Everton chosen as MLS All-Star opponent

Tim Howard 1 (AP) 

Tim Howard's Everton has been chosen as Major League Soccer's opponent in the 2009 MLS All-Star Game, the league announced on Wednesday.

This year's All-Star game is set for July 29th at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, home of Real Salt Lake.

The match-up will mark the sixth straight All-Star game featuring a foreign club. MLS has yet to lose since the format was adopted.

While Howard's return to face MLS is a great storyline (and those with long memories will remember Howard's own MLS All-Star game heroics of years gone by) the selection of Everton will be seen as disappointing to many in a year that will see so many more high-profile teams visiting the United States on tours this summer.

What do you think of the choice? Love Everton as an opponent? Think it's a terrible pick? Just happy to have a chance to see Tim Howard facing off against MLS opponents?

Share your thoughts below.

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65 Responses to Everton chosen as MLS All-Star opponent

  1. Dannyc58 says:

    People will love this pick, despite bashing West Ham as last years pick–despite WHU being 2 places behind them.


  2. Tim F. says:

    Everton is a quality club. I hope Arteta has fully recoverd by then and bet Howard posts a shutout.

  3. Keith says:

    Unfortunate for RSL fans, as RSL played Everton in 2007. Would have been nice to see another international team come to town.

  4. ELAC says:

    Snore. Is this all the MLS can afford? Didn’t they just get 10 million from Milan?

    No offense, but Everton isn’t even the best team in their hometown.

    Very mediocre. Very MLS.

    Wake me up when Real Madrid or Barcelona or Bayern Munich or Juventus or Manchester United come.

  5. EDB says:

    Lame. While its a top table EPL team, there is no wow factor. I would rather have Villa which plays an attractive dynamic style if we can’t get a top club.

  6. Frank the Frowner says:

    Wow. Talk about terrible. This is just pathetic, why can’t they just go back to Internationals vs Americans or East vs West.

  7. Isaac says:

    okay ELAC lets call in Real Madrid so we can get creamed. THAT will get more people behind the idea of an MLS All-Star Game….

  8. EDB says:

    Isaac I don’t know why you think the All Stars would get creamed by Real Madrid when they beat chelsea a few years ago..

  9. rednow.red4ever says:

    As this is the all-star game, it’ll sell out. However, it’s kinda funny seeing as Everton hasn’t been the best draw against individual MLS teams. Well, not for the Fire last year at least…

  10. Nick says:

    Let’s be real here for a moment… Are we (MLS fans) actually disappointed that the league got Everton, a finalist in the (yet to be played) FA Cup and a top tier EPL team? I think the league lined up a quality opponent and it should be great game. Are the naysayers ever going to be truly happy?
    Seriously, if the league lined up Barca, there would be people complaining that it wasn’t Real Madrid. If it were Arsenal, people would be screaming for ManU or Liverpool.

  11. Beech says:

    I predict an appearance by Joe-Max Moore and hopefully Preki is coaching the all-stars. This is not a bad opponent – yes lacking some wow factor but WestHam didn’t really have that coming from the field either. It was their fans.

  12. Henry says:


  13. Mercurius100 says:

    Good pick for Everton and for MLS. Everton can increase their exposure in North America, and as long as Howard plays US fans win. Villa had their chance and blew it, Everton is still the best European team with a US player.

    Snobs who think the MLS somehow deserves a G-14 team every year are insane. Come back in 20 years. Plus I don’t want to see a top team’s U17 players wipe the floor with the top players in MLS.

    MLS gives us a serious contender for a CL place who should play a USNT star and at least a couple other regulars. That’s right in the correct MLS range and will make for a good matchup.

  14. kpugs says:

    Good to see MLS hasn’t changed their policy on choosing teams they will slaughter mercilessly, enough of this already. Go back to east vs. west and let the fans see more of their favorite players. People sometimes wonder why this league is a joke globally, and yet we are given a new reminder every other day.

  15. DC Josh says:

    MLS should have gotten Milan to be the all-star contender in the Beckham arm wrestling match they had with them.

    I’m excited about Everton. I don’t like the timing of the all-star game. The European teams are weak and not in form. MLS should team up with another federation, say the FA, and get the MLS all-stars to play the Premier League best XI. That would be more interesting than watching in form MLSers pummel an out of form reserve team from Europe.

  16. DC Josh says:

    I’m a backer of internationals vs. americans for the all-star game. Our league was designed to help US soccer as a whole, so why not exploit that by allowing our best MLS americans take on the best MLS internationals. I don’t like seeing all the imports take spots because they are popular. I’d rather have guys in the starting XI because they earned it, not because they bunny hopped around the field and swan dive into the grass relentlessly.

