Major League Soccer announced this morning that this year’s MLS All-Stars will take on West Ham United, the historic east London Club of the English Premier League, only July 24 in Toronto.
“Toronto’s support of Major League Soccer has been nothing short of extraordinary, and we’re thrilled to bring our All-Star Game to a sold-out BMO Field,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said. “The TFC supporters and other fans from around the league will provide a vibrant and enthusiastic setting for the game. We are excited to partner with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment to host this memorable display of the world’s game.”
According to the league press release, West Ham United boasts a roster full of international talent, highlighted by the captains of Sweden, Australia and Wales — Freddie Ljungberg, Lucas Neill and Craig Bellamy. The club also has several England national team players including Robert Green, Matthew Upson, Scott Parker and Kieron Dyer plus American defender Jonathan Spector and Portugal forward Luis Boa Morte. The latter played for Fulham in the 2005 match that saw the MLS All-Stars deliver a 4-1 victory over the EPL club.
“The 2008 Pepsi MLS All-Star Game is a terrific showcase for Major League Soccer and its talented players,” said Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “Adding a historic football club like West Ham as this year’s All-Star opponent gives more reasons for soccer fans to look forward to this exciting event.”
Anselmi added that the All-Star Game will support boosting economic activity and profiling Toronto to more than 100 countries worldwide.
There’s also rumblings around the soccer world that Thierry Henry might be headed to Seattle when the expansion MLS team begins play in 2009. Seattle has already taken 13,000 season ticket deposits, and I bet that number would double if Henry actually signed with the new club.
This deal is a long, long way from being finalized, but it’s exciting to thing about.
Check out these links for more exciting info: