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More Smashmouth: 2017 MLS All-Star Game Preview

Some...

MLS: MLS All-Star-EA Skills Challenge-Fire Pitch
This is a ball. It’s a nice looking ball, isn’t it? So round and shiny. A very welcoming ball indeed.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

... BODY once told me

The world was gonna roll me

I ain’t the smartest tool in the shed...

This is the MLS All-Star Game! Normally I’d talk about how the Fire have done and where they are mentally, but there is nothing to really say about this team as it has been cobbled together to go up against a randomly selected foreign power. Here in Chicago there’s been more than necessary drama around these selections, but we are here. So let’s look at our opponent.

Real Madrid is coming to Chicago fresh off of going winless in the International Champions Cup, a beautiful cash grab created by UEFA to keep American soccer in their place. While not a real competition, it does give some info: they’re beatable in the preseason. Sorta the opposite of the ‘08 Lions. I would normally show some highlights of our opponent’s last three games, but YOU try to find consistent highlights of single games for any major European team. So here’s the last three All-Star Games instead:

2014 vs. Bayern Munich

2015 vs. Tottenham

2016 vs. Arsenal

Three Keys

YOUTS!

Our first thing is that Real Madrid is contractually obligated to play certain star players. While there may be some set time amounts they need to be out there, don’t expect them in the first half. This is the pre-season, Real isn’t sending their best (phrasing). Instead, we’re gonna see a lot of young players out there for the Champions League winners. So really, by beating this team, it wouldn’t really matter much in the run of things.

Togetherness

So what do you get when you put a bunch of major players who are more used to playing against eachother than with eachother? Your 2017-18 Houston Rockets! Just kidding, the MLS All-Stars. Sure, they’ve got about a week and some of them are friends, but this is just a mish-mash of good players that may just be good because of the team around them. Which also brings me to the next point:

What’s The Point?

This Starting XI was voted on by fans. Unfortunately, fan votes are not an unbiased system. This Starting XI excludes players that were good, but unnamed. Kaká isn’t the best in MLS, but he’s more recognizable. Tim Howard is not the best goalkeeper in the league, the Fire just played the real one last week. It’s not only an imperfect system, but the whole thing is just unnecessary. If we want a true “All-Star Game” it needs to be the best in the league vs the best in the league. Yes, we need to bring back East vs. West. Maybe I’ll even write about it in the future.

Projected Lineups

MLS All-Stars

Real Madrid

How To Watch

Kickoff: Wednesday August 2nd, 7:30PM CDT

TV/Streaming: FS1, Univision, TSN, MLS Live

What’s the point? Why bother? Why? Also, will our hodge-podge beat their reserves team? Tell us in the comments! But answer my first questions first.