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Diverging views on what an MLS win means

Jul 25, 2012, 11:59 PM EDT

AT&T MLS All Star Game - Chelsea v MLS All Stars Getty Images

CHESTER, Pa. – From the Major League Soccer side, All-Star games are about holding serve.

If the home team wins, everybody rightly points out that Chelsea is just days into a months-long adventure, hardly fit and just looking not to pull a darn hammy. All vagaries of motivation fall squarely on MLS side.  So when Chelsea loses, we all just shrug and order another beer.

Truly, no one believes that a collection of a few good and a few great MLS men can conspire to cook up a better soccer soup than Chelsea. As some people put it sarcastically on Twitter, Wednesday’s 3-2 win outside Philadelphia “means MLS is better than Barcelona, right?”

On the other hand, if Chelsea – or some other European heavyweight that becomes All-Star opposition du jour – prevails, then everyone makes it a referendum on league quality, an alleged demonstration of confounded MLS inferiority.

So, as long as Ben Olsen’s team didn’t get run out of PPL Park (as the All-Stars did over the last two years), we’re not assigning much significance one way or the other. We just smile at a nice, 3-2 match and then commence to arguing about EPL and MLS and making better milkshakes or whatever.

But if we spin the ball around and look at it from another side, a win for the MLS All-Stars is really something of a shocker. Consider the rosters:

For Chelsea, 9 of 11 starters are full internationals who play regularly for their countries. Six more off the bench can be considered current internationals.

For Major League Soccer? Just two.

Even if you count David Beckham and Thierry Henry – and we probably should, since they are former internationals who have reached a certain age, but ones who represented the gold standard when they were on top of the world – you only arrive at the number four.

  1. jerichowhiskey - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    A better indicator would perhaps be the friendlies that were on Tuesday night. At least those weren’t entirely cobbled and trained together in a short time.

  2. pensfan603 - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    The message should be does this mean the english clubs are gona stop trying in the allstar game aagain they use to not care and play terrible with chelsea’s lsoe they could take it as a joke again. Also the MLS should be winning if yuo take the 20 or so best players in the league and have them on one team they should be able to beat chelsea. Last when you look at how Olsen subbed players that also plays an affect Chelsea coach left his players in longer while Olsen was taking players out early and it helped him alot it makes em wonder if coaches should be aiming to take players out early
    But ya the saterday results were interesting.. The Columbus Strokes game both teams were trying neither really put out there first roster but the point that colombus scored twice with development players shows something about there development team vs Strokes..

    • handsofsweed - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      Columbus’ only scratch in that game was Chad Marshall, who is resting that wonky ankle for a minute. And both goals were directly set up by Emilio Renteria, who isn’t a development player, but a very good MLS starter.

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