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Friday, August 04, 2006

Chelsea FC v MLS All-Stars

Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.
Saturday, Aug. 5, 2005 (5:30 p.m. CT; ESPN)

This is the third time the MLS All-Stars have taken on international competition in the All-Star Game. Last year, on a brilliant sun-filled day at Columbus Crew Stadium, the MLS team ran out 4-1 winners against Fulham FC of the English Premier League. All-Star Game MVP Taylor Twellman gave the MLS a 23rd-minute lead, but Claus Jensen converted a penalty kick to pull Fulham level at halftime. Ronnie O'Brien put the MLS in the lead for good in the 56th minute, then Jeff Cunningham scored twice in the final five minutes to salt away the match.

In 2003 at The Home Depot Center, the MLS stars hit for three goals after the halftime break to defeat Chivas of Guadalajara 3-1. Ante Razov gave the MLS the lead in the 57th minute, then just two minutes after Jair Garcia leveled terms for the storied Mexican club, Carlos Ruiz scored in the 68th minute to again give the MLS the lead. DaMarcus Beasley finished off the scoring in the 83rd minute. Ruiz, the then-Los Angeles Galaxy striker playing on his home ground, was named the game's Honda Most Valuable Player.

That was the second consecutive year a single team of MLS All-Stars was selected for the midseason classic, as the year before the MLS All-Stars took on a U.S. national team selection following the USA's historic quarterfinal performance at FIFA World Cup 2002 Korea/Japan. All 18 of the players selected by Bruce Arena for the match plied their trade in MLS. In 1998, an international theme was also used in the MLS All-Star Game as a team of U.S. MLS stars took on a squad comprised of international MLS stars. Each of the other seven All-Star Games has featured an East vs. West format.

Read more: MLSnet

Dan Loney of American Soccer News has an excellent preview. Kristian Dyer posted another preview on ESPN. Lastly, don't miss this chat transcript with Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber.


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