Kick Off: Manchester United top MLS All-Stars...again
It wasn't supposed to end this way. Not again. But considering the form Manchester United are in on this year's US tour — four wins, 18-2 scoring advantage — getting a result against the EPL champions was never going to be easy for an All-Star team that came together just three days ago.
On Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena, the Red Devils repeated their dominating performance of last year and earned a 4-0 win in the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.
The goals for Manchester United came from Anderson, Dimitar Berbatov, Danny Welbeck and Ji-Sung Park, who was named MVP of the match. (Watch full highlights here.)
Despite the score line, it wasn't all bad for the MLS All-Stars, at least not according to their coach.
The best chance of the match for the MLSers came in the first half from former Old Trafford star David Beckham. (Watch it here.) The LA Galaxy midfielder went the full 90 minutes and afterward was full of praise for former coach Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex returned the favor, and dropped a compliment for one of Manchester United's old nemeses.
But despite all those silver linings, in the wake of a second straight thrashing at the hands of United, one experienced commenter wonders if the All-Star Game needs an overhaul, including a "skills competition" and "a futures game."
No word on whether any of that is in the works for MLS, but Commissioner Don Garber did have a few words to say about how certain clubs have approached their international friendlies.
Manchester United will not change their approach to their next big international friendly, Saturday's clash with FC Barcelona in the Herbalife World Football Challenge. Striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernández, who was a late scratch from the All-Star Game due to a concussion that saw him hospitalized on Tuesday night, "would never have been available" anyway, Sir Alex said on Wednesday. The Mexican star is expected to miss at least the Community Shield match with Manchester City on August 7.
The Herbalife World Football Challenge continues on tonight, when Juventus look to build on their momentum against CD Guadalajara at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C. (8 pm ET, ESPN2/Galavisión/GolTV Canada). Regardless of the result, the media are sure to ask about the Old Lady's transfer business, including why they couldn't land New Jersey native Giuseppe Rossi from Villarreal.
The All-Star Game wasn't the only action for MLSers on Wednesday night. In CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round action, Toronto FC survived a late goalkeeping error and made Joao Plata's two goals stand up for a 2-1 win over Nicaraguan champions Real Estelí. It was a rare win for TFC, but coach Aron Winter was not particularly pleased with one important aspect of the Reds' game.
Toronto's win puts MLS teams at 1-1 so far in CCL prelim first legs. Next up: FC Dallas's trip to El Salvador to take on Alianza in what will be FCD's debut in the Champions League (10 pm ET, FOX Soccer). Schellas Hyndman's side will be familiar with at least a few of Alianza's players who once tried their luck in MLS.
Speaking of trying your luck in MLS, Chicago's new capture Pável Pardo may not be the only El Tri veteran headed north, if reports out of Mexico are true about a longtime Chivas midfielder. (SPANISH)
What about trying your luck in England? Seems that Manchester United is one of a pair of EPL sides intrigued by a young American in Norway.
Finally, a little bit more on the aforementioned David Beckham. This time, it's his off-the-field results that have the business blogosphere buzzing after he announced a new partnership with H&M to sell the David Beckham Bodywear underwear line. Might we see a few more Beckham ads in the future?
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