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Major League Soccer announced their 23-man roster for the All-Star game on August 6.
Unlike other professional sports leagues in the U.S., MLS does not select an all-star team from each conference to play each other. Instead, they make one team, and take on a top level European club team in the All-Star Game. This year it will be reigning German champions, and 2013 Champions League winners, Bayern Munich.
The MLS will be well-represented by members of the U.S. team that recently lost in the round of 16 at the World Cup. Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, and Matt Besler are among the better known Americans who made the roster. Thierry Henry of France, Jermaine Defoe of England, and Irishmen Robbie Keane are the top foreign players on the MLS squad. Yahoo! lists the other players to make the team.
The MLS All-Stars have been taking on European club teams in the All-Star Game since 2005, when they beat English side Fulham 4-1. The MLS won the first four years against European teams, but have struggled recently, being well beaten three of the past four years. The MLS lost 3-1 to Italian club Roma last year, and 4-0 to Manchester United in 2011.
For U.S. players like Dempsey and Bradley, the game presents a chance for them to get a bit of revenge. Germany, who defeated the U.S. 1-0 in the group stage of the World Cup, featured several players who also play for Bayern Munich. Thomas Müller, who scored the lone goal for Germany against the U.S., is joined by fellow World Cup champions Philipp Lahm, and Bastian Schweinsteiger on Bayern Munuch, among others.
The game is usually a decent measuring stick for how MLS players stack up against some of the best teams in the world. Yesterday the MLS's top team, the Seattle Sounders, played English side Tottenham to a 3-3 draw. Daily Mail provided a recap of the exciting contest.
The game will be played in Providence Park, the home field of the Portland Timbers, who have one of the best home crowds in the league. A team like Bayern Munich won't be playing there again any time soon, so the Germans should expect a rowdy crowd come August 6.
Photo Credit: Roger Wong/INFphoto.com