Alessandro Del Piero will not play with the A-League All-Stars against Manchester United on July 20. Sydney FC's biggest draw will not be in Australia for the game being played at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney despite his election to the squad in fan voting. Shinji Ono, the Japanese star of Western Sydney Wanderers, will also skip the game.
The dual blows come less than three weeks before the A-League's offseason showcase event and ten days before selected players are to report to Sydney for training under manager Ange Postecoglou. According to a report in The Advertiser, Del Piero will be in Italy until he flies directly to Japan for Sydney's July 24 pre-season friendly against Sagan Tosu. The Italian legend will then return to Italy to conduct his own pre-season training regimen.
Ono is already in Sydney ahead of Wanderers' pre-season training camp but the club is worried he is not fit enough to play against Manchester United and will not permit him to be a part of the All-Star team. Like Del Piero, Ono was chosen by the fans to represent the A-League against Manchester United.
Postecoglou has already been filling in players for those unavailable by fan vote, including Brett Emerton and Paul Ifill. With various players injured, retired or transferred to Europe, nearly half of the selected All-Stars will not feature in the game.