Today MLS announced the MLS All-Star Game will take place on July 29th with English Premiere League team Tottenham Hotspur as the opponent in Colorado. Seriously? Tottenham? Colorado?
Tottenham currently sits 7th in the EPL, a league without any teams remaining in UEFA Champions league. They haven’t qualified for UEFA Champions Tournament in years (I believe 2010/2011 was their last appearance, not counting the “Play-In” games to get to the group stages), and may not qualify for the “second place” Europa League tournament. They are mediocre at best, especially compared to the other names that have come out of Europe to play the MLS All Stars in recent years: Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and AS Roma. We were taking steps forward with proving our talent against top European teams. Tottenham is a giant leap backwards.
Then there’s the venue: Colorado. Colorado hosted the 2007 All Star Game, so why are they getting a second one so soon? MLS has yet to play an All-Star game in its current format (All-Stars versus “Guest”) in California. Strike One: Tottenham as the opponent. Strike Two: Colordao as the venue.
Strike Three for Quakes fans: the Quakes are supposed to be “official” partners with Tottenham, so shouldn’t an All Star Game against Tottenham be played in San Jose, especially with our new stadium?? Make no mistake, fellow Quakes fans, our “partnership” with Tottenham was simply an honorary title, as we only had one player from Tottenham play for San Jose: Simon Dawkins, and haven’t seen any players move across the pond on either side since. After Simon’s stellar performance in 2012 which helped us win the Supporters’ Shield, Tottenham demanded a huge transfer fee, hence his return to London and the pratical end of our partnership. To make matters worse, Tottenham also partnered with Toronto FC last year, an MLS rival, in which TFC got Jermaine Defoe! If you think the Quakes are partners with Tottenham, I got some great beach-front property in Arizona I’d love to sell you.
I’m sorry, but MLS botched this one. The venue is repetitive, the team is average, and Quakes fans got screwed. The silver lining: it does open the door to a better team coming to Avaya next year for the MLS All-Star Game, but I ain’t holding my breath.