For those who watched the World Cup religiously this post if for you. For those who can think of many reasons to hate soccer then it's best to just move on.
Since the finals of the World Cup, international soccer has been at a lull. Four more years can't be here any quicker (Though I wish it'd crawl by because I don't want to think about being four years old these days). I had the Italy-France final on my Tivo until today when I finally had to say goodbye. Here in the United States where the only soccer action that has been going on has been regular season MLS and US Women's exhibition game. Both instances the games were probably watched by only those who attended the game.
But now soccer fans here have a reason to watch soccer played on US soil. Saturday's MLS All Star game features the best of MLS against the New York Yankees of English Premier League. Chelsea comes into town boasting a payroll near $200 million. The owner has paid nearly $800 million in player contracts and transfer fees since 2004.
The owner of Chelsea is gazillionaire Roman Abramovich. He is a Russian oil tycoon and the richest person in Russia with an estimated fortune of $18.2 billion. He bought the team is 2003 for a reported $233 million with change he found under his couch cushions. Chelsea then was a team in debt and had a history of losing. He then opened his deep pockets and poured massive investments into the club. The result has been consecutive Premier League titles for the "Blues," whose lone title before the 2004-05 season in their 101-year history came in 1954-55. A record of 58-6-12 record while outscoring opponents 144-37 en route to its two titles shows its recent dominance.
They have 14 players who participated for their respective countries at the World Cup this summer. If you watched the World Cup then you know names such as Ballack (Germany), Shevchenko (Ukraine), Robben (Holland), Terry, Cole, Lampard (All from England), Essien (Ghana), Drogba (Ivory Coast). To put it simply, this is a roster full of stars and salaries it would make Steinbrenner blush.
This is a pre-season game for Chelsea who will defend their English Premier League title starting August 19th. So they're looking to get ready for the season and avoid any major injuries. However they want to put on their best performance. This is their opportunity to broaden their market to the United States, gain new fans, and beat those silly Americans soccer players.
For the MLS this is a brilliant move. The opposition is top notch. It'll be a measuring stick of the level of the MLS. If the MLS gets slaughtered then it's not a suprise.
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