Monday, May 27, 2013

All Star Opponent Rumors

Just over two months until the All Star game, we are still awaiting word on who the opponent for the match will be on July 31st at Sporting Park. There have been plenty of rumors swirling over the last month or so about who the opponent will be, but they've really picked up over the last few day.

Early rumors in the process was that recently crowned European Champions, Bayern Munich would be the opponent for the All Stars.  Munich though will be hosting the Audi Cup along with Manchester City, AC Milan, and Sao Paulo at the exact same time the All Star game is going on. So no German champs at Sporting Park this summer.  Which is unfortunate because Munich would have been quite a fun game, despite what Simon Borg things about them being too "mechanical."

More recently there have been more rumors.  Saturday on Twitter, Steven Goff from the Washington Post, posted that it looked like Valencia would be the All Star opponents. Currently the 4th place team in Spain, in position to potentially qualify for the Champions League next year.  Unfortunately though there are really only two teams in Spain that most people care about and Valencia isn't one of them. The way the Spanish table works out, Valencia was actually closer to relegation than it was to winning La Liga this year.  They're closer to the 8th place team in the table than second, and closer to sixth than 3rd. The top heavy table leaves a lack of excitement for the rest of the table. It also doesn't help that Valencia really lacks much name recognition on their roster that will bring in more casual fans.

Today another rumor came out, this one from Taylor Twellman.  Twellman posted that he'd heard rumors that AS Roma would be the opponent for the MLS All Stars. While Roma finished 6th in Serie A this past season, from some casual conversations I've had since seeing Twellman's tweet, more people were excited over this than Valencia.  There were two main reasons for that.  The first was Michael Bradley.  The US international plays for Roma and as long as he's not on the Gold Cup roster (which is possible with Jurgen Klinsmann likely to have changes between World Cup qualifiers and the Gold Cup), I'd expect Bradley to be part of any Roma tour of the US.  The other reason is because of Francesco Totti.  The Roma legend would give some name power to the All Star game. The problem with the Roma rumor though is that they look like they're heading to Asia.

On the other hand I've also heard from a number of people who are going to be disappointed unless the opponent is one of the big names from the big leagues, the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Munich, Dortmund, Juventus, etc. And without those teams, some people are starting to already regret the money that they're dropping on tickets for a game against a team that they feel under delivers for an All Star event.  At this point it doesn't look like one of those big names will be at Sporting Park.  You can already sense the disappointment coming from a number of people.


Brian Stock said...
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Brian Stock said...

But Valencia has the best crest of any of the options!

Eric Atcheson said...

Valencia would be fun if their big guns showed up--Soldado, Alberto Costa, etc., but I'm pulling for Roma myself. Totti performing his magic at Sporting Park? Yes please.