MLS All-Stars vs Chelsea: MLS Players Who Will Shine Against the Blues

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2012

CARSON, CA - JUNE 23: Landon Donovan #19 of the Los Angeles Galaxy gestures toward a Galaxy cheering section after the game with the Vancouver Whitecaps at The Home Depot Center on June 23, 2012 in Carson, California.  The Galaxy won 3-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The MLS All-Star Game will feature the best players from the domestic league going up against the defending European champions in Chelsea. The Blues are currently on a preseason tour as they prepare for another Premier League season.

It's a rematch of sorts from 2006, when the All-Stars knocked off Chelsea 1-0. Both sides will look a lot different this time around, but it should be another interesting game. Let's take a look at three players who will shine for the MLS side.

 

Jimmy Nielsen

Nielsen figures to face plenty of pressure from a talented Chelsea attack as the goalkeeper suits up for his second MLS All-Star Game. Luckily, the Sporting Kansas City star has been on top form all season and should be up to the challenge.

He leads the league in clean sheets with nine and has been a major reason Kansas City has been able to get in the race for the Eastern Conference lead. He makes up for a lot of the team's problems of front by coming up with crucial stops.

Nielsen is a veteran who has played around the world, so he shouldn't have many nerves like younger players might. That should allow him to have a strong outing.

 

Landon Donovan

Donovan continues to serve as the face of the MLS, and should play a prominent role in Wednesday's clash. He's scored nine goals and added seven assists in 19 games this season. He'll likely play more of a distribution style against Chelsea.

Having gone through a couple of successful loan stints with Everton, playing a team like the Blues won't be anything special for the Los Angeles Galaxy superstar. He knows what to expect, giving him an edge over some of his teammates who haven't had that experience.

Just like with the United States national team, players will be looking to him for leadership. Although it's only an exhibition, the MLS would love another victory over a marquee squad. Donovan must lead the way.

 

Chris Wondolowski

Wondolowski's career has really taken off ever since joining the San Jose Earthquakes in 2009. He has developed into one of the league's most dangerous goal scoring threats. He has 17 tallies during the current campaign, four more than anybody else.

Since Chelsea is still in preseason mode, the MLS defense should be able to have some success keeping them off the scoreboard, but the key will be scoring. That's why Wondolowski is so important to the team's chances.

Having not capitalized on his chances with the national team, the All-Star Game gives him a chance to show off his skills on the big stage. Look for him to do exactly that.

 

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