HARRISON, N.J. — Manchester United midfielder Ji-Sung Park scored only one of the four goals in the side's 4-0 win over the MLS All-Star team, but his industry and perpetual threat was enough to impress the voters, who voted him MVP of the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.
“I’m happy with my performance," said Park after the match. "This tour has to be to get ready for the next season, so I’m pretty happy with today."
Park started on the right flank for Sir Alex Ferguson's side. From the opening whistle, he caused fits for MLS All-Star left back Bobby Convey, but it was MLS' Sean Franklin whom Park victimized for his goal.
After collecting a pass from Patrice Evra near the top of the box in the 45th minute, Park found himself one-on-one with Franklin, the LA Galaxy defender. Park made a couple of moves to free himself and unleashed a left-footed shot to which goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón could only get his fingertips.
True to form for the South Korean winger, it was his hard work and relentless effort that made the biggest impression, which was perhaps more vital to the Red Devils' overall team performance than his first-half goal. "Three-lungs Park," as he is known for his work rate, arguably logged the most distance on the field of any player, his constant movement both centrally and out wide creating a headache for the All-Star back line.
Park remained humble after receiving the award, saying saying he’s uncertain if he deserved the honor.
“I’m not sure, we had so many players who showed a great performance today,” Park said. “We had four goals, so anyone deserved to get the trophy. But I’m happy I got it.”
With his vintage grit and effort combining with a nifty tally, Park left an impression on his head coach and made a statement as United’s postseason tour kicks into its final leg.
“He’s a good player, consistent, professional,” Sir Alex Ferguson said when asked by MLSsoccer.com to rate Park. “Good energy. I was pleased to see that.”