MLS All-Star Game Takeaways

“Old” Guys Shine Against SpursMLS All-Stars 2015

The players that stole the show for the MLS had to be Kaká, David Villa and Nick Rimando. The average age of those three players: 34. In the attack, it was a vintage Kaká performance as he found the back of the net from the spot and whipped in a pin point cross for Villa to smash home. The Brazilian is continuing to show why Orlando City put so much effort into bringing the Ballon d’Or-winner down to Florida. On the defensive end, it was the Nick Rimando Show. The Real Salt Lake keeper kept the All-Stars in the match for the first 45 minutes as he twice denied the hottest striker in the Premier League, Harry Kane, from point black range. As Tim Howard nears his return to the national team, Rimando will be forced to fight for his spot on Klinsmann’s team and with performances like these it will be hard to exclude him.

Can Matt Besler Handle the Best?

One of the biggest disappointments of the All-Star game had to be Sporting KC’s Matt Besler. Long considered one of the best center backs in the league, and a perennial selection for the U.S. team, the 28-year-old looked completely outclassed Wednesday night. On several occasions, Besler lost track of his mark and if it weren’t for Rimando’s heroics, these mistakes would have led to goals. Before Harry Kane’s wonder strike of a goal, it was a Besler slip that preceded Kane’s breakaway. As World Cup qualifiers get ready to start, fans have to wonder whether or not Besler can still go up against the world’s best?

Should the MLS go to East vs. West?

As the talent level in the MLS starts to increase, is it time for the league to abandon European opponents and go back to an East versus West format? The problem with foreign opponents is that they come into these games in the middle of their preseason and still striving for fitness. This means that the talent level provided by these teams takes a significant drop. A switch to an intra-league matchup would pit two teams in midseason form against each other, while also giving more MLS players the opportunity to showcase their talents. I also feel like this switch would lead to an increase in competitiveness on the field, especially if the league provided an incentive for the winning team. The big question has to be whether or not this switch would be worth the potential loss of revenue from not hosting a European club? Let’s see what Don Garber does.

Harry Kane Looks Primed for Takeoff

Kane scores vs MLS All-Stars

After a breakout season last year, Tottenham fans will be hoping Harry Kane can replicate his 21-goal form for a second straight year. On Wednesday night, the 22-year-old was arguably Spurs’ best player of the match and was unlucky not to have a first half hat trick. Granted, this match is just a friendly and, with all due respect, the MLS All-Stars don’t provide the same type of opposition as most Premier League teams are capable of, but this performance still warrants some optimism for the coming season. With the season opener against Manchester United quickly approaching, we’ll soon learn whether or not last year was a fluke or the start of something special.

 

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About the author: Collin Carpio

 

I am currently a senior at the University of Missouri in the Journalism School. I have been an avid follower of Manchester United since 2006 and of course I support the Stars and Stripes. Due to my St. Louis high school allegiances, I am a big supporter of Brad Davis and Sporting KC in MLS.

 

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