OBETZ, Ohio – During the 2008 preseason, the Columbus Crew took time out of their European trip to attend a Manchester United match at Old Trafford.
When they learned that there weren’t enough tickets for the entire traveling party, Crew forward Guillermo Barros Schelotto called his fellow Argentine Carlos Tévez and asked the Man Utd forward if he had some tickets to spare.
Tevez not only got Schelotto and others into the match, he put them in his personal suite.
On July 28, in Houston’s Reliant Stadium, Schelotto will have an even better view of the one of the world’s most fabled teams – minus Tévez, who is now with Manchester City.
Schelotto and defender Chad Marshall were named Tuesday to the First XI for the MLS All-Star Game, which features Manchester United as the opponent.
“We need to enjoy the game," Schelotto said. "It’s very good for us. The best thing is to play with the best teams in the world, like Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Boca [Juniors]. It’s a good idea. It’s much better than an exhibition.”
The First XI was selected by a combined vote of fans, league coaches and general managers, players, and media. The full 23-man All-Star roster will be announced on Monday.
“Individuals aren’t going to get the accolades unless the team is doing well,” Marshall said. “It’s a credit to the guys in the locker room.”
The Crew lead the Eastern Conference and are third in points overall behind Los Angeles and Real Salt Lake.
“They are performing well," Crew coach Robert Warzycha said of his All-Stars. "They deserve to go."
Schelotto is looking forward to playing the Red Devils after missing out in 2004 when Boca Juniors played at Old Trafford. He did not dress for that game.
Marshall said he is an Arsenal fan, but that doesn’t dampen his enthusiasm.
“It’s not often, or at all, you get to play against the most recognized team in the world,” he said. “It’s going to be fun. Hopefully we’ll pull out a result.”
Schelotto was named to the All-Star inactive roster during his first two seasons in the league (2007, ’08) and did not play. He was a First XI selection for last year’s match in Utah, but he did not participate in the penalty kicks loss to Everton because of a hamstring strain.
Marshall, voted the league’s top defender the past two years, was also a First XI choice last season and played the first half.