The MLS All-Star Game is coming up. The cream of the crop in Major League Soccer are set to take on English titans Arsenal in San Jose on July 28th. Every year the MLS sets up an All-Star game against a well known European club, and every year American soccer fans come out in droves to see the teams battle it out. We all know that the match is a glorified friendly, and that both teams are out to promote each other's respectful teams/leagues, but is the MLS All-Star game worth your time?

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Is it worth MLS's time, or is it even worth the time of their opponent for that matter?

Let's take a look and see if the MLS All-Star game is worthy of all the excitement around it.

Benefits

First of all, this game is a huge promotion tool, and a cash cow for the league. Not only does it fill up the stadium when there are two high quality teams on the pitch, and boost merchandise sales, but the awareness of the league is spread tremendously.

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MLS is a league that is still growing and desperate to earn respect from its European counterparts, and bringing some of Europe's best teams over to play against them is huge, especially if the All-Stars earn a good result. We've seen the All-Stars take on the likes of Chelsea, Roma, Tottenham, and Bayern Munich, to name a few. Over the past few years, MLS has managed to get decent, respectable results against these teams.

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They beat Chelsea 3-2, lost 1-3 to Roma, beat Bayern 2-1, and beat Tottenham 2-1. That's a 75% success rate for the past 4 years, and if they can win this week, that will go even higher. 

On top of the aforementioned benefits, the All-Star game gets exposure for some budding young talent against world-class teams, and the possibility of those teams expressing interest in them. The team is a fair mixture of the old and the new, the aging superstars and the exciting new prospects. This year features some players who have made their presence known at a young age, such as Orlando's Cyle Larin, or Philadelphia's Andre Blake.

The older stars, such as Kaka or Didier Drogba, have nobody left to impress other than fans of the MLS, but their class and natural ability shine on the pitch regardless of the opponent or seriousness of the match. 

Disadvantages 

The All-Star game is, when it comes down to it, just a friendly. There is no ticket to the Champions league, and no promotion or relegation. There is nothing wrong with a friendly, except when it comes in the middle of your season.

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The All-Star game takes place in the summer, when the European teams are able to venture over and have some pre-season fun. This is not the case for MLS. Their season begins in March, so a match in July is right in the thick of the competition, when teams are taking shape and making important pushes for the playoffs. All of the sudden, many teams have one or two of their best players plucked from the roster, while they're still left to compete in matches with actual points at stake. 

The game poses very difficult questions to the European opponent as well.

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How are they to line up? Should the young players get some time off the bench, or should they give the superstars a chance to play? Is it worth the risk of a pre-season injury? The lineup ultimately effects the level of respect that the end result deserves. Should we really be freaking out if the best of the MLS beat Arsenal's reserves? Should we really be upset if we get stomped on by Roma's A-Team? If the team is a good variety of reserves and first-teamer's, do we think they are playing hard? Wouldn't they want to take it easy before the important matches come up?

The posing of these questions alone raises doubts for many who are not immediately enthralled by the concept of the All-Star game. 

Whether you stand in favor of it or not, the MLS All-Star game is massively entertaining. That factor alone is worth it for the viewer. The other factors are secondary, and are deemed important or not individually.

So, what does the game mean to you? Make sure to leave a comment!

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