Thursday, July 26, 2012

MLS All-Stars Take Victory Against Chelsea

Article by Luke Lohr

In what was perhaps the most entertaining All-Star game in recent memory, the stars of Major League Soccer rode a late game winner by Eddie Johnson to defeat Chelsea FC. The Seattle Sounders striker found himself in prime position to shoot while in stoppage time. The shot took a deflection and bounced into the European Champion's goal, giving MLS the advantage 3-2 to win the match.

The goal, while taking a fortunate deflection, was well deserved for the AT&T All-Stars who performed admirably throughout the match. Perhaps better than any other player, Vancouver Whitecaps' stalwart and US Men's National Team veteran Jay DeMerit played his best game in recent memory to lead the All-Stars through the game.

Dan Kennedy, Chivas USA goalkeeper, lauded DeMerit's play saying "Jay DeMerit is a beast. A beast. He had four headers in the last seven minutes of the game. The ball seems to find him and that means he's always in the right spot."

MLS went ahead in the 21st minute when Chris Wondolowski slotted home a shot after exposing John Terry. Wondolowski's goal gave the raucous crowd of 19,236 at PPL Park another reason to roar as Wondo was pounced on with hugs and high fives from his All-Star teammates.

Chelsea though would not go quietly. In the 32nd minute, Terry avenged his mistake as he rose over a dazed Aurelien Collin (who suffered facial fractures only moments before) and headed home a corner kick.  The two teams entered halftime tied 1-1 and subtle changes to each squad did little to disrupt the flow of play.

In the 58th minute Frank Lampard, who assisted on John Terry's goal, put Chelsea in front and seemed to swing the match in Chelsea's favor. The All-Stars persisted and kept composure. Throughout the match they made a visible effort to hold and move the ball between one another, with few giveaways and smart runs from each player.

Thierry Henry was especially pleased with his teammates play, as evidenced by his interview with KickTV's Jimmy Conrad:

Ben Olsen's men continued to fight and oddly enough, it was a DC United duo that tied the match for MLS. David Beckham played a beautiful ball forward to an onrushing Dwayne De Rosario who cut back to beat his man and played the ball to Chris Pontius. Pontius did well to place the ball near post and score give Major League Soccer a chance to win. This came in the 73rd minute which laid the groundwork for Eddie Johnson's game winner in the 91st.

Check out the highlights and relive the match's best moment.

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