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MLS commissioner Don Garber lauds All-Star opponent Manchester United

The MLS head man also addressed recent friendlies involving MLS teams and expressed his excitement for Wednesday's All-Star game.

NEW YORK - Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber would do anything to have a team of Manchester United's caliber in his league, but he understands that it will take years to get to the point that one of his squads will be anywhere near the English giants.

"Time," he told exclusively, "it's just going to take time. We'll get there eventually. I don't think anybody doubts that we're a league on the rise and we're a league that has our best years ahead of us."

With a select team that features world-class players David Beckham and Thierry Henry, the MLS All-Stars will face off against the Premier League club that won its 19th title last year on Wednesday at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.

Manchester United has played three exhibition matches against MLS opposition thus far in its tour of the United States and unsurprisingly walked away with three wins. The games have all followed a similar pattern that allowed United to play its MLS opponent close in the first half and then fire in a barrage of goals in the final 45 minutes.

"Manchester United is a great team," Garber said. "They're the best team in England and have been having a go at it with our teams the last couple of weeks and playing very competitively.

"With many of these games our teams have been putting a second team in at the second half. We've been putting out a reserve in the second half and they've been putting in Wayne Rooney. It just proves the depth and strength and the incredible power of Manchester United."

United defeated the New England Revoultion, Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire by 4-1, 7-0 and 3-1 scorelines, respectively, on its celebrity tour of the United States.

Now, the team will face its toughest task against the star-studded MLS squad and Garber acknowledges how important the All-Star game is for the growth of the league. 

"Special events are a big part of marketing in any pro sports league," Garber said. "Our All-Star game is one we feel is very valuable. It's a competitive match. It's not just our players playing against each other. It's our players testing each other against great players and great teams around the world.

"This is just another example of how serious we are about creating opportunities for our players and our league to come through the clutter and get some attention."

Although Garber knows what his All-Star team will be up against when it faces the Champions League runner-up from 2011, his MLS side will be no pushover. It will feature a pairing that many have been looking forward to seeing together on the pitch for some time.

"I think we'll have a good squad. Getting Henry and Beckham on the field for the first time will be fun and exciting," Garber said.

It's Major League Soccer's time to shine at least for a night.

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