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21 July 5:43 pm

Say what you'd like about the current AT&T MLS All-Star Game format, one thing is for sure: It certainly lends itself well to a little trash talk. 

We don't mind a little banter now and again here at MLS Digital, so with the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game coming up on Wednesday, we thought we'd give you a chance to do just that with a new Facebook app that allows you to write your own special message to the Chelsea crowd. Just try and keep it clean. 

MLS All-Star jersey

Best thing about all this is MLS Gear has joined in on the fun. They're going to be giving AT&T MLS All-Star jerseys to the masterminds of the five most popular posters, so make sure you tell all your friends about what you've just told Chelsea. 

What if you're not one of the winners? Well, there's still a whole heap of fresh All-Star swag that you can pick up to remember Wednesday's match. 

And for all the Chelsea supporters reading this, you can get in on the fun, too. We guess. 

Here are a couple of our favorites so far. But the voting isn't up to us so click on the ones you like and give them a thumbs up.

MLS All-Star Poster MLS All-Star MLS All-StarMLS All-StarMLS All-Star MLS All-Stars

21 July 3:48 pm

Ever dreamed of being on field level watching the MLS All-Stars warm up or winning free Philadelphia Union tickets? Well, now is your chance.

EARLY FANS OF THE GAME are automatically eligible to win one of 50 great rewards by simply entering the stadium gates before 8 pm. 

EARLY FANS OF THE GAME prizes include:

  • Pre-Game Field Experience Passes
  • Post-Game Autograph Opportunity with a Philadelphia Union player
  • Philadelphia Union Game Tickets
  • Free MLS LIVE Subscription
  • MLS Autographed Memorabilia
  • Food and Beverage Discounts
  • Merchandise Discounts

Fifty fans entering before 8 pm will be randomly selected by stadium staff and given prizes on the spot. Please arrive early, enjoy beautiful PPL Park and all of the 2012 MLS AT&T All-Star Game festivities.

21 July 1:30 pm

Brendan Rodgers had nothing to say about Clint Dempsey at Friday's press conference in Toronto, but that doesn't mean the reports in England linking Liverpool to the American have slowed down.

The newest claim from the Daily Mail is that Liverpool could yet offer midfielder Charlie Adam as part of the deal to bring Dempsey to Merseyside. Of course, no offer has been made thus far according to Fulham, so maybe the tabloids are getting a little ahead of themselves. No surprises there.

Is Liverpool the right move for Deuce? What do you think he's worth? Make your voice heard in the comment section below.

21 July 12:43 pm

American owners in the Premier League have a tendency to divide the opinions of even the most like-minded supporters.

Such is the case at Liverpool, where John W. Henry and Tom Werner's (pictured above) Fenway Sports Group are attempting to bring the club back into the English elite after a few disappointing seasons.

PHOTO GALLERY: John Henry at Liverpool training in Boston

On Thursday, I chatted with Mariner about a myriad of topics surrounding Saturday's friendly against the Reds at the Rogers Centre (4 pm ET, Fox Soccer/Sportsnet), including his thoughts on American owners in general as well as what was happening at Liverpool specifically.

READ: Henry says Rodgers is inspirational

Here is what he had to say:

“I’m a massive fan of North American ownership. Being around some fantastic owners in Robert and Jonathan Kraft [in New England] and now Larry Tanenbaum at MLSE, these guys are extremely wealthy people but they really care about the game. It’s similar to with [American players], there’s a certain stigma attached to American owners: ‘Oh, they don’t really know the game.’ They absolutely do know the game, the traditions, everything about what it means to take ownership of Liverpool Football Club. They know what it means to all the fans. They’re fantastic businessmen.

"If you look at what we have in MLS, it’s single entity and we’ve got the salary cap, which early on – I must admit – was laughed at a little bit by the European clubs. But with the advent with teams going into administration, like Glasgow Rangers which I never ever in a million years would have thought that they would be going into administration, they’re looking at the American model and thinking, ‘You know, this is not such a bad idea.’ When I would go to business conferences before I was head coach and I was director of player development, people would come to me and say, ‘You know, this business model that you’ve got, this salary cap, is not such a bad idea.” A lot of people are looking at this in a really serious way and saying this is a really good way to go. I know for a fact that Liverpool Football Club are in fantastic hands.”

21 July 12:06 pm

When's the last time you've ever seen or heard Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich speak to the media?

Exactly.

So it comes as somewhat of a surprise to see the photo we stumbled on in this video, courtesy of Chelsea's New York Blues supporters club.

We'll see how loud these same fans are at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, when the European champs meet Paris Saint-Germain in the third of nine matches in the 2012 Herbalife World Football Challenge (7 p.m. ET).

Watch the video here:

20 July 7:59 pm

Off the train, into a cab, around a corner onto Fairmount Ave. and there it was.

Sitting prominently on the famous steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, kids and their families sprinted eagerly to pose next to it while museum go-ers stopped and pointed. 

This was not the Rocky statue. Instead, a massive replica of the official adidas PRIME matchball of Major League Soccer. This was the #GiantBall.

Like any game, the ball was the star today, the thing that everyone (including a horde of media) had their eye on. That is, until Commissioner Garber and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter stepped up to the podium to signal the start of five straight days of festivities here in Philly.

Despite the spotty weather conditions (Read: It was freezing), Philadelphia Union faithful were out in force to hear Mayor Nutter show a little love for the lone Union representative in this year's game (Carlos Valdes) and welcome the rest of the League to the city he oversees.

