It would appear as though the A-League 'All Stars' set to face Manchester United is anything but.
With international duty, departures from the league and Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey, and Shinji Ono all withdrawing themselves for squad selection, the team is being patched up.
The A-League has reached new heights with the arrivals of Del Piero, Heskey, and Ono last season and while the three stars proved to be a great tool for attracting new fans to the game, those already supporting the league were more concerned about what they could deliver on the field.
They were not disappointed. Ono helped the Western Sydney Wanderers to an inaugural Premiership while Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets fans were treated to brilliant performances by Del Piero and Heskey respectively.
When the A-League All-Stars concept was announced, it was no surprise that fans voted to see the three big names playing together. However, the fan-based voting aimed to select the initial squad soon became obsolete.
Johnny Warren medalist, Marco Rojas has departed to Germany since gathering nearly the largest amount of votes in the poll. Central Coast Mariners fan favourite, Patrick Zwaanswijk has retired and was made ineligible.
Meanwhile, international duty in Asia has seen a host of A-League stars also made unavailable for the friendly, including second highest scorer of all time in the A-League, Archie Thompson. Highest scoring striker, Shane Smeltz has also missed out on selection.
Former Socceroo, Brett Emerton has been named the captain of the ill-named squad. Emerton's performances have dwindled since joining the league, he has seen his spot in the Socceroos' squad been taken by former A-League youngsters, Tommy Oar and Robbie Kruse.
Last season he was also upstaged by current A-League youngsters, Louis Fenton, Marco Rojas, and Craig Goodwin.
While the squad does have its share of big names, it lacks the depth and star power expected from an All-Star squad. Only time will tell if the A-Leagues 'best of the best' can match it with Manchester United who, to their credit, will be deploying the big guns that saw them dominate the English Premier League last season.
The game kicks off at 6:30 local time Saturday 20th July at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
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