All-Star Game flashback, 1996: East wins inaugural event
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The MLS Eastern All-Stars defeated the MLS Western All-Stars, 3-2, in front of a sell-out crowd of 78,416 fans at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
New York Metrostars standout, and New Jersey native, Tab Ramos opened the scoring in the 13th minute when he unleashed a right-footed strike that sailed into the upper left corner past the outstretched arms of West goalkeeper Jorge Campos.
The Western All-Stars were quick to respond.
Kansas City’s Preki scored the equalizer in the 33rd minute when his shot from 30-yards out beat Eastern Conference goalie Tony Meola. The West got a go-ahead goal from Jason Kreis just four minutes later to take a 2-1 lead into halftime.
The MLS Eastern All-Stars drew level in the 69th minute when the Metrostars’ Giovanni Savarese tapped in a deflection off the hands of West goalkeeper Mark Dodd.
In the 88th minute Carlos Valderrama, who earned MVP honors for his performance, found Tampa Bay Mutiny teammate Steve Pittman, who hammered home the game-winner for the Eastern Conference.
MLS All-Star Game 1996: July 14, 1996
Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
MLS All-Stars East: 3 MLS All-Stars West: 2
MVP: Carlos Valderrama (EAST)
EST—Ramos (Valderrama) 14
WST—Preki (Cienfuegos) 33
WST—Kreis (Hurtado) 37
EST—Savarese (unassisted) 69
EST—Pittman (Valderrama) 88
WEST: Jorge Campos (Mark Dodd 45), John Doyle, Robin Fraser, Dan Calichman (Mark Santel 45), Preki, Mauricio Cienfuegos (Paul Bravo 45), Cobi Jones (Mo Johnston 45), Leonel Alvarez, Jason Kreis, Eric Wynalda (Diego Sonora 45), Eduardo Hurtado (Digital Takawira 45)
EAST: Tony Meola (Mark Dougherty 45), Martin Vasquez (Steve Rammel 67), Jeff Agoos, Cle Kooiman (Steve Pittman 45), Alexi Lalas, Roberto Donadoni (Marco Etcheverry 35), Carlos Valderrama, Tab Ramos (Doctor Khumalo 60), Roy Lassiter (Giovanni Savarese 42), Welton, Brian McBride
Referees: Kevin Stott; Arthur Reed, Greg Barkey