(Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez blocks the ball before he scores a goal in the 2010 MLS All Star Game. Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)
By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications
HOUSTON, TEXAS (July 28, 2010) It did not take Manchester United long to get on the scoreboard against the MLS All Stars. In a scant 23 seconds into the game, forward Federico Macheda found the net on a kick from the top of the box to give The Red Devils the lead in the match.
From that point, it was all downhill for the MLS All Stars, as Manchester United showed their dominance on the pitch by defeating the MLS All Stars 5-2 before a sellout crowd of 70,728 in Houston’s Reliant Stadium.
Macheda came right back in the 13th minute on a pass from midfielder Nani to give Manchester a two goal lead.
The first half saw The Red Devils take total control of the game with well executed passes and pin point accuracy on almost every play.
Granted, Manchester United is a team that has played together and is prepping for their upcoming season, and the flow and general dynamics of the game showed the disadvantage of attempting to host an All Star Game against an established club.
Knowing that MLS head coach Bruce Arena went to the locker room at half time and attempted to make adjustments to enable his squad to raise their level play to matc that of The Red Devils.
In the second half, Manchester United continued dto ominate the game, but the MLS began to show a bit of fire when Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching finally put the All Stars on the board with a goal in the 63rd minute.
Manchester came right back in the 70th minute on a solid shot by midfielder Darron Gibson to make the score 3-1.
Three minutes later, midfielder Tom Cleverley found the goal from the left side to give The Red Devils a 4-1 lead.
Manchester’s offensive assault continued in the 84th minute on a solid shot and goal by newcomer Javier Hernandez.
The 22-year old scored two goals for Mexico in the recent World Cup and is the first player for the Mexican professional league ever to be signed by Manchester United.
The MLS All Stars got the final goal of the game in the 90th minute when midfielder Dwayne De Rosario took a pass from Ching to score the second goal for the MLS.
There will be much written in the next few days about the disparity of the two teams, but never the less, a good game was played for the fans.
When all was said and done, the Manchester United players accepted the trophy for their victory as the fans stated in the stands to honor the champions.
Noticeably absent from the awards was Manchester United long time head coach Sir Alex Ferguson. But that was to be expected. After 24 years at the helm of The Red Devils, he knew it was his players’ time to shine. After all, they were the ones who had played the game and they deserved the honor.
So another chapter in the MLS storybook is laid to rest. Next year will bring new challenges and goals for the MLS and its All Star Game. Let hope next year's edition will continue to elevate soccer the United States.