2012 MLS All-Star Game: 10 Reasons for US Fans to Be Excited About Chelsea Visit
The 2012 MLS All-Star Game will feature one of the best clubs in Europe: Chelsea.
Six years after being defeated by the MLS All-Stars, the Blues return with hopes of notching a win on U.S. soil. Obviously, Chelsea won't be bringing their first team, but there will still be plenty of stars coming to match up with the best of the MLS.
The game will be played at the Philadelphia Union's PPL Park on July 25.
For the American fans that don't know about Chelsea, I will save you the time of looking them up. I have compiled a list of why you should be excited for the EPL greats to come play some soccer.
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Chelsea are simply one of the best clubs in Europe.
They have some of the best players in the world.
They consistently finish in the top third of the Premier League.
And they are always in the battle for trophies.
Love them or hate them, Chelsea are one of the three most successful clubs in England (in the past 10 years) and in the top 10 across Europe.
Even during this season, one many called rebuilding and a few have called disastrous, Chelsea are sixth in the league. Meanwhile, they are in the FA Cup Final and Champions League semis.
Chelsea may not be having the best season, but they've still managed to advance in the biggest competitions.
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Whenever Chelsea are involved, the game has the chance of becoming great.
They hang with superior teams, and they let inferior teams hang around.
Depending on the team Chelsea bring, either of those could be true. Regardless, there will be dramatics.
This game might be an exhibition, but as it winds down, it will be close and things will get intense.
Both teams still want to win, and you can be sure there will be fireworks at the end.
Sound Cool Around Your 'Soccer' Friends
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Every American has at least one soccer friend.
More than likely, you have multiple.
No longer will you be subjugated to saying random buzzwords regarding the sport. At least, now you have a few more to throw in there.
You don't have to call the sport football, especially when "soccer" is in the name of the American league. Still, the next time your soccer friends start talking about the EPL, maybe mention Ramires' work rate or Juan Mata's slick creativity.
That way, you can avoid mentioning Landon Donovan's goal for the umpteenth time.
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Chelsea lost to the MLS All-Stars six years ago, and now the Blues are back for revenge.
For six years, this loss has been stewing in the hearts of Chelsea.
Every day, they long for the opportunity to avenge that loss.
Some may call it an exhibition, but Chelsea want to win as badly as any other match. They understand it will be tough, but they won't let that slow them down.
A determined, focused Chelsea will come into Philadelphia in July, and the All-Stars had better watch out.
Three years ago, Chelsea participated in the World Football Challenge, and Didier Drogba had one of the best goals of his career.
With such a rocket, Drogba shocked the entire stadium before sending everyone into pandemonium.
When such great talent is on the pitch, there is an increased chance of a great goal being scored.
There might not be such a wonder-strike this year, but there is definitely a possibility for Chelsea to score a great goal.
Here's to hoping Roberto Di Matteo is still around, because I simply can't get enough of this video and Raul Meireles' reaction.
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Even though Chelsea are a little old, they still have some great players.
Petr Cech, Frank Lampard and John Terry are all club legends.
Even though they are in the twilight of their careers, they still have plenty left to put on a good show.
None of them will want to risk injury in an exhibition, but they should still come to the United States ready to play.
Additionally, Juan Mata has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season. He is the most creative player on Chelsea's roster, and his passing is extremely fun to watch.
There are plenty of other great players on Chelsea, but those are the four that will be the most memorable to see.
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Football is bigger in Europe than any sport is in the United States.
If nothing else, the monopoly it has over any other sport makes it the absolute best.
There are thousands of clubs in England, and everyone has an allegiance to at least one.
The passion and dedication to the club is as intense, if not more, as any allegiance in the United States. Chelsea players grew up around the sport and the culture, which makes them purebred footballers.
When they come to the United States, there will be a large difference in their approach to the game (as well as skill) from anyone on the MLS All-Stars. Sure, most of them have played in other leagues, but the mindset in America is simply different, for better or for worse.
Watching Chelsea play and interact with each other will be both a great sporting event and a cultural lesson.
Learn New Vocabulary
You may never be as incredible as Ray Hudson, but Chelsea could bring you some new ideas when describing a sport.
Try them out wherever you would like. You won't regret it.
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There are star players, and then there is David Luiz.
He is different than just a star player.
He isn't necessarily a better player, nor is he necessarily a worse player. He is just a different player.
Watching Luiz run around the field is an experience. Gary Neville said Luiz looked like he was being controlled by a 10-year-old on PlayStation, and he practically hit the nail on the head.
Luiz has reeled himself back a bit, but he still plays recklessly and freely. He has the potential to be a world-class player, and his development this summer will have a lot to do with that.
Plus, if you don't like soccer, you can always appreciate his likeness to Sideshow Bob.