Following the announcement, a massive group of children lined up side-by-side next to the Giant Ball to kick more appropriately-sized adidas Prime replicas down the steps. Once the last had been launched, the Sharpies came out for a signing session of a different variety.

The kids on hand weren't given any autographs on this day. Instead, they were permitted to make their mark on the ball that will make its way all over the city until Wednesday. The Commissioner got in on the action, as well:

Immediately after the event, the Giant Ball was already on the way, stopping next at Tir Na Nog on Arch Street where Jeff Agoos and Nelson Rodriguez gave an in-depth presentation on the nuts and bolts of MLS to local supporters. No gloss, no sugar-coating which made the dialogue that much more valuable for everyone taking part. 

Smiles all around, it's going to be a good week.

20 July 6:36 pm

All-Star Social Chat Series

We're rolling out the red carpet this year, and you don't need a press pass to participate. Join Seattle Sounders forward Eddie Johnson, Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jay DeMerit, KICK TV personality and ex-USMNT player Jimmy Conrad, and MLS Commissioner Don Garber for our exclusive 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game Social Chat Series. 

Whether you're a casual observer, an armchair analyst, a Jimmy Conrad superfan (okay he made us put that in) or a seasoned reporter, this is your opportunity to go keyboard-to-keyboard with the MLS folks you know and love. 

Date Time Person Position Affiliation Location
Sun. July 22 9:00 PM - 9:30 PM ET Eddie Johnson F Seattle Sounders Facebook
Mon. July 23 9:00 PM - 9:30 PM ET Jay DeMerit D Vancouver Whitecaps Twitter
Wed. July 25 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET Jimmy Conrad D KICKTV, ex-USMNT Twitter
Wed. July 25 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM Don Garber C Major League Soccer Facebook

Mark your schedules with the dates, times and locations above, and follow us on Twitter for reminders as the chats approach.





 

20 July 1:00 pm

Le leader San José sera en danger à Vancouver dimanche, alors que ses poursuivants, qui ont pour la plupart une défaite à se faire pardonner, ont une tâche a priori moins compliquée.

Barry Robson compte confirmer ses débuts réussis en Colombie-Britannique contre la meilleure attaque du championnat où Alan Gordon relaie avec succès Steven Lenhart actuellement sur la touche. Plus tôt cette saison, Vancouver avait déjà gagné chez lui contre San José (2-1).

Contre New England, Kansas City voudra se relever de sa défaite à Houston. DC United aura le même objectif lors de son déplacement à Columbus où il n’a plus gagné depuis l’été 2007. Et que dire de Salt Lake, qui voudra effacer contre Colorado l’humiliation subie à San José la semaine dernière.

Le moral est meilleur à New York, où Sébastien Le Toux recevra ses anciens coéquipiers de Philadelphie (direct RDS2, ESPN, ESPN2 et TSN2). De leur côté, les téléspectateurs de Galavision assisteront au derby LA Galaxy - Chivas USA qui, pour une rare fois, revêtira un important intérêt sportif.

Deux matchs amicaux seront également à l’affiche du week-end : Toronto - Liverpool et Chelsea - PSG. 

LE PROGRAMME COMPLET
Samedi 21 juillet
14h30 : New York - Philadelphie
19h30 : Columbus - DC United
20h30 : Kansas City - New England
20h30 : Houston - Montréal
21h00 : Dallas - Portland

22h00 : Salt Lake - Colorado
22h00 : LA Galaxy - Chivas USA
Dimanche 22 juillet
19h00 : Vancouver - San José

Toutes les heures HE (heure de New York et Montréal)
Rendez-vous ici pour la disponibilité des matchs sur MLS Live et les diffuseurs locaux
Hors États-Unis et Canada, vous pouvez voir des matchs de MLS via ces diffuseurs ou LiveSport.tv

20 July 12:33 pm

Paul Mariner is tasked with slowing down Liverpool FC on Saturday, but that doesn't mean he isn't averse to sharing a few pointers with a fellow English No. 9.

Andy Carroll's future with the Reds may be in doubt – rumors have been swirling about his future under Brendan Rodgers, with a return to Newcastle gaining the most momentum – but Mariner didn't hold back when asked what advice he would give the 23-year-old striker.

A former England international and target forward back in his day, Mariner drew on his own experiences to identify a weak point in Carroll's game.

“I learned from a very early age that if you want to be successful at the highest level, you’ve got to be very consistent and you’ve got to have tremendous movement," Mariner told MLSsoccer.com. "In the old days, when defenders could come through the back of you, if you stood still, you were absolutely stupid because you wouldn’t last two minutes on the football pitch. You had to be constantly on the move.”

And how would Mariner apply that lesson with Carroll? As it turns out, with a little help from US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

“Andy's an unbelievably imposing figure. He can strike fear in any defense. The one bit of advice that I would give Andy is that when he’s in the box I’ve noticed he’s just a bit static," Mariner said. "He’s got such tremendous ability. One of the greatest players that I saw in the modern era was Klinsmann. Klinnsman in the box was unbelievable.

"I remember one of the first goals he scored against Sheffield Wednesday. He basically made a step in front of the defender, then stepped out, the ball was delivered and all of a sudden it was in the back of the net. I’m only talking about a yard or half a yard, not massive distances. You’ve just got to unsettle the defenders when the ball is coming into the box. If Andy was to do that, then he’s very difficult to stop.”

Of course, Toronto FC fans will hope Carroll doesn't heed that advice come Saturday afternoon.