With less than one month before the 2005 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game, the coaching staff that will direct the MLS side against English Premier League club Fulham FC will be determined following the games of Week 14 which conclude on Monday night. Heading into the Independence Day weekend, head coach Colin Clarke has his FC Dallas side two points ahead of Steve Nicol's New England Revolution in a two-team race for the honor to lead the MLS All-Star team in the midsummer showcase on Saturday, July 30 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC Sports).
The coaching staff of the MLS All-Star team will be that of the team with the best record (most total points) in League play following games played on Monday, July 4. FC Dallas, currently in first place in the Western Conference with a 10-2-4 record for 33 points, can only be caught by the Eastern Conference leading New England Revolution (9-1-4, 31 points) for the best record in MLS following Week 14. The following are the scenarios that could determine the MLS All-Star coach:
Colin Clarke's staff coaches the All-Stars if:
Steve Nicol's staff coaches the All-Stars if:
Under MLS rules, the first tie breaker when points are even is head-to-head competition. Since New England and FC Dallas have not faced each other this season, the second tie-breaker of goal differential would be applied in the case that the teams are even on points. Going into the weekend, New England has a +15 goal differential and FC Dallas has a + 14 goal difference.
Under either scenario, the coach of the MLS All-Stars will be a veteran of the England top flight division as well as a veteran of the 1986 World Cup. Clarke, a former member of the Northern Ireland national team, played 361 game in England for Portsmouth, Southampton, and Queen's Park Rangers. Nicol, hailing from Scotland, made 467 appearances with Liverpool, winners of the 2005 EUFA Champion's League.
The 11 MLS All-Star starters will be announced on Wednesday, July 13 and the five substitutes and two Commissioner's picks will be announced on Thursday, July 14.