Playground: Divvying Up The MLS All-Stars And Manchester United

If you’re new to TSG, a few things were fond of over here are fake drafts, hypothetical teams and playing manager.

"Okay, I'll take Berba if I have to"

A few months back, TSG suggested that the MLS All-Stars be broken up with two captains (at the time we suggested Landon and Wayne) picking teams. What a great moment it would be to see Dimitar Berbatov standing all by his lonesome and Rooney looking around with the last pick and no else to take and finally stammering under his breath to Donovan, “Okay, I’ll take ’em….you got me there.”)

With this idea in mind, TSG writer Brain Mechanick–and expert in running hypothetical player drafts online–and friend of the site Christian, a Manchester United expert and an expert on all things Mexican football, set out to compete (You, the reader, will vote below!) by picking sides from the MLS All-Stars and Sir Alex’s Traveling Circus.

Oh and please vote, there is a little skin in the game for both of them. If Christian wins, Brian has to write a piece for the site why the hated Red Devils will win the EPL this season.

But if Brian wins, Christian has to explain why this will be the year for Mechanick’s beloved Tottenham Hotspur.

The Draft Results: (Brian in Red, Christian in Blue)

Le Toux: The first MLS attacker picked after Lando...

1. Landon Donovan

2. Paul Scholes

3. Darren Fletcher

4. Ryan Giggs

5. Nani

6. Edwin Van der Sar

7. Omar Gonzalez

8. Jonny Evans

9. Javier Hernandez

10. Sebastien Le Toux

11. Rafael

12. Kevin Alston

O'Shea: "How does Bornstein go before me?!"

13. Wilman Conde

14. Marco Pappa

15. Darron Gibson

16. Federico Macheda

17. Jonathan Bornstein

18. Chad Marshall

19. Dimitar Berbatov

20. John O’Shea

21. Donovan Ricketts

22. Jeff Larentowicz

Christian’s Team: Patriots United

Patriots United (click to enlarge)

Allow me to introduce to everyone Patriots United, the best team ever assembled between Manchester United and the MLS All-Stars.

Patriots United will be playing 4-2-3-1, and at goalkeeper, there’s no better option here than Van Der Sar, his credentials speak for themselves. There are four men at the back; Kevin Alston and John O´Shea provide the explosiveness needed as the right and left backs of the team. Alston has tireless efforts going forward up the pitch and O´Shea has the experience needed to control the movements of his marker. Evans and Marshall will provide the perfect partnership as the center backs of the team, both have youth and experience and aren’t shy to provide the toughness needed.

In midfield the team has the perfect holding player in Larentowicz, a well-rounded midfielder who will destroy the other team’s attacks. Alongside him (with license to move forward) will be Paul Scholes, playing deeper linking the midfield with his enormous experience and goalscoring ability. In front of the holding midfielders is Marco Pappa, the Guatemalan playmaker who has the talent needed to exploit the spaces left, capable of taking the ball and win the game single-handedly if needed, controlling perfectly the flow of the game and passing to the moving wingers.

Le Toux is the right winger, and with his creativity and pace he can either stay wide or cut to the middle.  On the left wing is Ryan Giggs, who plays deeper than he used to but still knows perfectly how to play in the other team’s spaces.

As a lone forward will be Kiko Macheda, who has the ability to hold the ball or the explosiveness to lead the counter-attack.

This team is the best that could have been assembled, has it all, pace, explosiveness, intelligence, tactical discipline, defensive experience, certainly a tough day for whoever stands against them.

Brian’s Team: Red Star B-Mac

Red Star B-Mac (click to enlarge)

My squad, Red Star B-Mac, takes the best of MLS and Manchester United, and combines them into one super-squad.

Red Star is built around a philosophy of dynamic attacking. Dimitar Berbatov leads the line, playing with his back to the goal to hold up possession and distribute. Slightly off him is the dynamic Mexican, Javier “Chícharito” Hernandez. As his cracking goal versus Argentina showed, when dropped off a ball, Hernandez can do something special on the shot.

