On Wednesday, July 29, the 2015 MLS All-Star Game will take place at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, as the MLS All-Stars will clash against Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in what should be a very intriguing contest.
MLS All-Star Game tickets on TiqIQ are still available for purchase, though they may be a bit pricey, as the average price is $208.44 on the secondary market. Fortunately, the get-in price isn’t nearly as bad, being $83, to allow fans cheaper access to see the best players from MLS take on one of the more prestigious teams from the most well-known soccer league in the world. Fans attending this historic affair might want to turn it into an extended vacation to really maximize the enjoyment of this affair, and can do so with cheap hotel listings in Denver from Hipmunk.com, which has rooms starting at $69. Out-of-town fans looking to catch in on the action can also book affordable Denver flights from Hipmunk, which would have them within a 20 minute ride of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Headlining the MLS All-Star lineup is one of the most talented groups of forwards the league has ever seen. Among them is Kei Kamara, who leads the league in scoring. Joining him will be the reigning 2014 MLS MVP Robbie Keane, and one of this year’s front-runners, Sebastian Giovinco. Rounding out the scoring threats is New York City FC leading scorer David Villa, who has scored six goals in his last three matches, and United States hero Clint Dempsey. Dempsey returns to MLS play after a 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup that saw him be awarded the Golden Boot honors.
Tottenham’s frontline is no stranger to providing goals aplenty as well. Leading the charge will be the England’s Young Player of the Year Harry Kane, who finished 2014-15 with 21 goals in 34 appearances, which paved the way for his first English international call-up. Scoring 80 seconds into his debut, the MLS defense will have a tough task keeping him off the score sheet.
The MLS midfield contains two US Gold Cup members, current captain Michael Bradley and Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City. Zusi’s teammate, Benny Feilhaber, joins him in his first All-Star Game appearance in the midst of another stellar season. Debutants Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard and Brazilian icon Kaká have been featured in World Cups and UEFA Champions League matches and will be on hand in this one for the MLS side. Kaká currently ranks fourth in the MLS with nine goals in his first season for Orlando City SC.
The Spurs’ midfield, meanwhile, is home to two rising EPL talents. Christian Eriksen was recognized as the 29th-most valuable player in world football in a January 2015 study conducted by the CIES Football Observatory, a research group part of the International Centre for Sports Studies who publishes annual player and club reports on the finest European talents. Alongside him will be Belgium standout Mousa Dembele, who was heavily featured for his nation in the 2014 World Cup.
Defense is often overlooked in All-Star events. However, Tottenham is home to one the United States’ top talents. Since he burst onto the international stage in the 2014 World Cup, American DeAndre Yedlin seems to have found a new home in London. Alongside him are Belgian international’s Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, surrounded by Yedlin’s competition for an EPL starting role of Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose.
The MLS defense Fan XI picks contains veterans from the United States national team: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez. Gonzalez has emerged as one of the league’s best defenders, after having been named to three MLS Best XI’s. Besler was named 2012 MLS Defenders of the Year and this is his fourth MLS All-Star selection.
Goalkeepers for the MLS, Nick Rimando and David Ousted, will most likely split time. Rimando, in his 16th MLS season, makes his fifth All-Star appearances in a season that has him tied for third in the league with six shutouts. Ousted can also be found at the top of the goalkeeper statistics with a league-leading 11 wins and the second-most shutouts, having logged seven.
Play between the pipes has been one of the strengths for the Spurs, as their roster has two goalies that have proven they can put together world-class performances on any given pitch. Hugo Lloris, recently handed the captain’s armband, posted 107 saves during 2014-15, while also handling the starting role for France during the 2014 World Cup. Michel Vorm, who moved to the Spurs in 2014, is one of the most capable backups in the EPL, having been a part of the Netherland’s World Cup roster.
Goalies: David Ousted (Vancouver Whitecaps), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders), Drew Moor (Colorado Rapids) and Chris Tierney (New England Revolution)
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas) Benny Felihaber (Sporting Kansas City) Steven Gerrard (LA Galaxy) Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls) Kaká (Orlando City SC) Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC) Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), David Villa (New York City FC)
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm, Luke McGee, Tom Glover
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, DeAndre Yedlin, Danny Rose, Ben Davies, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier, Kevin Wimmer, Jan Vertonghen, Federico Fazio
Midfielders: Nabil Bentaleb, Harry Winks, Mousa Dembele, Josh Onomah, Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli, Tom Carroll, Dele Alli, Erik Lamela
Forwards: Harry Kane, Shaq Coulthirst