Sporting KC

All-Stars enjoy the hospitality

Updated: 2013-08-01T15:38:21Z

By PETE GRATHOFF

The Kansas City Star

As Houston midfielder Brad Davis glided across the Sporting Park field prior to Wednesday’s MLS All-Star Game, he was surprised to hear the fans ... booing him?

No, not in this case. The faithful were simply showing their appreciation for the guy running with Davis: Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi.

“Some of the fans were yelling ‘ZEUS!’” Davis said, “and I was like, ‘What? C’mon man.’”

Zusi had to explain that those weren’t boos. Not that it would have ruined Davis’ night. He had nothing but high praise for the job Sporting did.

“It was fun,” Davis said. “I love coming to this stadium. Obviously, it’s a great stadium, a great organization. They really did a great job treating us well. The stadium and facilities they have here are awesome, so it’s always good to come here.”

Well, it’s not always great for Davis to come to Sporting Park when he’s playing with Houston. The Dynamo has proved to be a thorn in Sporting’s side the last two years, knocking KC from the playoffs twice.

But Wednesday, all the MLS players were the good guys.

That goes for a player who in just a few days will be certain to hear a few boos.

Forward Thierry Henry and the Red Bulls will be playing Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. While Henry’s teammates will arrive Friday, Henry said he would hang out in Kansas City and spend some time with Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin.

Will they head to Le Fou Frog? Maybe, but Henry said he’s certainly going to get some barbecue.

Then come Saturday, he’ll be the bad guy again.

“The fans know the difference between the All-Star team and when they are supporting the All-Star team,” Henry said. “And when they have to support Sporting KC, they will and that’s the way that it is.”

Henry was impressed with how Kansas City came out for Wednesday’s game and all of the events leading up to the match.

And Henry said that Roma was undoubtedly going to come away with good things to say — as were previous teams that competed in the MLS All-Star Game.

“The reception of the whole city was amazing,” Henry said. “There was a question whether it would better to go back to the East-West format (instead of MLS All-Stars vs. a foreign club).

“For me at the end of the day, they speak about the league (MLS) in Italy, and they speak about the league in England. It can only be good for the league. It’s the right format. We didn’t win today, but we got the right exposure for the league.”

To reach Sam McDowell, send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/SamMcDowell11.

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