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Time to bring on Barca?
by Paul Kennedy, July 26th, 2012 1:02AM

TAGS:  england, mls


[MLS ALL-STAR GAME] MLS's all-stars have defeated some good teams, but their 3-2 win over reigning Chelsea  in the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game tops the bunch. This wasn't the first time the MLS XI beat the Blues -- it also did it in 2006 -- but this win was special. Chelsea is the reigning European champion.

AMERICAN HEROES. David Beckham and Thierry Henry -- the two players Chelsea is very familiar with -- had solid games for the MLS all-stars, but the stars were goal scorers Chris Wondolowski (set up by Henry), Chris Pontius (the All-Star Game MVP) and Eddie Johnson (who scored the winner in the 91st minute)

BACK ON TRACK. MLS had won four straight All-Star Games -- Fulham (4-1), Chelsea (1-0), Celtic (2-0) and West Ham (3-2) -- before losing to Everton in a shootout in 2009. But 5-2 and 4-0 losses to Manchester United cast some doubt about the wisdom of scheduling the mid-season classic against a big European club. Another regular summer tourist has been Barcelona, but MLS has heretofore not paired its all-stars against the Spanish giants. Perhaps next summer?

PHILLY WELCOME. The Philadelphia fans lived up to their reputation as some of the roughest fans in American sports, chanting "your captain is a racist" at Chelsea captain John Terry, recently acquitted of criminal charges he racially abused Queen's Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League game last October.

July 25 in Chester, Pa.
MLS All-Stars 3 Chelsea 2. Wondolowski 21, Pontius (De Rosario, Beckham) 73, Johnson (Beckerman, Pontius); Terry (Lampard) 32, Lampard  (Ramires) 58.
MLS All-Stars -- Nielsen (Kennedy, 46), Collin (Valdes, 36), Morrow (Corrales, 57), Beitashour, DeMerit, Alonso (Beckerman, 56), Donovan (Pontius, 46), De Rosario, Beckham (Farfan, 74), Wondolowski (Johnson, 60), Henry (Zusi, 57).
Chelsea -- Hilario (Turnbull, 46), Cole (Paulo Ferreira, 46), Cahill (Chalobah, 76), Ivanovic, Terry (David Luiz, 46), Marin (Piazon, 61), Benayoun (Malouda, 46), Lampard (Raul Meireles, 61), Essien (Mikel, 61), Ramires (Hazard, 61), Lukaku (De Bruyne, 75).
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Att.: 19,236.

    commented on: July 26, 2012 at 9:05 a.m.
    Congrats on the MLS all star team, soccer in america is improving and as I season ticket holder for over 6 years now and big supporter of the MLS I believe this is great news. However let's be honest here, we are over selling Chelsea FC, yes they are the "European Champions" but let's not forget how they got there, lets not forget the anti-soccer campaign they played against Barcelona in the semi-finals. Plus lets also not forget that both Real Madrid and Barcelona were playing the Clasico during the Champion's League Semifinals. The had a great advantage over a beat down, tired and injured Barcelona FC. BTW I am a Real Madrid fanatic but I am a bigger fan of the game of soccer.
  1. David V
    commented on: July 26, 2012 at 9:12 a.m.
    No Juan Mata, No el niño Torres (Fernando Torres)... :( See Mata at the Olympics though with Jordi Alba and Javi Martinez (the other two European Champions, triple crown winners with Spain this past 1 July)
  1. David Sirias
    commented on: July 26, 2012 at 9:17 a.m.
    credit to MLS. Chelsea was not at full throttle obviously. But neither was MLS. They both appeared to be trying to play clean and simply play their game. The difference between an all star team and an average team is thè soccer IQ and off the ball movement. It was good on both sides If his MLS team was in the EPL it would be mid table. Which is great as far as MLS development goes. MLS is just a few years away (new tv deal = salary cap increase + academy production) from having half of its teams stave of elimination in they were in the EPL Again this is great news for us as a young league
  1. Nicholas Adams
    commented on: July 26, 2012 at 12:23 p.m.
    With all due respect to Mr Kennedy, I think you may be getting carried away. I am no Chelsea fan but you have to bear in minds that all the European teams playing in any game over here in america at this time of year is using these games as 'warm up' games for the start of their respective seasons and also as money spinners to sell more shirts in america too. the MLS teams are mostly playing Reserve teams from the European teams. Also I should add having watched the game last night, that Chelsea were denied two definite penalties at the end before the rather 'lucky' deflected winning goal(LOL)
  1. Cesar P
    commented on: July 26, 2012 at 2:54 p.m.
    Some things will never change. Just like before, the Europeans, and business gurus know that football is their new gold mine here in this continent. (lets keep buying them jerseys, high priced tickets!
  1. Ramon Creager
    commented on: July 26, 2012 at 4:58 p.m.
    Time to bring on Barca? Uh, no. Unless they played their B side and were rusty, they'd kill us. Chelsea's CL win was a bit of a fluke, proving the old adage that sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. (Don't get me wrong; they're good. Just not Barca or RM good. And no Drogba or Torres either.) Still, a nice result. And it is nice to see the home grown guys (De Ro, Wondo, Pontius, Johnson) outshine the ex EPL contingent.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 27, 2012 at 12:34 p.m.
    Nice win for the MLS and a good effort. What this All-Star team proves is that they have a soccer-brain IQ. Unforrtunately, the majority of MLS players don't have it.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 27, 2012 at 2:26 p.m.
    IMO, DeRo deserved the MVP; he was everywhere...Pontius scored the winner, but that alone does not merit his selection as MVP; a typical stat issue which has less of a bearing in soccer.

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