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Seattle Sounders stars Clint Dempsey makes case for East-West all-star game

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PORTLAND, Ore. - Seattle Sounders star striker Clint Dempsey made a case Monday for returning the MLS all-star game to an East versus West format.

Dempsey acknowledged he enjoyed playing foreign club opposition like Germany's Bayern Munich, the all-stars' opponent on Wednesday night.

"But at the same time I think it would be cool to go back to the old system — East versus West — because I think you could reward more players and you can reward more coaches for doing a great job. But at the same time it's still exciting to play against a team like Bayern," he told a news conference.

"It'd have been nice if we had more time to work with Caleb (all-stars coach Caleb Porter) in terms of tactics and how to better prepare ourselves so that we could play even better than what we'll play. But as the same time we'll still put in a good performance, we'll have fun and look forward to the challenge."

The MLS has had a variety of all-star formats since its inception in 1996. The early days were East versus West but in recent years it has been the all-stars versus touring club opposition.

Since 2005, the all-stars are 5-4 against touring teams but they are 1-4 over the last five years — with losses to Roma, Manchester United (twice) and West Ham.

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