Two dynamic wingers are going to give the opposition nightmares, as Nani attacks on the right wing and Landon Donovan the left. Look for Nani to send in some great crosses to Berbatov, while LD cuts in to the right.

The central midfielders hold down the fort with bit of flair. The Scot Darren Fletcher and Irishman Darron Gibson are similar players, both 6’0” box-to-box midfielders that can take possession.

At defense there is a philosophy: dynamic fullbacks and big strong center-halves. Rafael and Jonathan Bornstein have pace and creativity going forward, and create the width to allow Nani and Donovan to cut inside as they please. In the middle I have the two best center backs in MLS, Omar Gonzalez and Wilman Conde. At 6’5” and 6’2” respectively, they can not only shut down the game in the air, but also shut down forwards with the best of them. With Donovan Ricketts in goal, who has transformed the Galaxy’s defense from worst to best in MLS in just two years, don’t expect any goals to get by this defense.

14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alex on 2010/07/26 at 10:49 AM

    i’m always gonna vote for the team that LD is on. he’s a game-changer and a winner


  2. Posted by mgc on 2010/07/26 at 12:10 PM

    Red Star’s midfield is the difference maker. Gibson and Fletcher combine better, with Donovan and Nani making run after run on the wings (hopefully tracking back a bit every now and then). Speed kills.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/07/26 at 12:21 PM

      Interesting, I’m not sure the Red Stars–especially in midfield–look like Bob Bradley’s squad in the midfield with two primarily defensive stoppers in the middle.

      I’m a very big Gibson fan–but I think that the way that Manchester United play he will never be a continual starter. He’s very good at shooting, distribution, and defense, but not excellent in any one thing. He would be a starter for any of 17 teams in the Premiership beyond Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal on a continual basis.

      Fletcher to me is an incredible soccer athlete with a potential lethal shot, he just needs a little more field.

      In this game they’ll clearly trump Scholes and Larentowicz. Not sure why no one selective Shalrie Joseph in this one.


  3. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/07/26 at 3:07 PM

    Why is Chicharito in the hole instead of Berbatov? Shouldn’t there roles be switched?

    And Patriots United looks ridiculously overmatched on the defensive side of things. Spped of Red Stars on the wings is too much for Alston/Oshea. Patriots looking a couple steps to slow & not quick enough in the offensive end.

    Reds 3-1 Patriots


    • Posted by Brian Mech on 2010/07/26 at 4:27 PM

      There’s two minds on this. Some manager’s prefer the pacey forward highest up the pitch, ready for through balls. I prefer the target man to take the high line, then be able to distribute to either the trequartista or the wingers. If you have an oaf like Nikola Zigic you may be right in having him play in the hole, but a skilled big man like Berbatov can pass to slashing players or turn and attack the goal.


  4. Posted by dude on 2010/07/26 at 3:24 PM

    Landon, Nani, and a much better defense. Also, Macheda still hasn’t gotten there yet, and maybe never will. Berbatov, though not overly impressive, still wins out.


  5. Posted by dth on 2010/07/26 at 6:28 PM

    No Danny Welbeck? I like him better than Macheda.


  6. Just wondering but why is there no Rooney in this draft? Did he not make the trip to the States?


  7. Posted by MicahAC on 2010/07/26 at 6:48 PM

    Red Stars might be out matched on the defensive side but, with the experienced Van der Sar pulling the strings they could be a surprise. I also like Giggs, Pappa, and Le Toux up top, not sure about Macheda. I say Red Stars 2 -1


  8. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/07/27 at 6:32 AM

    Just because he is in front of the back four, Scholes isn’t a DM, he’s a DLP. Pretty big difference if you think about it.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/07/27 at 5:19 PM

      correction: ball winning DLP. Funny thing is, your comment reminds me of the role Baby-Bradley plays, he’s a ball-winning AM


  9. Posted by matt on 2010/07/27 at 2:48 PM

    Somebody shoulda taken schelotto. The maestro still gets no respect.


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