It's the evening before the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, and the meetings, trainings, press conferences and pre-parties are in full force here in Philadelphia. Here are just a few of the highlights, courtesy of @MLS_Insider.
Tuesday began like most days for the guys, with a little morning kickaround. The setting? PPL Park, which looked plenty spiffy ahead of its big night on ESPN2.
As announced by MLS and the Union early this morning, there was a new face out and about for the All-Stars. Welcome to the show, Mr. Michael Farfan. Same stadium, just a few new teammates and some minor opposition to deal with tomorrow night.
Training concluded with some finishing, which left goalkeeper Dan Kennedy in a pretty tough spot as Jimmy Nielsen iced down off to the side. Kennedy's thoughts after being peppered for 15 straight minutes? This is the toughest session I've had all year.
From PPL, the travelling media contingent (along with Olsen, Donovan, DeRo and Henry) cruised to the Independence Visitors Center for the official pre-match press conference in conjunction with Chelsea.
Two different vibes. Di Matteo, Lampard and Mikel spoke sternly, while the mood lightened considerably once the MLS crew entered the room. Everyone was all smiles for the photo opp next to the Giant Ball, except for Landon Donovan, who looked more like he was ready to enter tomorrow's match than pose for pictures.
The players aren't the only ones busting their humps this week. The media are putting in ridiculous hours giving this match the attention it deserves. It's a massive occasion, and massive occasions typically call for podcasts featuring Alexi Lalas.
With the prematch pleasantries out of the way and the hype of tomorrow's match in full effect, it's time for everyone in attendance this week to unwind a little as the red carpet gets rolled out at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Walking around the hotel this evening, we caught a glimpse of the belle of the ball....
Jimmy's ready, and so are we. Should be a fun night out in Philly.