CONCACAF Gold Cup matches. U.S. Open Cup final. Olympic qualifiers. World Cup qualifier. Now Livestrong Sporting Park can cross off MLS All-Star Game from its hosting bucket list.
MLS announced Thursday that the 2013 MLS All-Star Game will be held at the soccer-specific home of Sporting Kansas City on July 31.
"We said when we came here for the groundbreaking of this stadium we would be back here for special events," MLS commissioner Don Garber said at a press conference at Livestrong Sporting Park.
The opponent for this year's game has yet to be announced, but the league has maintained that it will stay with its MLS vs. international club opponent format. Garber said that the opponent will be announced in the coming months and that "you can be sure it will be a world power and somebody who will add to the excitement of the format."
"We think it's one of the most exciting All-Star formats in all sports," Garber said. "We're going to take on some big guys and hopefully stand toe-to-toe against the great powers.
Last year MLS made it so that the host team coach would coach the MLS All-Stars, and Garber confirmed that Sporting KC boss Peter Vermes will lead MLS this summer.
Last year, the MLS All-Stars topped Chelsea at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., with Chris Wondolowski, Chris Pontius and Eddie Johnson scoring the goals that took down the reigning UEFA Champions League-winning Blues. The win snapped a three-year losing streak for MLS, which had been routed by Manchester United in consecutive seasons and fell to Everton in penalty kicks in 2009.
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