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Colombians lead MLS All-Stars to convincing win over Celtic
by Ridge Mahoney, July 20th, 2007 7AM

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angelThe news regarding David Beckham is that there is no news, so the world can wait a little longer to learn if he will play Saturday against Chelsea, and MLS officials can savor a fourth straight victory by its all-stars against a foreign team. Colombians Juan Pablo Angel, who was named MVP, and Juan Toja scored excellent goals and Dwayne DeRosario dominated midfield as the MLS All-Stars beat Glasgow Celtic, 2-0, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. DeRosario put through Angel to evade Celtic FC keeper Artur Boruc, whose herioics kept the game close, and stroke his shot into an empty net. Toja pounced on a partially blocked free kick to fire past Boruc from close range.

On both goals, and during much of the run of play, Celtic's sluggish players left huge gaps in the neutral third, and their poor marking of starting forwards Angel and Eddie Johnson allowed the All-Stars nine shots in the first half. Celtic had just one, a very good effort by Scott McDonald that rebounded off the post.

Johnson could have provided a lead in the 30th minute from the penalty spot but Boruc flew to his right to claw the shot away. Scott Brown had plowed into Johnson after he controlled a cross from Toja. Six minutes later Angel glided onto DeRosario's pass and coolly tucked the ball behind Boruc.

"Basically, the run dictates the pass," said DeRosario of Angel's skill in the box that has netted him nine goals, second best among MLS leading scorers this season. "He made a great run off the shoulder of the defense and I just had to weight the pass properly, catch it onto his stride, and the rest, basically, he did.

"He did a move around the keeper and a calm finish from a world-class striker."

Toja's goal in the 44th minute again caught the Celtic players napping on a loose ball that squirted free DeRosario drilled it low into the defensive wall. Celtic coach Gordon Strachan termed it a "scruffy goal," which it was, but Toja touched the ball once before banging it into the net with the outside of his left foot.

More than three weeks remain until Celtic opens the Scottish League season and until it picked up the pace in the second half most its players looked as if they would need every day of that period to be ready in time. They were slow tracking in midfield and betrayed their lack of fitness by lunging into tackles that were either whistled for fouls or missed the ball and opponent entirely.

Dynamo teammates DeRosario and Ricardo Clark sliced through the ponderous Celtic midfield, and both Johnson and Angel boldly skipped past challenges as a very stretched back four scrambled to plug the gaps.

A flight of subs sparked their attack in the second half, and an offside flag denied McDonald a goal after keeper Kevin Hartman, who replaced Matt Reis at halftime, fumbled a long shot by Jiri Jarosik. The MLS All-Stars also had a goal disallowed when Christian Gomez got to his own rebound to score, but a foul nullified the play.
Boruc blocked a point-blank effort from Ronnie O'Brien, repeating a first-half save in which he thwarted Johnson. Celtic's rally in the second half can be commended but if not for its keeper, the score would have been doubled.

The MLS All-Stars have beaten ChivasGuadalajara (2003), Fulham (2005), and Chelsea (2006) in addition to Celtic.

Meanwhile, the Great Beckham Ankle Caper resumes at Home Depot Center Friday, with a morning training session. Beckham appeared at halftime of the ESPN telecast and answered questions amiably from host Rob Stone, but didn't specifically say he'd be able to face Chelsea Saturday.

General manager and president Alexi Lalas spoke to the press shortly after Beckham's TV interview and the gist of his comments was: Beckham wants to play, the Galaxy and MLS and AEG and ESPN certainly want (or need) him to play, but the final decision will be made shortly before kickoff.
Stay tuned.

 

GAME SUMMARY
July 19 in Commerce City, Colo.


MLS All-Stars 2 Glasgow Celtic 0.
Goals:
Angel (De Rosario ) 36, Toja 44.

MLS All-Stars -- Reis (Hartman, 46), Conrad, Parkhurst (Pope, 83), Bornstein, O'Brien (Jones 80), Clark (Mastroeni 60), De Rosario (Gomez, 65), ]Joseph, Toja, Angel (Ching 65 Johnson (Donovan 65).

Celtic FC -- Boruc, Wilson, McManus, Pressley (Balde, 73), Naylor, Hartley, Donati (Gravesen, 68), Brown, Jarosik (McGeady, 53), McDonald (Zurawski 66), Vennegoor of Hesselink (Miller 53).

Yellow cards: Celtic -- Pressley 27, Brown 49.

Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Att.: 18,661

 



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