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Arena: Star names affirm quality of MLS competition

Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane, Giovani Dos Santos, David Villa.

They're the sort of names you would expect to see in the late stages of the European Champions League, yet that mix of stars were at the StubHub Centre on Sunday as reigning MLS champions LA Galaxy hosted New York City FC.

And that's not even counting injured NYC star Frank Lampard.

The MLS continues to grow, and Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena believes it's only a matter of time before the league begins to gain real recognition from around the globe.

"I think this is going to eventually become the norm in this league, not only here, but in all the venues in this league," Arena told MLSsoccer.com after his side saluted 5-1 thanks to brace from captain Keane.

"If anything today, I think it tells about the growth of this league and the kind of support we're getting in the markets -- it's phenomenal. And today was maybe a bit of recognition for the growth of the league.

"Certainly, we've got a long way to go, but we're certainly pleased to have these type of games today and, obviously, more in the future."

Tim McGlone
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Tim McGlone

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