Thursday, July 19, 2007

MLS All-Star Game Tonight

Juan Toja goes airborne

As I've written before, I've become a soccer fan, especially of Major League Soccer (MLS) here in the states. Tonight marks roughly the halfway point through the 2007 MLS season. Partly because there are still so few teams, and partly to attract the interest of international fans, the MLS All-Star game pits the best in the MLS against a famous foreign team. This year that team is Scotland's Celtic FC. The game is on at 9:00 Eastern on ESPN2 and Galavision (I'll be watching the latter, muchas gracias).

Hopefully they'll start FC Dallas' new star and only representative to this year's All-Star team: Juan Toja. He's usually a lot of fun to watch, despite the complete inability of any announcers to mention him without talking about his hair, especially in relation to Led Zeppelin or Spinal Tap. Just this week, Toja was named the MLS Player of the Week, for his two-goal contribution to Dallas' biggest ever comeback (they were down 3 to 0 at DC United, but came back to tie).

If nothing else, even if you don't plan to watch the game tonight, at least watch this short (1 minute) highlight clip of Toja's two goals against DC United last week. The first goal is a nice, solid one, but it's the second goal, a header, that's really good. That's the goal the picture above is of (from the fine FC Dallas fan site, 3rd Degree).

P.S. No, Beckham won't be in this game, but he's expected to play this weekend in an "international friendly" exhibition match between LA Galaxy and Chelsea FC of the English Premiership (if his ankle's okay). It seems that the foreign press is really scoffing at Beckham's move, MLS in general and LA Galaxy in particular (e.g., "Galaxy dismissed as pub team by media"). Granted Galaxy has been pretty crummy so far this year, but it will be interesting to compare what people are saying next year at this time. Hopefully it will be a very different story, and in a good way...


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