WASHINGTON, April 11, 2012 — Major League Soccer’s best players will take on Premier League giant Chelsea FC in the MLS All-Star game Wednesday, July 25 at PPL Park, the home of the Philadelphia Union, in Chester, Pa. The 8:30 p.m. kickoff game will be shown live on ESPN2 and ESPN2, TeleFutura.
Chelsea is having a tough season in the Premier League but is UEFA Champions’ League semifinalist and F.A. Cup semifinalists.
Philadelphia Union coach Peter Nowak will lead the MLS All-Stars. Nowak, then at D.C. United, was the coach when the All-Stars beat Chelsea 1-0 on a goal by Dwayne De Rosario in 2006 at Chicago’s Toyota Park. For the last two seasons, the MLS All-Stars have been crushed by Manchester United: 5-2 in 2010 in Houston, and 4-0 last year at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
This is the ninth time in the All-Star event’s 17-year history that the All-Stars will play an international team. The MLS All-Stars have a 5-2-1 record in this format. The All-Stars have played teams such as Manchester United (2010 & 2011), Everton FC (2009), Chelsea FC (2006), Fulham FC (2005), and Chivas de Guadalajara (2003).
“Hosting a club as successful and prominent as Chelsea FC makes the AT&T MLS All-Star Game a destination event for the North American soccer community, one that will attract a global television audience,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “Our players relish the opportunity to challenge the world’s best and play under the All-Star spotlight.”
Chelsea is currently sixth place in the English Premier League. The team plays Barcelona next week in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League, and Tottenham in the semifinal of the F.A. Cup on Sunday. The London-based club boasts international stars such as Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Michael Essien (Ghana), Frank Lampard (England), Fernando Torres (Spain), Petr Cech (Czech Republic), Florent Malouda (France), Juan Mata (Spain) and John Terry (England). The All-Star Game will be part of Chelsea’s North American tour, which includes a game against the Seattle Sounders FC on July 18.
“We are excited to have the chance of a re-match against the MLS All-Stars and are in no doubt it will provide a competitive fixture as we build towards the 2012/13 season, having lost narrowly in the match six years ago, with Peter Nowak the All-Stars coach that day too,” Chelsea Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said.
Tickets: An exclusive VISA pre-sale will begin on Wednesday, April 25 at 10 a.m. EDT via PhiladelphiaUnion.com. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, May 9 at 10 a.m. local on PhiladelphiaUnion.com at the box office or by calling New Era Tickets at 1-800-298-4200.
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