Los Angeles Galaxy duo Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane, as well as Toronto FC's Michael Bradley, will miss the MLS All-Stars match against Tottenham Hotspur through injury.
Coach Pablo Mastroeni will have to do without three significant players, all of whom were likely to start, when Spurs visit Denver on Wednesday night, reported James Andrew of the MailOnline. This disappointment adds to the absence of New York City FC's Frank Lampard and New England Revolution's Chris Tierney.
However, Mastroeni's squad now welcomes two of Galaxy's most exciting players in Juninho and Gyasi Zardes. The Denver crowd will also get to see local favourite Sam Cronin of the Colorado Rapids in action, while Columbus Crew pair Ethan Finlay and Waylon Francis have also been added to the squad.
Spurs' visit would have been a familiar challenge for Gerrard, Keane and Lampard, three former Premier League stars who are well-versed with facing one of England's toughest sides. Keane enjoyed two hugely successful spells with the club, and having found a new lease of life since moving to the United States, he would have offered the All-Stars' most prominent threat.
Although Gerrard and Lampard are still settling after their recent transfers, their experience could have been key. There's the age-old question of whether the pair can play together in England—often asked because they produced an underwhelming partnership for the national team—so we're not going to receive any answers on Wednesday.
This encounter is Spurs' penultimate pre-season fixture prior to facing Manchester United in the Premier League opener on Aug. 8. Mauricio Pochettino's men finished fifth last season, largely thanks to the incredible output of youngster Harry Kane. The 22-year-old scored 21 goals last term, with only Manchester City's Sergio Aguero netting more.
Spurs' DeAndre Yedlin, who signed from Seattle Sounders earlier this year, will be familiar to American audiences. He shot to prominence after a fantastic 2014 World Cup and recently took time to answer questions about the upcoming match, per Spurs' Twitter account:
Ex-Tottenham man Clint Dempsey, who didn't enjoy the best of times at White Hart Lane, will also be looking to impact the match against his old team.
MLS All-Stars secured a 2-1 win over Bayern Munich last year after losing 3-1 to Italian side Roma in 2013. Spurs will come to play attacking, well-organised football with plenty of overlapping runs down the wings.
While Mastroeni's preparation may have been severely impacted by late omissions from the team, he should also look to get numbers forward on the break. Spurs struggled against counter-attacking sides last season and are prone to getting stuck in first gear if Kane and Christian Eriksen become isolated.