Soccer Allies Lead MLS All Stars to Victory Over Chelsea FC
With background accompaniment of a raucous River End, the game started off with a good deal of pressure from Chelsea, with the All Stars making a few good runs that just didn’t end well. Ally Chris Wondolowski, however, was able to convert a so-so pass into the first goal of the night in the 21st minute of the match. Minutes later a midfield collision between Aurélien Collin and Michael Essien led to medical attention for Collin, a brief return to the game, then his eventual substitution with hometown captain and ally Carlos Valdes.
Before that could happen though, Chelsea captain John Terry evened the scoring with a header assisted by Frank Lampard. The half rounded out with a very nice shot from Tierry Henry after service from David Beckham and Landon Donovan in the 42nd minute, some of the biggest players on the field working very well together.
The second half opened up with lots of pressure from the MLS All Stars, but there was a near goal for Chelsea early on in the half and Frank Lampard scoring off of a shot punched away by Dan Kennedy, who entered the game at the half. Following the goal the All Stars seemed to deflate a bit in the 60’s but new life would be soon be brought into the game with an equalizing goal by ally Chris Pontius in the 73rd minute off of a very nice pass from teammate Dwayne De Rosario.
The goal would earn Pontius the Most Valuable Player Award for the night, as well as my vote for the nod.
The game picked up again with some great runs from the All Stars paird with the excellent defending we had been seeing from the likes of Jay DeMerit all game. Finally in stoppage time, ally Eddie Johnson pulled the All Stars ahead for the 3-2 win assisted by Kyle Beckerman.
Pregame hoopla included American Idol’s Pia Toscana singing the national anthem and a spectacular fireworks show over the Delaware was a halftime spectacle.
But the highlight for the night was witnessing the great performances of the Major League Soccer All Stars and the three goals scored to give the home team the win, all by great players supportive of their LGBT fans.