic hair. It would be a great chance to see one of the best unknown talents, Lorenzo Insigne.
• Paris St. Germain. A mega-club (financially) without the fanbase (globally) to require a 50,000-seat venue. Also: Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Who would you like to see come to Kansas City? Have a dream team or a favorite you think would pack LSP?