Thierry Henry and Peter Vermes defend All-Star format

The 2013 All-Star coach and captain backed up the league's policy of bringing in top European sides for the annual mid-season showpiece.
Kansas City, Kan. -- In the wake of the MLS All-Stars' fourth loss to European opposition in five years, those involved with the match defended the format which pits the cream of the American domestic league against foreign opposition.

Asked what Major League Soccer gained from playing foreign clubs in the All-Star game, New York Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry was adamant.

"Exposure!" he responded. "Who will watch East v. West in Europe? I'm telling you, no one.

"I was there before, we didn't watch the game."

Sporting Kansas City and 2013 All-Star coach Peter Vermes was more diplomatic than his matchday captain.

"That's a decision that takes place much higher than my level," he replied. "I don't think it's a bad thing by any means. It's a great environment, it's a great game. If all we're looking to do is win a game, then easily you could set something up.

"These are real games, these are real teams that come in here to play. And sometimes results don't go your way, but at the end I think it's more than just the winning of the game. It's really the experience for everyone who participates in it. It's not just a game on Wednesday night, it's everything that goes along with it."

AS Roma beat the All-Stars, 3-1.