No, they haven’t been signed by AC St. Louis, but soccer superstars Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi will be in St. Louis on August 7, 2010 to lead a South American all-star squad in a match against a “rest of the world squad” team coached by former US international and Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda. The contest, a benefit by the Players for Peace foundation, will be preceded by an awards ceremony on August 6th hosted by the City of St. Louis honoring Pele, Ronaldinho and new Goodwill Ambassador Messi.
Wynalda was featured on St. Louis’ 101.1 ESPN radio station today. During his interview on the Fast Lane program, Wynalda said that he’d already been challenged by South American coach Carlos Alberto Torres (better known to Americans as Carlos Alberto of NY Cosmos fame). Proceeds from the game, to be held at the Edward R. Jones Dome, will benefit Haitian sports and education programs, as well as those in St. Louis, and Wynalda plans to have world class players on his squad for this game. Referring to the August 7th event as “massive,” Wynalda intends on contacting European stars such as Thierry Henry, Raul, David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane. Wynalda has already contacted former SLU, Fulham and current Chicago Fire star Brian McBride and AC St. Louis’ own Steve Ralston, although he good-naturedly mentioned that Ralston may have to move from his customary position if Beckham comes onboard. Jozy Altidore, the Haitian-American international, would be an ideal captain according to Wynalda, and that “players will move mountains” to help raise money for people in need.
Tickets are available through the offices of AC St. Louis/Athletica at 1-888-STL-GOAL through April 6th before they will be released to the general public. Todd Wise of ESPN 101.1 informed me that Wynalda’s interview will be posted after 6:00 pm today on the stations website, http://www.101espn.com/section/wxos_shows_fastlane. See the previous post here on the Fanatic about more information on this spectacular event. Also, this will be the first contest played on the new turf at the Dome.