It's a different spin for the MLS All-Star game this year, as the league's top talent will be coming together to take on the All-Stars from Liga MX for the first time when the sides face off in Los Angeles on August 25.
D.C. United winger Paul Arriola has played in both leagues extensively, first with Club Tijuana in Mexico from 2013-2017 before his move to DCU, making him a prime candidate to assess this year's All-Star Game presented by Target and all the implications involved. Arriola stopped by the latest episode of Extratime to discuss exactly that, among other topics, with host Andrew Wiebe.
Regarding the upcoming showdown between MLS and its regional counterpart, Arriola said he could envision a scenario where it acts as something of a scouting opportunity for Liga MX players that may be considering an MLS move at some point in their careers.
"To be honest with you I think it's another opportunity for those players as well to take a look at MLS,"Arriola said. "I think players would be lying if they said they weren't intrigued by the thought of playing in MLS. I think for everybody the question is the level, which I think can clearly be left behind and be a thought that shouldn't exist anymore.
"But that's definitely I think how players are feeling. They want to know what it's like and obviously I'm sure most of the players have played with players that know about MLS or a lot of them are foreign, so I think it's an opportunity for them as well to be able to come and showcase themselves and really experience it and see if it's worth it for them."
It's all part of the continuing evolution of the league, which Arriola said is gaining more quality all the time, which he's experienced firsthand during his time with DCU.
"I think there's a lot of quality in Liga MX, but I also think there's a lot of those guys that would love the opportunity to come to the US and play and get a chance to play an on MLS team, because I think the MLS is definitely trending in the right direction in all aspects," he said.
Check out the entire interview and more analysis from the Extratime hosts in the full episode.