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In Major League Soccer’s social-media HQ for All-Star Week, fans and stars mingle digitally

Before the biggest stars in Major League Soccer converge on Portland’s Providence Park tonight for the annual MLS All Star Game, they have other duties to attend to off the field. Like Facebook. And Twitter. And Google Hangouts.

We visited the ninth floor of Portland’s Fox Tower, where MLS has set up a forward operating base that serves as the nucleus of all their digital communications – and an MLS fan’s dream. As you’d expect, it was absolutely brimming with social media activity. In one room, DC United’s star defender Sean Franklin was busy webcasting a first-person video on Google Glass. In another, a room full of headset-clad sports pundits were busy recording the league’s daily March to the Match podcast. Off in the corner, Dom Dwyer of Sporting Kansas City wound down with a game of FIFA on a massive flatscreen while, just a few feet away, Diego Valeri posed for a picture with a group of starry-eyed fans.

Every square foot of the place is designed to provide a way for players and fans to interface with each other, be it digitally or in person. Obviously though, it’s geared more toward the former. Not everyone can stop by downtown Portland to hang out, but thanks to some cleverly-implemented technologies, MLS has made it so anyone with an Internet connection can drop by digitally.

Be sure to tune in to the All-Star game tonight at 9:30p ET / 6:30p PT on ESPN2 & UniMas

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