Melnyk interested in bringing team to Ottawa

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

Eugene Melnyk is the latest to throw his name in the MLS ring.

Known more for his sporting involvement in hockey and horse racing, Melnyk has explored the possibility of bringing an MLS franchise to Ottawa, where he operates the NHL's Senators.

Already, basketball icon Steve Nash has made waves of luring the MLS brand to Vancouver, while George Gillett, a man who has ownership ties with Liverpool and who owns the Montreal Canadiens, has expressed interest in a Montreal-based side.

STARS ARE ALIGNED

Frankie Hejduk is a big fan of the MLS all-star game.

"This format is designed to have a competitive game,'' the Columbus defender said. "You're going to see a lot of different nationalities come together on the same team and different styles of play coming together on one team."

No fewer then seven nationalities will be represented by the MLS all-stars.

Visiting West Ham is a predominantly English-dominated side, which is trying to end a goalless drought by MLS all-star foes.

For the fifth time in six years, the MLS all-stars will battle an international club team.

The MLS all-stars are unbeaten and have help their opponent scoreless in the past two contests.

"Fans will get a chance to watch a lot of good players,'' Hejduk said. "At the end of the day, we're all competitors and we all want to win."

THE SKINNY ON SPECTOR

No player was looking forward to this year' all-star game more than American-born West Ham defender Jonathan Spector.

Unfortunately for the Illinois native, a hip operation will prevent Spector from playing tonight and representing the U.S. at Beijing.

"He was really looking forward to it,'' West Ham manager Alan Curbishley said of the 22 year old.

In all likelihood, Spector would have been given the assignment of defending David Beckham.

A member of last summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup champions, Spector missed the 2006 World Cup after sustaining a shoulder injury.


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