MLS All-Star Game 2012: Rosters, Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and More
For the eighth consecutive season, a team of MLS All Stars will take on a team from Europe in the league's All-Star Game. This year's opponent will be Chelsea, which is coming off a campaign where the team won the Champions League.
The MLS side actually won the first four games in the series, defeating Fulham, Celtic, West Ham United and the Blues. It's important to note the European teams are usually early in their preseason preparations and play trial lineups whereas the MLS players are in midseason form.
Everton and Manchester United have combined to win the last three games, though, meaning the MLS players will be looking to get back on the winning side of things. Here's a look at all the important information for the marquee game, a look at the First XI and a trio of players to watch.
Which team will win the exhibition match?
Where: PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
When: Wednesday, July 25 at 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3.com
MLS First XI (Reserves to be announced)
Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes)
Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)
Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Heath Pearce (New York Red Bulls)
David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Players to Watch
Following a successful loan stint with his old club, Arsenal, Henry has carried that momentum into the MLS season. He has scored nine goals and added five assists in 11 games to help lead the New York Red Bulls' attack.
He had a span earlier in the season where he scored seven goals in three games, showing he still has plenty of talent at age 34. The Frenchman has been dealing with some knee issues, but should be ready for the All-Star Game.
Games against European teams have an extra meaning to players like Henry and David Beckham, who was also selected to the squad. It's a chance for them to show they can still play at a high level even though they are past their primes.
Even though there has been an infusion of veteran European players in recent years, Donovan continues to serve as the league's biggest star. The 30-year-old American hasn't been as dominant as past seasons, but still has six goals and five assists in 17 games.
He's been playing better as of late with four goals and three assists over the last five games. That has played a key role in Los Angeles' recent resurgence after a lackluster start. He'll need to continue that roll in the season's second half.
Donovan will likely serve as the point man for the MLS attack. When he plays on more talented teams, such as his recent loans to Everton, he usually takes on more of a distribution role and that should be the case against Chelsea.
After playing his entire career in England, DeMerit returned stateside last year to play for the Vancouver Whitecaps and has been impressive every step of the way. He was rewarded with his first All-Star selection.
The defender, who has logged 25 appearances for the United States national team, has played a key role in Vancouver's stout defense. The team leads the league in clean sheets, a major reason they currently sit fourth in the Western Conference.
Although it remains unclear what type of lineup Chelsea will field for the All-Star Game, the Blues have no shortage of attacking options. That means DeMerit and his back line partners will be under pressure early and often.
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