Recap: MLS All-Stars fall to Manchester United
It wasa dream start for new Manchester United signing Javier
"Chicharito" Hernandez, who scored on his debut. However, it was a
nightmare evening for the MLS All-Stars, who fell to the Red Devils,
5-2, at Reliant Stadium on Wednesday.
It was the largest loss by an MLS All-Star team to an international
opponent. However, the match was played in front of a record crowd of
70,728—the largest ever to see a soccer match at Reliant Stadium, and
the fourth largest to watch an All-Star game in any major sport in the
Federico Macheda tallied an early brace—his first goal came after just
24 seconds—to earn All-Star MVP honors. Brian Ching pulled one back for the MLSers, but
United were rampant in the second half, tallying goals through Darron
Gibson, Tom Cleverley and Hernandez to bury the game. Former Dynamo star
Dwayne De Rosario
added a consolation for MLS in the 90th minute.
There were few surprises in the MLS lineup. Galaxy stars Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle rode the bench having played in
Tuesday's Champions League qualifier. That handed starts to New York
striker Juan Pablo Angel and
in-form Philadelphia Union forward Sebastien Le Toux, who
lined up in midfield. The Revs' Shalrie Joseph earned the
start as a holding midfielder, while goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts manned
For the touring Red Devils, midfielder Ryan Giggs wore the captain's
armband, while Paul Scholes started on the bench. Dutch goalkeeper Edwin
van der Sar got the nod at No. 1, and 18-year-old Italian ace Macheda
started up top in lieu of Dimitar Berbatov.
And Macheda would punish the All-Stars very quickly following the
kickoff—seconds, in fact.
Macheda pounced on a weak pass from Revs right back Kevin Alston that was meant for Jamison Olave. The Man Utd striker robbed the
ball, and calmly drove it past Ricketts with just 24 seconds on the
It all looked too easy for United, and just minutes later it was 2-0,
with Macheda finding the net again. This time the tall striker rose in
the box, unmarked, to nod in a corner kick in the 9th minute.
The All-Stars' best chance of the half came after United dropped off to
ride out their comfortable lead. The shift created the MLSers a few
chances—their first came via Angel's floating free kick effort, but van
der Sar tipped the effort clear. Heath Pearce then drove in a cross from the
left that Angel nudged over the bar from close range.
Le Toux also proved to be a pest to van der Sar, but the veteran stopper
did well to keep the Frenchman off the board.
However, Man Utd weren't done terrorizing the MLS back four, and
Fletcher saw his shot carom off the bar just before halftime following a
neat one-two with Nani.
Man Utd made no halftime switches, but brought in Gibson for Giggs
shortly after the break. Bruce Arena made wholesale changes, though,
bringing on six sets of fresh legs in an attempt to rescue the game—and
the move seemed to be a masterstroke, at least for a moment.
In the 62nd minute, sub David Ferreira fed a free
kick that found hometown hero Ching, also subbed in at halftime. The
Dynamo star got the slightest of touches off the top of his head,
diverting the ball past van der Sar to give the All-Stars hope.
However, the Red Devils put the game well out of reach moments later
when Gibson bent his free kick around the wall, before Darren Fletcher
chipped a pass over Wilman Conde to Tom Cleverley, who blasted his
shot past Nick Rimando.
And the Man Utd fairy tale was completed in the 84th minute, when 62nd
minute-sub Hernandez collected the ball in space on the far left before
bending his effort into the top right corner of the net.
De Rosario added the final goal of the night, and it was former Houston
Dynamo teammates that combined for the consolation. Ching slotted
the ball forward to the former Dynamo captain, who found space to find
the net from the top corner of the box.