DENVER – In an announcement that has been anticipated for days, MLS commissioner Don Garber made a stop in Denver on Wednesday, naming the city as the host of the 2015 MLS All-Star Game.
“Colorado has become a destination for marquee soccer events, and we are thrilled to bring the AT&T All-Star Game to the region,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is a tremendous stadium, and we know the enthusiastic support of Centennial 38 and other Rapids fans will provide a great home-field advantage for the MLS All-Stars.”
Colorado had previously hosted the All-Star Game during the 2007 season in what was a 2-0 victory over Celtic FC.
It was also announced that Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni, who played on that 2007 All-Star team, will lead this season’s All-Stars as coach.
“We’d like to thank Commissioner Garber and Major League Soccer for the faith they have shown in the Colorado Rapids by allowing us to host the All-Star Game for the second time. It is a great showcase for our organization and community,” Colorado Rapids alternate governor Josh Kroenke said.
While many have speculated that the MLS All-Stars will face Stan Kroenke owned Arsenal of the English Premier League, an opponent was not confirmed during Wednesday’s announcement, although Garber stated the opponent will be “international” and “world class”.
The 2015 MLS All-Star Game will take place on Wednesday, July 29 at 7 p.m. MT at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. and will be televised on Fox Sports 1 and UniMas.
Colorado adds Cronin
With the departure of defensive midfielder Jose Mari, who returned to his home country of Spain to sign a contract with Levante UD in La Liga, Spain’s top division, the Colorado Rapids looked to add depth to the position.
The team did just that with the acquisition of 28-year-old Sam Cronin from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for allocation money.
“We’re extremely excited to have Sam join our group,” Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said via the team’s website. “He’s a player that garners respect from opponents and teammates alike because of his competitive mentality and his will to win.
The Rapids wrapped up their 2015 MLS SuperDraft with the same defensive theme that they started the draft with, selecting defenders with two of their final three picks in Tuesday’s remaining rounds.
But it wasn’t before they picked their first offensive player. Without a third-round selection, Colorado picked Senegalese striker Dominique Badji out of Boston University (67th overall).
Later in the round, the Rapids selected their third big defender of the draft, selecting 6-foot-4 Matt Jeffrey (78th overall) out of Monmouth University.
With the second to last pick, Colorado complete its 2015 draft class by selecting Brandon Fricke (83rd overall) out of Butler University. Fricke started all 18 of Butler’s matches in 2014, including one against Marquette and fellow rookie Axel Sjöberg.
The Rapids will kick off preseason against the San Jose Earthquakes in Las Vegas on Feb. 15.