COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Brazilian superstar Kaká on Monday talked about how he dreamed of playing in an All-Star Game after growing up in Brazil and watching NBA superstars play their version of it. On Wednesday night, he played like he meant those words.
The Orlando City SC Designated Player registered a goal and assist and claimed MVP honors as he captained the MLS All-Stars to a 2-1 win against English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in the AT&T MLS All-Star Game in front of a sold-out Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The MLS All-Stars got off to a flying start and then scored two goals in a span of four first-half minutes. Kaká, who pranced around the midfield to masterfully orchestrate the MLS attack, converted a penalty kick (20th minute) after an inexplicable Nacer Chadli handball on a corner kick. Then Kaka turned provider, serving up a hard cross to David Villa, who redirected it into the back of the net from the penalty spot for a 2-0 lead by minute 23.
Tottenham forward Harry Kane had the best chances for Spurs, but he was twice denied by stunning, point-blank Nick Rimando reflex saves (22nd and 34th minutes). However, there was nothing the Real Salt Lake goalkeeper could do on Kane’s vicious 37th minute blast from the top of the box in front of backpedaling defender Omar Gonzalez to cut Spurs’ deficit to 2-1.
MLS All-Star head coach Pablo Mastroeni sent an entirely new 11 on the field for the second half and without the magic of Kaká, the MLS attack suffered as Tottenham assumed the initiative although with few clear ideas.
Chadli, seemingly looking to make up for his first-half hand ball offense, attempted shots in the 54th and 62nd minutes, but missed wide left with both. He would come out of the match along with six other Spurs teammates in the 63rd minute, making way for US international DeAndre Yedlin who entered to an ovation.
The All-Stars did have a couple of moments of second-half inspiration, but FC Dallas forward Fabian Castillo couldn’t latch on to a 70th minute Kei Kamara cross and then eight minutes later Castillo darted into the box, only for his close-range shot to be cleared for a corner.
When Kane took his bow in the 77th minute, Spurs lost any real threat of scoring and MLS second-half goalkeeper David Ousted snuffed out a few tame shots as the All-Stars held on to win 2-1.
The MLS players return to their clubs ahead of a full slate of MLS weekend matches as all 20 clubs take the field between August 1-2.
As for Spurs, they head to Germany for the preseason Audi Cup next week and a match against Real Madrid (August 4) followed by another friendly the next day before they open their English Premier League season at Old Trafford against Manchester United on Saturday, August 8.
- MLS All-Stars (1st Half, 4-4-2 left to right): Nick Rimando - DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Tony Beltran — Gyasi Zardes, Dax McCarty, Kaka, Graham Zusi — David Villa, Clint Dempsey
- MLS All-Stars (2nd Half, 4-4-2 left to right): David Ousted - Waylon Francis, Laurent Ciman, Chad Marshall, Drew Moor - Benny Feilhaber, Sam Cronin (77’ Jozy Altidore), Juninho, Ethan Finlay - Kei Kamara, Fabian Castillo
- Tottenham Hotspur (1st Half, 4-2-3-1 left to right): Michel Vorm - Ben Davies, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Kyle Walker - Nabil Bentaleb, Eric Dier - Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembele - Harry Kane
- Tottenham Hotspur (Start of 2nd Half, 4-2-3-1 left to right): Michel Vorm - Ben Davies, Kevin Wimmer, Toby Alderweireld, Kieran Trippier - Dele Alli, Eric Dier - Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele, Thomas Carroll - Harry Kane
- Tottenham Hotspur (63rd min, 4-2-3-1 left to right): Luke McGee - Danny Rose, Kevin Wimmer, Federico Fazio, Kieran Trippier - Dele Alli, Harry Winks - Josh Onomah, Thomas Carroll, DeAndre Yedlin - Harry Kane (77’ Shaq Coulthirst)