  17. Master of the Obvious says:

    EDB – after Chelsea’s performance yesterday I guess we can see the difference a top Premier League team and a top La Liga team. Chelsea was so scared of Barcelona yesterday. Real Madrid is a marked step up from Chealsea – IMHO.

  18. Il Consigliere says:

    I haven’t watched an all-star game since the first one (b/c I was there)…so it doesn’t really matter to me who they play.

  19. Turtle says:

    I’m fine with this. Everton will make a good competitive game. Will it be a huge draw like the teams mentioned above – probably not. it will be entertaining nonetheless.

    I wouldn’t count on Timmy playing since the finals (and semi finals) of the Conderations Cup is the 28th!

  20. Homey Boehme says:

    “The match-up will mark the sixth straight All-Star game featuring a foreign club. MLS has yet to lose since the format was adopted.”

    As long as there are no declarations after another All-Star game win of how the MLS is truly a top quality league that can compete with the best teams in Europe, I won’t complain too much.

    And I’m really sick of the West Ham fans complaining about how they should get the respect that Everton has from American fans. Tim Howard doesn’t play for West Ham. Everton has also never been relegated from the Premiership. Consistent top 10 and top 5 finishes usually gets you more respect than a club who fields illegal players in order to ensure premier league survival.

  21. EDB says:

    I don’t see why they don’t try to partnership with the A league or the J league and do a home and away with all stars or something to increase the profile.

  22. Turtle says:

    Homey Boehme – daaa-aang!

  23. nico says:


  24. Turtle says:

    oops. In the post above I meant the 3rd place game – not semi finals – is also on the 28th. If the us makes it out of the group they will be in one of those two games….

  25. Turtle says:

    And I have the month wrong. Nevermind. July is wide open for Howard to play in this game.

  26. TXForever says:

    Yawn… either play top-flight clubs, or go to West vs. East like every other American league, or US vs. International players, N.A. vs. World.

    Love Tim, but I won’t be watching this yawner… and I’ll assume this will be yet another ratings hit for ESPN soccer coverage.

  27. Eric K says:

    Should be a good game, Everton is a very solid team. I always look forward to the All Star game, as opposed to other major sports ours is an actual competitive match.

  28. A.S. says:

    “I wouldn’t count on Timmy playing since the finals (and semi finals) of the Conderations Cup is the 28th!”

    My, you’re optimistic! What are the chances that the US are playing in the finals of the Confed Cup?

    I like it. Everton are a good side, with an American player. Bringing an AC Milan wouldn’t be an improvement.

  29. Rekro says:

    The problem with MLS is that they actually take this game seriously. For Everton, this is just another friendly.

  30. hendrix says:

    will you chumps stop complaining?

    last year i heard the same complaints about West Ham… then I attended the allstar game at BMO and it was the best MLS game I’ve ever seen. The quality was the highest ever, and the game was the thoroughly enjoyable.

    RSL fans will love it.

  31. Salt Laker says:

    Everton are quality, but in preseason they will be no match for the all stars. A weak RSL side beat a preseason version of Everton 2-0 a couple of summers ago. When the game was announced, I was hoping for Man U or Real Madrid. As those became less likely I was getting excited at the prospect of Villareal.

    It will be a fun event, but everyone’s expectations (including my own) were raised to the highest level when Chelsea was brought in for the All Star match.

  32. TonyT says:

    Wish they would make an EPL, or La Liga All Star team and come and face the MLS All stars.

  33. kevindjohnson says:

    I’d prefer Real Madrid or Liverpool or even InterMilan. But this will sell out and great to see a hugely successful American head home to a great crowd i’m sure.

  34. RK says:

    As I’ve been saying…

    This doesn’t make sense.

    Everton is in the same position as Villarreal and Valencia — possibly having to play a Europa League qualifier on the same day.

  35. ELAC says:

    We need to stop being small-minded American soccer fans and push the envelope.

    Milan, Inter Milan, and Chelsea are all coming to America this July.

    We couldn’t play one of those guys?

    Our standard of football can only improve. Why not test ourselves?

    You don’t think Donovan or any other American player in the MLS would go balls out?

    How un-American. Everton is the real deal, but shoot for the stars not the clouds.

  36. Guavaguy says:

    I like the MLS vs. international team format. Long may it live, as long as we get good teams (Everton is okay, but please let’s not go lower than that.)

