Man U Beats MLS All-Stars 5-2
The absence of stars Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand hardly mattered for Manchester United Wednesday. The Premier League powerhouse defeated the MLS All-Stars 5-2 in front of a record-breaking crowd of 70,728 at Reliant Stadium.
Eighteen-year-old Federico Macheda opened the scoring for Man U in the first minute, intercepting a pass in the MLS back field and slipping an easy shot past goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. It was all downhill from there for Team MLS.
Macheda scored again in the 12th minute, followed by goals from Darron Gibson (69th min), Tom Cleverley (72nd min) and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (83rd min).
Cleverley’s goal was particularly spectacular. The 20-year-old received a pass in the penalty box, flipped the ball over his defender’s head, ran around the defender and volleyed home a shot before the keeper could react.
It was an amazing goal, but the biggest applause of the night was reserved for Chicharito.
The 22-year-old Mexican prodigy made his Man U debut in the second half and, much to the delight of the pro-Mexico crowd, delivered his first goal as a Red Devil on a volley late in the game.
Man U fans hope it will be the first of many goals from the recently acquired striker.
Four-time All-Star Brian Ching scored the MLS’ first goal on a header in the 63rd min, and former Houston Dynamo forward Dwayne De Rosario added one more for the hometown crowd with a minute remaining in the game.
Late goals aside, it was a poor showing for the MLS squad. They suffered multiple lapses in defense and failed to capitalize on the second half appearance of Landon Donovan, who had played the night before in Los Angeles.
All in all, it was an uncharacteristic blowout loss for a squad that had won five of the last six All-Star showdowns, including a win over Chelsea in 2006.
Given the staggering attendance, though, I doubt the MLS will look at Wednesday’s result as much of a setback.
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