10 European Sides We'd Love to See Face the MLS All-Stars
This year, Manchester United will join Everton, West Ham, Celtic, Chelsea, Fulham, Guadalajara, and the USA as teams who have provided the opposition to the MLS All-Star team since it unified from it's original East versus West concept.
With Manchester United being arguably the biggest and best known sports team on planet earth, the game does not get much bigger and more exciting that this.
So where does the MLS go from here?
Any of the following 10 teams wouldn't be a bad start.....
Why would Barcelona not be on this list?
One of the most recognizable names in world sports. One of the most recognizable uniforms in world sports. One of the best-supported teams in world sports. Arguably the best player in the world in Lionel Messi, we could go on.....
Barcelona have toured the States a couple of times in recent years and fans have flocked to see them. Safe to say that if they played the All-Star team they would generate a great buzz and sell out whatever venue they held it in.
Last season's Italian Serie A and Champions League winners may have lost "The Special One" Jose Mourinho, but they still remain a top draw for Italians and live up to their name Internazionale with a host of stars from around the globe.
Rafa Benitez has the unenviable task of having to follow the charismatic Mourinho, but if he can continue their recent success, they would be very attractive opponents for the MLS All-Stars.
The most successful club in the history of English football, drenched in tradition and history, they provide an attractive match up for whoever they are playing.
There seams to be a sizable Liverpool Supporters Club in just about every city throughout the United States, so a packed stadium and tremendous atmosphere would be guaranteed for the game.
They may not be the "Galacticos" they were a few years ago, but any team that can list Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká, Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas (and so forth) on its roster should give even the most casual of sports fans reason to get excited and tune in to see them against the elite of the MLS.
The most successful club in the history of German football has consistently been one of the top teams in Europe in recent years and made the Champions League final for the third time in the last 11 seasons in 2010.
Their star players Mark van Bommel, Franck Ribéry, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, and Miroslav Klose may not have the recognition amongst casual soccer fans as Messi, Ronaldo, and Rooney, but those who know the game would relish the chance to see them oppose the MLS All-Stars.
Italian powerhouse Milan are tied with Boca Juniors as having won the most UEFA and FIFA recognized international titles (18) than any other team in the world. A rich history has seen some of the greatest players in the world pull on the infamous black and red striped shirt.
Ronaldinho is technically still on the books and remains one of the most recognizable soccer players on the planet. We all know how America loves stars, even if they have faded a little.
The gunners may not have won the Premier League title for five years, but are part of the Leagues "Big Four," have an estimated 27 million world wide supporters and boast plenty of star talent.
Barring injury, you figure Thierry Henry will be a shoe in for the MLS All-Star team over the next four years and seeing him up against his beloved former club should be enough to capture anyone's attention.
"The Old Lady" has the highest fan base in Italy and at an estimated 170 supporters world wide, the team is always in demand wherever it travels.
Despite a record 27 Italian Championships to their name, they have yet to reclaim that level of play since their relegation to Serie B in 2006 due to a match fixing scandal (their 2005 and 2006 championship titles were stripped from the team). However, their huge supporters clubs and star names such as Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero would ensure great opponents for the MLS.
They might not be at an elite level just yet, but we can all see Man City heading the same way as Chelsea in terms of spending whatever it takes to get whoever they want and putting together a superstar team of top players from around the world.
Although they lack the history and championships of the other teams on this list, they have the one thing that American sports fans love to see—star players. And they are collecting them in abundance. And if the rumors of Landon Donovan coming to play at Eastlands comes to fruition, all the more reason that this would be a great match-up.
It's kind of appropriate for an All-Star team to play a team of all stars.
There was debate for who the 10th team to make this list would be. Benfica maybe? Olympique Lyon? Glasgow Rangers? AS Roma? Or a repeat team like Celtic or Chelsea?
In the end, we went back to a team that will shortly be on the list of those who have already faced the MLS All-Star team. A team that is often simply called Man U.
As stated in the opening slide, this is probably the biggest and best supported club on the planet with a plethora of household names.
They may be facing the MLS All-Star team in 2010, but few will complain if it becomes a regular occurrence.