    I love how posters seem to be evenly divided between those who fervently believe that MLS will take Everton out behind the woodshed, and those who equally fervently believe that a Real Madrid-type team would take MLS out behind the woodshed. I, for one, believe an MLS All-Star team will be competitive with any team in the world on any given day.

  37. wykell says:

    Turtle – you were close – while the Confed Cup finals are in June, and won’t be an issue, the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final is on July 26th, just 3 days before. Not saying Timmy and the USA is a lock to get in (espec. as the A team will be in S. Africa for the Confed Cup during some of the qualifying matches), but there will quite possibly be some CONCACAF based MLS Allstars in the Gold Cup Final. I’m just not really sure how or why the MLS would pick that date with the Gold Cup Final taking place so close to it (and the GC Semis are only a few days before the final as well, if I remember the schedule properly.

    Ives, do you have any thoughts on this?

  38. Chris says:

    I’m guessing it’s been said before, but I think it’d be cool if the FMF made an All-Star team and played the MLS All-Stars.

  39. MickND says:

    The naysayers are just being Europricks. They fail to recognize that there are quality teams with interesting story lines that are outside the big four of England, the big two of Spain, or the big three of Italy.

    Think about it, how interesting would it be if Bayern came, not achieving as much in the European competitions, but would still be entertaining to watch Donovan and the all stars beat them.

    Honestly what’s not to love bout the current, best preforming American coming home to take on the best of his old league?

  40. A. Ruiz says:

    I’m dissapointed, I saw the exact same team vs the Fire last year and they were less than impressive. Fire reserves won 2-0, and everton had a good mix of their starters. When not at full fitness a mid-table premier league team is not much to look at. Well, we saw it with West Ham last year.

    Seriously, they couldn’t get Boca Juniors, River Plate, Gremio, Corinthians, Sao Paolo, Fluminense or etc on the phone? I rather see MLS match with them. Hell, I’d rather see us play Urawa Reds, just to see if their fans make the trip.

  41. Heffe says:

    I was at the RSL v Everton game a couple of years ago. I don’t think Everton was a bad pick, but I was hoping to see a different team come to town that we haven’t seen. Forget Real Madrid too. They were supposed to have some sort of a close relationship with RSL, but they have only shown up the one time to support the relationship.

    I, myself, would have liked to see Bayern come through, since that is a team that hasn’t been through RSL country yet, or even Barca. Oh well. It will still be fun to cheer on Tim as well.

  42. Skinn says:

    Get rid of the all-star game. All-star games suck.

  43. Drew says:

    solid not spectacular. personally i have no problem w/everton playing in this game.

  44. PCFC says:

    “Snore. Is this all the MLS can afford? Didn’t they just get 10 million from Milan?

    No offense, but Everton isn’t even the best team in their hometown.

    Very mediocre. Very MLS.

    Wake me up when Real Madrid or Barcelona or Bayern Munich or Juventus or Manchester United come.”

    Why do you even support the MLS? Those super clubs get too much time in the media anyway and keeping our ambitions lower (still high) is much better for the league. I’m sure the Beckham and Gullit deals were great for MLS too (sarcasm smiley).

    Great decision by the MLS in my eye.

  45. Jonathan says:

    Is this the portion where I’m supposed to be excited. I’d rather mow the lawn.

  46. Dannyc58 says:

    Homey Boehme,

    I think Jonathan Spector is much more interesting to watch than a GK that we reguarly see.

    We all have our opinions. If you want to get corny, you can thank West Ham for England’s national team.

    You can also kiss my Claret & Blue Bottom!

    (Kidding, kidding)

  47. Joamiq says:


    (Dannyc, that “People will love this” was a bit premature, don’t you think? It’s like you want people to hate West Ham.)

  48. Dannyc58 says:


    Call it whatever the f*ck you want. The fact that you people bash the teams and not the MLS is pathetic.

  49. T-Bot says:

    I think they should go to a rotation: East v West; US v Int’l; MLS v PL club; MLS v USL. After Montreal ran the table on the best of the MLS and Seattle’s (post USL) strong start this season, USL would make a great opponent.

  50. Dannyc58 says:

    Joamiq, didn’t mean that curse towards you. I’m just sick of people bashing West Ham and having no clue what they are talking about, a la “illegal players”.

    And half the people that post here thought they’d be relegated this year.

  51. Markizzy says:

    Everton? Really?!?!? The best club the MLS could bring in is Everton? RSL had Everton here a couple years ago and a horrible RSL team beat them… Now granted not all their stars were playing and I am sure they not playing full strength but Arteta, Neville and Howard all played.

