MLS All-Star Game 2012: The 4 Players with the Most to Prove
On Wednesday the best MLS has to offer will face off against the defending European Champions Chelsea.
Historically the MLS All-Stars have had mixed results against visiting clubs, with results varying anywhere from solid victories to crushing losses.
While there may not be too much on the line for Chelsea, there will be many youngsters who want to solidify their place in the squad.
As for the guys from the States and Canada, many of them want to prove that they can play against some of the best in the world and they will go all out for this matchup. Here are the top five players who have something to prove against the West Londoners.
4. Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan has seemingly proved all he can prove domestically. He's been one of the top players in MLS for years and has now won three MLS Cups.
Internationally Donovan has 49 goals in a very impressive 143 caps. He leads the USMNT in starts, goals, assists and is second in appearances behind only fellow lA Galaxy great Cobi Jones.
He always seemed to struggle across the pond, however, until he went on a very successful loan spell with Everton. And another. Because, although he has hinted at it, he has not decided that he would sign permanently at Everton.
He will have a lot of motivation to prove that he still has a lot to offer against some of England's best, and maybe work a deal back to Everton alongside fellow national teamer Tim Howard in the process.
3. Thierry Henry
While his name didn't hold as much weight with the average Americans as Beckham's did, fans of the game knew that the league was getting one of the best players in the game.
While past his prime at 32 years old, he still had a lot left to offer. Now he's 34, and after watching Henry make opposing defenders look stupid for the past 2 years, it's clear he's still world class.
By giving a strong performance against the European champions, he can show the world he still has great quality and can still go toe to toe with the best in the business. Chelsea center back David Luiz recently said he was relishing the opportunity to face Henry and Beckham.
As one of the best competitors in the game, I think Henry will be extremely motivated to get his name on the scoresheet.
2. Dan Kennedy
The Goats' keeper has a lot to prove in this showdown where he will be facing some top European talent.
He consistently has good performances with a subpar team and is able to keep them in games that most GK's couldn't.
At 30 years of age, Kennedy has never been capped by the US national team. With choice goalie Tim Howard three years older, a solid performance here could open up the door to a competition with guys like Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando for the No. 2 spot and could possibly lead to caps in the future.
1. Chris Wondolowski
Out of all the MLS players who will take to the pitch Wednesday, Chris Wondolowski has the most to prove.
Wondo has been a consistent scorer in MLS for the past three years now, and this year he is on pace to break the all-time scoring record in the league.
The 29-year-old has 54 goals in 90 appearances for San Jose, and he has become widely known for his poaching style and for having the knack of scoring game-tying and winning goals.
A good performance and maybe a goal or two against the Blues would solidify his place as the best-scoring forward in North America and maybe even warrant a contract for him from Europe.