Seeing that only six teams make up the Major Indoor Soccer League, we're wondering just how star-packed the MISL All-Star Game, taking place at Gund Arena on Sunday, February 17, really is. After all, this is a sport struggling for survival, with teams pretty much playing each other weekly.
It's also a bit ironic that the league's very worst team, our own Cleveland Crunch, is hosting this inaugural gathering of greats. Three Crunchers made the West Squad, but only one -- six-time MVP Hector Marinaro -- is starting. At least the team has lined up a weekend of events for Crunch fans and folks visiting from Baltimore (home of the Blast), Philadelphia (Kixx), Kansas City (Comets), Harrisburg (Heat), and Milwaukee (Wave).
Friday's fun includes player appearances around town and a press conference and luncheon at the Renaissance Hotel downtown. Afterward, there's a "Late Night at the Hard Rock Café" in Tower City. No one's exactly sure what's in store, but tossing together a "late night," the Hard Rock, and soccer players can only result in one wild ride.
Saturday begins with a "Breakfast With Champions" at the Cleveland Metroplex in Warrensville Heights, followed by practices, skills competitions, clinics, and -- get in line early! -- an "autograph alley." More food is due at the Soccer Ball Dinner at the Renaissance that evening . . . and another "Late Night at the Hard Rock Café." (Don't these guys have a game or something Sunday?)
On game day, there's a party at Gordon's Restaurant in the Gund and a "Superstars of Soccer" game featuring MISL legends. Then comes the big game itself, followed by a "Post-Game Party Jam" at Tower City. The entire weekend culminates in -- yep -- yet another "Late Night at the Hard Rock Café." Makes you almost forget about soccer, doesn't it?