SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Even before the first kickoff, soccer fans in San Jose scored a goal. Major League Soccer All-Star players have descended on San Jose to play against London’s Arsenal team on Thursday.
Soccer fan Joel Soria came from Modesto to see his favorite international soccer superstars, including Brazilian Major League Soccer All-Star, Ricardo Kaka. He got autographs and lifetime memories.READ MORE: COVID Vaccines: Contra Costa Drop-In Sites End Frustration Among Those Struggling To Find Appointments
Soria said, “These players are world class and it’s astonishing to have them here, right at your feet so to speak.”
Avaya Stadium is home to the Major League Soccer All-Star game, pitting the best players from Major League Soccer against one of the world’s most famous club teams, Arsenal F.C.
It’s a star studded event with players who most American sports fans may not have heard of, but are household names practically everywhere else in the world.
MLS All-Star Sacha Kljestan said, “I think when you get guys like Kaka, David Villa and Pirlo on the field together, you’re going to get some magic.”READ MORE: Armed Bike Thieves Targeting Cyclists in the East Bay Hills
The Gunners as they’re known, who play in the Premier League from London, England, say it’s not something they take lightly.
Arsenal Goalkeeper Petr Cech said, “The players in the MLS are obviously in the middle of their season, they are fit … and obviously they have the advantage.”
Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger said, “We are under pressure every time to win the game, we play to win. We want to win with style, respecting our identity, our values.”
After the Super Bowl, Copa America, and the U.S. Gymnastics Trials, it’s yet another big ticket sports event to hit the South Bay.
Dave Kaval, the president of the San Jose Earthquakes, said “Everyday we’ve had Cesar Chavez Park completely shut down with activations, we had the Flo Rida concert, we have open training at Avaya Stadium, we have the home-grown game tomorrow. It’s just one thing after another and it’s a great way to showcase our city.”MORE NEWS: COVID Reopening: San Francisco Allows For Small Indoor Gatherings Among Fully Vaccinated
The MLS game starts at 5 p.m. on Thursday. It will be broadcast into 166 countries.