For the last 15 years the MLS All-Star Game formula, including this most recent MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, has remained unchanged, as the league's best take on a European giant gearing up for their upcoming domestic campaign. But as the league has evolved, the All-Star Game may soon transform with it.
Liga MX President Enrique Bonilla, attending Wednesday night's festivities in Atlanta as a guest of MLS Commissioner Don Garber, spoke to the media prior to MLS All-Stars' loss in penalties to Juventus and dropped a fascinating hint at the future of the All-Star Game.
Bonilla said it's possible that MLS All-Stars could play Liga MX All-Stars "very soon," while offering effusive praise of the state of the league.
"The MLS has made a big effort and they are light years away from 25 years ago, when they started,” Bonilla said. “Now, they’re one of the best leagues, probably, in [the Americas]. We are only three or four leagues, one is MLS, the other one is us and maybe the Brazilian [league]. If we compare with Europe, if we put aside the big three or the big four… maybe we are very close, or we are even with those leagues.”
Of course, any potential friendly showdown between the league's collection of individual talent isn't the only plan for North America's top two leagues to cross paths. On September 19, the inagural Campeones Cup will take place, as the champions of each league Toronto FC and Tigres, will play a competitive match. Bonilla is more excited for that than any potential All-Star Game discussions.
“We joined forces to bring a better show, better football to our fans and bring official competitions to our fans,” Bonilla said. “We have to bring something that is official, that is worthy to suffer in the stands and to enjoy in the stands."
The format of subsequent All-Star Games has been a popular topic of conversation surrounding this year's edition. Both Sebastian Giovinco and Brad Guzan offered their thoughts, as players and fans will have to wait and see what happens in 2019.