Orlando City win 2019 MLS All-Star Skills Challenge presented by Target

Orlando City celebrate Nani winner - All-Star Skills Challenge

The 2019 MLS All-Star Skills Challenge presented by Target came down to literally the final kick of the ball. And as many Portugal and Manchester United fans could tell you, there's perhaps no one better to depend on in that situation than Orlando City's own Nani.

With it all on the line in the "Passing" challenge, the third of three challenges in the format that pitted the Lions against three representatives from the MLS All-Stars and three from Atletico Madrid, Nani got just exactly enough on his last chip.

It smashed against the front of the crossbar, giving Orlando the points they need to take a narrow 202-195-168 victory, with Atleti finishing second and the MLS All-Stars third.


The night began with the stars taking their best efforts at hitting targets from the penalty spot. Although the visitors from Spain accumulated the most total points, it was D.C. United's Wayne Rooney -- only England's all-time leading scorer -- who left an impression with his individual marksmanship.

Shooting Scores: Atletico Madrid 47, Orlando City 46, MLS All-Stars 28

Touch & Volley

Rooney continued to show his class with an emphatic early volley for the MLS All-Stars, but it was perhaps an unlikely source who contributed the moment of the round.

2018 AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year runner up Chris Mueller, at all 22 years old, decided to lay his body on the line for Orlando City. The result? A stunning scissor kick that helped the Lions earn style points from the judges and take the lead two thirds of the way through the festivities.

Touch & Volley Scores: Orlando City 56, MLS All-Stars 40, Atletico Madrid 23

Totals (after 2 Challenges): Orlando City 102, Atletico Madrid 70, MLS All-Stars 68


It all came down to what the hosts from The F2 would tell you is easily the most important skill in the game.

Despite the opportunity to collect points by hitting targets spread across the field, all three teams set their sites primarily on the crossbar, which carried the most points. Atleti showed their Champions League chops, hitting it five times for 125 points. In particular, Joao Felix used the opportunity to show why his new team paid a reported club record $140 million for his services.

That display looked like it just might help the Spaniards escape ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex with the bragging rights, as the nerves appeared to wear on Orlando.

But with time ticking down, Nani gave it one last right-footed effort. Afterward? Scenes.

Passing Scores: Atletico Madrid 125, Orlando City 100, MLS All-Stars 100

Final Total Scores: Orlando City 202, Atletico Madrid 196, MLS All-Stars 168