Last night, the best players the MLS had to offer took on Bayern Munich at Providence Park in Portland. The result was a 2-1 win by the All-Stars, taking down one of the best German club teams. Bayern scored the first goal when Robert Lewandowski scored a curving beauty from 20 yards out. But from there, the All-Stars took over the game. The MLS’ defense held strong and allowed their offense to score their first goal in the 51st minute. The league’s leading goal scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips made it level at 1-1 with a 20-yard strike of his own. Then, U.S. legend Landon Donovan scored a goal in the 70th minute to take the lead for the All-Stars. It was Donovan’s sixth MLS All-Star goal and his 14th straight All-Star appearance. His six goals are now most by any MLS player in an All-Star game. He also plans to retire from the world of soccer at the end of the MLS season. He had a tremendous career and will be known as one of the greatest American soccer players to ever play the game.
The ending of the All-Star game had everyone talking. After the MLS All-Stars had won, Bayern Munich’s manager, Pep Guardiola refused to shake hands with the MLS All-Star coach Caleb Porter. Instead, Coach Pep gave Coach Porter a little finger wag and that was the end of it. Apparently, Guardiola was mad about how physical the All-Stars were playing in the game and making hard, unnecessary tackles. Oh well, I know a sore loser when I see one. Just learn to accept how the game played out and move on. That’s all I have to say about that.
The MLS regular season picks up this Friday when Landon Donovan and the LA Galaxy take on the San Jose Earthquakes at 10:30 p.m. Five more games will be played on Saturday and an additional three on Sunday. Week 24 of the MLS season is underway and teams are still fighting for that final playoff spot.
After losing to Chile 2-0, Spain has been knocked out of contention for the World Cup. The defending champions were considered a dominant soccer powerhouse entering this tournament, but after getting blown out of the water by Netherlands 5-1 last Friday, it will be impossible for them to bounce back in their Group Stage. This is not the first time a defending champ has been knocked out of the group stage. Italy suffered in the last World Cup in 2010 and France did not make the knockout stage of the tournament in 2002. However, this is the first time in World Cup history where the defending champion is eliminated after just two games.
This travesty happened when Eduardo Vargas scored early in the 20th minute and then Charles Aranguiz closed out the first half with another goal in the 43rd minute for Chile. From there, Spain’s offense couldn’t recover and the team was devastated by the loss. Head coach Vicente del Bosque had led Spain to glory at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, but this year he couldn’t garner any success. Spain will have to wait four more years for their chance, but by that time, veteran players like Andres Iniesta and Xavi might retire. World Cup fans will be excited to see who will take the crown this year, now that the defending champs are no longer in contention.
The United States started their World Cup journey with a bang, beating Ghana 2-1 in the Group G Stage match. Team Captain Clint Dempsey scored the first goal in under a minute to put USA up 1-0. It goes down as the fastest goal scored by an American in World Cup history! Then for the rest of the match, it was pretty much USA playing great defense until the 82nd minute when Andre Ayew of Ghana scored, breaking the hearts of almost every American fan. He was assisted by Asamoah Gyan on the play. However, the United States’ team would not go down lightly. Four minutes later, American substitute Graham Zusi found fellow substitute John Brooks on a corner kick that Brooks’ headed in the middle of the box. The 21-year-old defender scored his first World Cup goal and what a goal it was! The United States would hang on for the last several minutes, clinching their first victory.
USA did a horrible job of possessing the ball and had too many fouls, but they were able to overcome all of those mistakes to beat Ghana. The United States will play Portugal on June 22 at 6 p.m. while Ghana will have to take on Germany the day before at 3 p.m. Both matches will be tough to handle, but if the Americans can believe that they can win, then they will do just that.