FC Dallas Head Coach Colin Clarke and his staff will lead the MLS All-Stars against English Premier League club Fulham FC at the 2005 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game on Saturday, July 30 at Columbus Crew Stadium (3:30 p.m. ET live on ABC Sports). FC Dallas secured a league-high 34 points through games played as of July 4, two more than the Chicago Fire and New England Revolution, joint leaders of the Eastern Conference. A victory on Independence Day by the New England Revolution would have given the spot to Steve Nicol and his staff but the Revolution instead came away with a 1-1 road tie against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Clarke, a former member of the Northern Ireland National Team who scored a goal in the 1986 World Cup, is a veteran of England's top flight league. He played 361 games in England (1981-1993) with six different teams, including Portsmouth, Southampton, and Queens Park Rangers. During his 12-year career, the hardnosed striker scored 146 goals. Joining Clarke at the helm of the 2005 MLS All-Star team are FC Dallas assistant coaches Steve Morrow, Brian Haynes and Marco Ferruzzi as well as Head Athletic Trainer Josh Watts, Director, Team Administrator and Player Personnel Bobby Hammond, and equipment manager Marcus Owens.
"It's a great honor to coach in the All-Star Game and it means that our team has done very well thus far," Clarke said. "I'm looking forward to this game and making a statement for MLS. I'm very competitive and I hate to lose. But Fulham will also be taking it very seriously and they are a team that has done well over recent years in England. There will definitely be an edge to this game."
Following the 2005 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game on July 30, Clarke and his staff will then prepare for the first game in the history of Pizza Hut Park, the country's newest soccer-specific stadium in Frisco, Texas which is scheduled to open on Saturday, August 6 when FC Dallas hosts the MetroStars.
The 41-year-old Clarke, who was named head coach in December 2003, has led FC Dallas to the best start in club history. With a record of 10-2-4 (34 points), FC Dallas already has as many wins as it did during the entire 2004 regular season campaign (10-14-6, 36 points). Clarke, a former assistant coach with the club for three years, holds an FA coaching badge and a USSF "A" coaching license.
The MLS All-Star starting XI will be announced on Wednesday, July 13. The starters are determined by online fan balloting comprising 25 percent of the total vote, with MLS coaches and GMs (25 percent), media (25 percent) and players (25 percent) accounting for the remainder. On Thursday, July 14, Clarke and his staff will select five All-Star Game reserves, who will join two other Commissioner selections to comprise the MLS 18-man roster.
Fulham, one of the oldest clubs in world soccer dating back to 1879, is owned by Chairman Mohamed Al Fayed and coached by Welsh Manager Chris Coleman. The team, which makes its home in London's renowned Craven Cottage, features several high profile internationals in its ranks including U.S. National Team regulars Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra, Canadian star forward Tomasz Radzinski, the second highest all-time goal scorer in the Premiership Andrew Cole, Portuguese forward Luis Boa Morte, England defender Zat Knight and Senegalese international midfielder Papa Bouba Diop.
The game on July 30 will represent the return of McBride to the city which he called home for eight seasons while playing for the Crew before joining Fulham in January 2004. Former Chicago Fire defender stalwart Carlos Bocanegra, a two-time MLS Defender of the Year, will also make his return to the All-Star Game wearing the black and white of Fulham.
The 2005 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game featuring Fulham FC offers four levels of ticket pricing, ranging from $25 to $45 for individuals. Tickets can be acquired at the Crew Stadium Box Office, at any area Ticketmaster outlet, via phone at 614-431-3600 or online at www.MLSNet.com or www.TheCrew.com. Group pricing is also available. For more information or to purchase group tickets call The Crew at 614-447-CREW.
MLS All-Star Game Coaches:
Bruce Arena (2-1-0)
1997 MLS Eastern All-Stars (W 5-4)
1998 MLS USA All-Star Team (W 6-1)
2002 Men's U.S. National Team (L 2-3)
Bob Bradley (1-0-1)
2001 MLS Western All-Stars (T 6-6)
2003 MLS All-Star Team (W 3-1)
Eduardo de la Torre (0-1-0)
2003 CD Guadalajara-Chivas (L 1-3)
Bob Gansler (0-1-0)
2000 MLS Western All-Stars (L 4-9)
Ray Hudson (0-0-1)
2001 MLS Eastern All-Stars (T 6-6)
Glenn Myernick (1-0-0)
1999 MLS Western All-Stars (W 6-4)
Ron Newman (0-1-0)
1997 MLS Western All-Stars (L 4-5)
Peter Nowak (1-0-0)
2004 MLS Eastern All-Stars (W 3-2)
Lothar Osiander (0-1-0)
1996 MLS Western All-Stars (L 2-3)
Thomas Rongen (1-1-0)
1996 MLS Eastern All-Stars (W 3-2)
1999 MLS Eastern All-Stars (L 4-6)
Sigi Schmid (0-1-0)
2004 MLS Western All-Stars (L 2-3)
Frank Yallop (1-0-0)
2002 MLS All-Star Team (W 3-2)
Octavio Zambrano (1-1-0)
1998 MLS World All-Star Team (L 1-6)
2000 MLS Eastern All-Stars (W 9-4)