    As an RSL season ticket holder I was excited to see that the All-Star game was included in our package… but I was hoping for someone better than Everton!

  52. madmax says:

    MLS enjoys beating up on mid-table EPL teams. Not very interesting. East/West would probably be a better game for fans as nobody would defend.

  53. PCFC says:

    How is Everton a middle-table EPL team?!!

  54. Dominghosa says:

    Mid-table is for the Fulhams and West Hams of the world.
    sorry, got a kick out of that one.

  55. JoeyRugg says:

    To all of you losers complaining about Everton and their “lack of quality,” why don’t you take a moment to consider that on their best day, MLS all-stars couldn’t hang with the Everton reserves… Go Toffees!

  56. Lee says:

    MLS All-Stars vs FMF All-Stars.

    Who (among MLS fans that is) wouldn’t want to see that??!!


  57. Leonardo says:

    All-Stars v. AC Milan. Winner keeps Beckham. good idea *EDB*

    I like it. Esp. that our best player TIMMY will be on the other side! I hope 90% of the stadium wears *HOWARD* jerseys – if i win tix to the game, I will!

    Personally, I wonder if MLS is trying to be more like EPL and pick only EPL teams. I hope they pick a La Liga team like Villareal. And the next year, Weder Bremen. And the next, a French team. Then at the end of the season, play a J-League All star team (dunno if they have one, i just made it up).

    i like it!

  58. Danny says:

    I wish it was RSL’s sister Club, Real Madrid :(…But Everton are a good side filled with some great players…I can’t wait to see Timmy Howard back in the States again :)

  59. Jimmie says:

    They need two games for the All star “event.”

    A main event with the MLS all-stars v. Everton.

    The undercard would be MLS 2nd tier all-star vs a USL team, preferably either portland or vanc.

    That would be worth the money.

    That would be awesome.

  60. jamin barnes says:

    Everton is a solid side.

  61. RLW2020 says:

    look forward to this. although chelsea, madrid, ac milan, and inter will be touring the US this summer.. surprised they are not participating.

    the all star game is kind of a joke; a tv event. but at the same time it is an american tradition in all of our sports, its on tv and is publicity for the league. Playing the best eleven players in the league for 90 minutes against some quality teams from across the world (even if it is a reserve team) is not a bad thing either.

    lets no forget the point of the mls, usl, etc is to develop soccer players in the US and Canada so why not embrace an event like this.

  62. newyorker says:

    I think the choice is a bit weak. No disrespect to Tim Howard or Everton but it would have been better had they picked Valencia, AC Milan, or Villareal or a team from another league for a change. It is a bit amateur that they picked Everton when they played against the Fire and RSL a while back. I think the MLS All Star game has a lot of potential because there are several ways it can be organized such as US v. International players, having the best XI of the premier league, having MLS v. International American players, etc.

  63. Scott says:

    I’ve watched the past 3 MLS All-star games. Chelsea, Celtic, and West Ham. West Ham was by far the most enjoyable, and the best competition. I expect Everton to be the same way. Chel$ea seemed dis-interested and Celtic just did what Celtic does, kick it hard and foul a lot. West Ham really seemed like they were playing to win. I think its a good fit and will be an enjoyable game.

  64. madmax says:

    After the top 4, every team in EPL is either mid-table or fighting relegation. EPL is static, has been for years.

  65. f4denz says:

    Listen people MLS and RSL are trying to make money on this event, so let’s think about it for a second. There are 20,000 seats, but 8,000 of those seats will go to RSL season ticket holders, another 1,000 will be gobbled up by MLS. So that means that there are 11,000 seats to be sold for this match, if you average the price at 75 buck (a very generous amount) you get 825,000 in ticket sales.

    To bring over Real Madrid a couple years ago cost almost 1.5 million with all the costs. So the ability to bring a team that will cost more than $500,000 simply isn’t there.

    Real Madrid is hosting the Peace Cup at the same time as the MLS All Star match, top prize 2 million Euros, second is 1 million and 3rd and 4th are 1/2 million Euros, why would a team come to the states when they can play for that? 12 teams went to that tourney, then the 4 clubs in the Football World Championship tourney (all playing in large stadiums) are all getting over a million bucks.

    This is economics, consider that MLS wanted from day one a Mexican side that they could get for 250,000 or less. If it were East vs. West or US vs. World players in the league there would be no special draw, it isn’t like we are going to do skills competitions, and other events to bring in big time attention.

    The ability to bring in an international team makes this match at least something people will want to go to.