Ed. note: For photos of last night's game, check out our slideshow.
There's no sugar-coating the performance of the MLSers in last night's All-Star Game at Reliant Stadium; they simply got spanked. Manchester United, coming off their 2-1 loss to Kansas City, came out more aggressively and dominated the entire match. It didn't take long for them to score either, as Federico Macheda tallied in the first 20 seconds of the match.
The cream of the crop of MLS simply looked outclassed, and here are a couple of reasons why.
1. Not enough star power
How is it that Man U comes into H-Town without players like Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen or Rio Ferdinand, and still manages to lay a 5-2 beatdown? It's because the rest of their lineup is still a fully loaded bunch. The MLS, in comparison, started players like Marco Pappa, Sebastien Le Toux, and Kevin Alston. It wasn't until second-half substitutions that the MLS scored their only two goals, where hometown hero Brian Ching scored the first and assisted on the second.
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2. A couple of missing players; others were pooped
The MLS side was devoid of a couple of players as well, lads that would have made a difference. The Seattle Sounders FC opened up their CONCACAF Champions League schedule last night, so Freddie Ljungberg, Fredy Montero, and Kasey Keller were absent from the team. Then factor in that LA Galaxy players Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez, and Toronto FC midfielder Dwayne De Rosario, didn't come on until the end of the match because they played in Champions League last night
3. Not enough possession
One of the keys that Sir Alex Ferguson emphasized for his team was better possession of the ball. Against Kansas City, they turned the ball over too much and gave the Wizards enough chances to pull out the victory. Last night, Man U didn't share the ball with the MLSers; simply put, if you don't have the ball, you can't score.
4. Major lack of communication and unfamiliarity
It was evident from the first goal, 20 seconds in, that communication was going to be an issue with the MLS All-Stars. When players are unfamiliar with each other, they aren't able to make crosses or runs as comfortably; that's why Man U looked more cohesive as a team. In the first half, the unfamiliarity between the All-Stars hindered them from putting quick passes against a fast Man U side. In the second half, the familiarity of Ching, DeRo, Brad Davis, and Donovan helped make the MLSers look more like an outfit, though it wasn't enough to overcome the large deficit they faced.
Now that this circus is behind us, life in MLS resumes to normalcy. The Dynamo hit the pitch this Saturday night, when Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls come to town.