Greetings from 30,000 feet above the U.S.
The All-Star week truly kicks off tonight with the homegrown game pitting a roster of select MLS homegrown players against the Portland Timbers' under-23 side. The game will kickoff at 10 p.m. and will stream live on ESPN3.com and MLSsoccer.com.
In today's paper, we take a look at how the homegrown system benefits players like Orlando City's Tommy Redding, and how that in turn pays off for the Lions, MLS and U.S. soccer.
Elsewhere around the soccer world...
* Former Orlando City forward Dom Dwyer was added to the MLS All-Star game roster. Dwyer replaces Toronto FC striker Jermain Defoe, who is out with a groin injury. Dwyer has 14 goals this season for Sporting Kansas City.
* Orlando City clinched a USL playoff spot with a 4-1 win over Charlotte on Saturday. Here is J.C. Carnahan's story from the win, which featured Tyler Turner's first professional goal.
* 109,318 people watched Manchester United down Real Madrid, 3-1, on Saturday, a record crowd for a soccer game in the United States. Meanwhile, 48,765 fans packed into the new Levi's Stadium to see the San Jose Earthquakes defeat the Seattle Sounders, 1-0.
Per Soccer America, ten soccer matches (MLS and International Champions Cup) on Saturday averaged an attendance of 36,317 compared with 34,179 for 15 MLB matches.
* American midfielder Brek Shea will be permitted to leave Stoke City on loan or permanently, according to the Stoke Sentinel. Shea is more likely to go out on loan this season.
Shea, of course, trained with Orlando City earlier this year. It is unlikely he would land at Orlando City on loan because the Lions season will be ending soon. If Shea transferred to the Lions, he would still have to find somewhere to play on loan.