By Mark Vincent Lincir
Is it fair to judge the Major League Soccer All-Stars so cruelly for their incredibly lopsided 5-2 loss to Manchester United on Wednesday night in Houston?
Sure it is…they’re All-Stars after all.
The game was more of a showcase for Man United than anything else and I don’t know if that was the main intent of MLS brass when the scheduled the world super power soccer club. The point of the game is to showcase what MLS has to offer…not what is suffers from. What does it suffer from? From the looks of last night, even its best players can’t play out of tight pressure and need too much time on the ball to make a good decision. And how about Kevin Alston’s massive blunder back pass in the opening thirty seconds that enabled Federico Macheda to open the scoring so early that most fans probably weren’t even in their seats. That pass doesn’t come from an All-Star. And before you go jumping on Alston’s bandwagon too soon, keep an eye on him, because he has A LOT to learn. Aren’t there any quality outside backs in the United States? What’s the deal??? From the first minute on, it was all Man United, they didn’t relent one bit, even though they were making MLS’ best look pretty bad in front of 70,000 fans. But Manchester United has an EPL title to start chasing in a few short weeks and Wednesday night was clearly not considered a simple kickabout for the storied English club.
Macheda notched two goals, Darron Gibson added a brilliant strike on a free kick, new Mexican signing Javier Hernandez opened up his account and Tom Cleverly rounded out the scoring for United as they cruised to victory in style.
The MLS All-Stars got consolation goals from Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching and Toronto FC star Dwayne DeRosario…but it wasn’t nearly enough to say that the night’s result did the All-Stars any good.
But is the All-Star game supposed to do any good? Or is it just a showcase for the best MLS has to offer?
It’s supposed to do both. But against one of the best teams in the world it failed to serve its purpose (which is to promote MLS). Sure, it promoted Man United but they certainly don’t need the extra publicity. But if you weren’t a fan of MLS before the game, would you become one after watching that, or would you just watch Man United all season? I know what I would do.
Next year the league needs to play another mid-table EPL club, not one of the best teams in the world. Because Wed night we saw what great soccer can look like, unfortunately it didn’t come from the home side.