Arsenal FC, with a squad 29 strong, have jetted off to the United States of America. There are plenty of household names in that squad list, but also some interesting absentees. Ghanian midfielder Thomas Partey is perhaps the most eyebrow-raising name among those who are absent, and that has just further churned the transfer rumor mill.
According to a report in Football.London however, he’s not leaving the club. He’ll join up with the rest of the North-Londoners at a later point this preseason.
? Skills Challenge
? All-Star Game
It’s @MLS All-Star week – and here’s how to watch LIVE ?
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 17, 2023
MLS All-Star Game FYIs
Arsenal vs MLS All-Stars (managed by Wayne Rooney)
Kickoff: Wed July 19, 8:30 EST, Audi Field, Washington D.C.
Match Notes and Quotes: go here
Arsenal Preview Content: Team News Starting XI Prediction
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Watch: Apple TV
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 16, 2023
All-Star Game History
This is the second time that Arsenal have served as the opponent for the MLS All-Stars. They also came across the pond in 2016 for this exhibition, where they emerged victorious 2-1 at PayPal Park in San Jose, California. As that game was at PayPal Park, every goal scored came with it an additional fee that is really a detriment to people on both sides of the exchange. ..(hey hey! Please remember to tip your bartenders, I’ll be here all week).
Overall, All-Star games, not matter what sport they are in, are perfect as meaningless friendlies.
They just do not work at all, as a genre, when the leagues and/or media try to ascribe/attribute legitimate meaning to the results. Remember, the concept of All-Star Game was pioneered in 1933, by the then Chicago Tribune sports editor, for the upcoming World’s Fair.
He innovated the idea to have the American League and National League All-Stars stage an exhibition at Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox, that summer. The MLB All-Star game was born, and eventually, all the other American sports leagues followed suit in their own way.
Including the MLS, and light-hearted fun has been had by all. So again, don’t read too much into what happens here.
Arsenal Team News
In addition to Partey, Captain Martin Odegaard missed the friendly against Nurnberg due to a minor calf injury. However, he is in the travel party. Oleksandr Zinchenko also has been battling a calf issue, but he’s in the travel squad as well. Also making the trip stateside, despite missing out on the first exhibition match, are Gabriel Martinelli and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Elsewhere Emile Smith Rowe will reportedly join up with the rest of the group once he returns from his delayed holiday.
He is coming off international duty with the England U21s. Two players who will not me making the trip, due to injury are Nicolas Pepe and Albert Sambi Lokonga. By the way, the former is now no longer the all-time most expensive signing in Arsenal history- given that they just went official with the news of the Declan Rice acquisition.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.