HARRISON, N.J. — The MLS All-Star team took a beating, 4-0, at the hands of Manchester United, but New England captain Shalrie Joseph said he relished the opportunity to suit up alongside some of the top figures in MLS in Wednesday night's All-Star Game at Red Bull Arena.
The eight-time All-Star, who grew up in nearby Brooklyn, N.Y., played only the first half in the three-man central midfield employed on the night by coach Hans Backe.
Joseph pointed to the quality of finishing as the difference between the two sides on the evening — United converted their chances ruthlessly, while the MLS All-Stars squandered their opportunities. But the larger issue was the MLSers’ lack of familiarity with each other.
“We're all great players in MLS, so it's hard to put together all of these players when you have two days,” Joseph told MLSsoccer.com. “Ideally, you'd like to have four or five days of training, but it's not going to work because a lot of these guys have to be with their teams. You have to deal with [the situation] and try to be the best you can.”
Although the All-Star Game experience did not end in a victory, it did allow Joseph to glean a few things from his fellow professionals as he prepared to return to Boston on Thursday. And the fact that he only went 45 minutes kept him fresh ahead of Saturday's important visit to Sporting Kansas City.
“That was important,” Joseph said. “I got a good 45, I got to stretch my legs and I got to play with some of the best players in the world and in MLS. I take a lot from another All-Star berth for me.”
Highlights: MLS 0, Manchester United 4