SAN JOSE, Calif., Sporting Alert – English Premier League side Arsenal will take on the MLS All-Star on Thursday night at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif.
Live coverage of the game will be on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMás, TSN2 and RDS, with the action gets going at 7:30 pm ET.
This year’s AT&T MLS All-Star Game will see some of the US league’s leading young stars joining several experienced players, as they try to upstage one of the top clubs in England.
Arsenal will be playing in the MLS All-Star Game for the first time and the London outfit is expecting a tough match against players who are already deep into their domestic season.
Some of the players scheduled to suit out for the MLS All-Star team are Clint Dempsey and Didier Drogba who will be no strangers to Arsene Wenger’s side, having played in the English Premier League in recent years.
Brazilian playmaker Kaka, deep-lying playmaker Andrea Pirlo, Sebastian Giovinco, Kyle Beckerman, Giovani dos Santos, Jermaine Jones and Cyle Larin will also suit out to represent the American league.
Among the younger players mixing it up with the veterans are goalkeepers Andre Blake and David Bingham.
The Gunners are expected to have a strong lineup for this contest, with the likes of Petr Cech, Nacho Monreal, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Granit Xhaka and Theo Walcott all set to feature.
Games against the MLS All-Stars are usually very entertaining and battling, and Arsenal forward Walcott is anticipating a similar encounter on Thursday night.
“I’m sure American soccer, as you guys call it, is actually gaining very close to Premier League standard, definitely,” the England speedy forward said. “There’s a lot of players that have come from England to America.
“The game’s growing, it’s getting bigger and that’s exactly what we want.“
Walcott also singled out a certain forward rival.
“Didier [Drogba],” he noted. “He’s always loved scoring against us, so we want to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
He added on the forward Chelsea forward: “Obviously, there’s a little bit of a [rivalry] between him and Petr [Cech, Arsenal’s goalkeeper], being mates back at Chelsea, so we’ll see.
“He’s going to be a difficult animal to tame. But for the guys it’s going to be a great test – you’re going to be going against one of the best strikers who’s ever lived. So good luck to the guys.”
The MLS All-Stars head into Thursday’s game searching for their third successive win in this series, having won against Tottenham Hotspur and German champions Bayern Munich in the last two editions.
This game will be the Gunners’ second of the pre-season, after playing to a 1-1 draw with RC Lens in their lone warm-up this summer.
MLS ALL-STARS vs. ARSENAL FC
2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game
July 28, 2016 • Avaya Stadium, San Jose, Calif.
7:30 pm ET (ESPN, UniMás, TSN2, RDS)