20,000 turned out Friday night to see Manchester United train at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. That number will rise to 83,000 for tonight's A-League All-Star game between those available from Australia's top flight and those non-injured Manchester United players currently on an Asian tour. Despite all the hand wringing about the A-League representatives and the disappointment in Wayne Rooney missing the game, the event is expected to be a huge success.
FOX Soccer Channel will broadcast the game live in the United States starting at 5:25am Eastern (2:25am Pacific) and will re-air the exhibition at 1:30pm Eastern (10:30am Pacific) on Saturday.
The match is the first All-Star game in the A-League's eight year existence and the opponent could not be bigger on name value and fan interest. While other Premier League clubs concurrently tour Asian capitals (Chelsea and Arsenal have passed through Jakarta, Bangkok and Hanoi to date) and Liverpool are on their way to play Melbourne Victory on Wednesday, United have drawn massive crowds in their first Australian visit since 1999. The All-Star game is nothing new to the Red Devils, regularly playing representative XIs in various countries including the MLS All-Stars in both 2010 and 2011.
The two squads include the following:
GK: David De Gea, Anders Lindegaard, Ben Amos
D: Rafael, Phil Jones, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, Alex Buttner, Fabio, Michael Keane
M: Michael Carrick, Anderson, Tom Cleverley, Ryan Giggs, Wilfried Zaha, Jesse Lingard, Adnan Januzaj
F: Danny Welbeck, Robin Van Persie
GK: Ante Covic, Michael Theo
D: Nigel Boogard, Josh Rose, Pedj Bojic, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Connor Chapman, Josh Risdon, Michael Beauchamp
M: Thomas Broich, Billy Celeski, Brett Emerton, Rhyan Grant, Michael McGlinchey, Liam Miller
F: Besart Berisha David Williams, Paul Ifill, Mark Bridge, Youssouf Hersi