Saturday, August 05, 2006

A milestone for MLS

The MLS all stars stunned Chelsea, the EPL Champs today at Toyota Park. I was at the game and will have much more on this subject later, but feel this is one of the most important moments for MLS in the league's 11 year existence. A great game for Chris Albright and Brian Boswell in particular, and of course Dwayne DeRossario who scored the only goal of the afternoon. For Chelsea, Arjen Robben and Shaun Wright Phillips stood out, but both Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard appeared to allow their World Cup dissapointments to fester into a full fledged hangover with poor performances.

Nonetheless, the game really didn't cut in MLS' favor until Chelsea brought some subs in to start the second half. Despite the poor play of Lampard and Ballack, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien showed the quality that have made them the two most expensive African footballers in history.

The second half brought a worrying injury to Joe Cole but more good play from MLS youngsters, especially Nate Jaqua and Ricardo Clark both of whom came on as halftime subs. At the same time, Chelsea's second unit looked lost and the MLS were not only keeping possession and developing opportunities to score. It was only a matter of time before MLS broke through, which DeRossario did in minute 71. Joe Cannon was outstanding in saving several point blank shots in the last ten minutes by a desperate Chelsea side.

I will have player ratings and more thoughts on the stadium and all star weekend Tuesday.


Rafael said...

As someone of mexican heritage who moved to the usa just as mls was beginning i am today very proud.

I count my two great loves in futbol as los tres colores, the national team of my homeland and the mls, the league that i love and the league that nobody gives respect to.

well, time to fess up anglos and other euro lovers. the euro leagues may be great but we know our game here in north america also.

we defeated the best team europe has, and in my opinion dominated the run of play and showed much more quality and skill. albright is a classy player no doubt, but do not look past the contributions of joe cannon in goal or facundo erpen who may get an argentina national side call up based on his shutdown play on shevchenko or jimmy conrad who dominated drogba.

our league is better than all the naysayers and critics on this webpage give us credit for. i want to hear you repent.

Kartik said...

Don't forget Donovan, Pope, Mastroeni & Ruiz were injured and Dempsey, Joseph, Razov and Palencia were out because of a match sunday. this was almost mls "b" except for Moreno, Derossario and Gomez. yet the starters of chelsea were humbled. I'd never claim any MLS team could finish in the top half of in the EPL, but perhaps today was a little glimpse into the improved technical skill of the league as well as the individual abilities of certain players like Chris Albright and Dwayne DeRossario

Anonymous said...

Chelsea wasn't into it. This was a tune up match for them. Don't get too over excited by this performance.

The Three Lions said...

Drogba's brilliant goal on an excellent ball from Ballack was wrongly disallowed. Had Drogba's goal stood, MLS would not have had a shot to win this match and Chelsea would have won going away.

DC United Fan said...

A great victory for our league! I am proud of Moreno, Gomez, Boswell, Alecko, Gros, Erpen, Freddy, Perkins and all the United all stars!

Even better is that now we won't here the English fans refer to our "stinking minor league" anymore.

Harvey said...

This was a major moment in the short history of MLS. Not only the 1-0 scoreline but also how well our defenders marked Chelsea's best and how we were able to stop dangerous attacks from the other side.

Our positioning and man marking were excellent and while we had some difficulty finishing chances, particularly Ching's horrendous miss in the first 15 minutes, we chipped away and were bound to eventually break through.

USA2010 said...

It was an entertaining game. MLS played well and showed skill against a very good team.

This was Chelsea's first runout of the season , so I'd hesitate to call this some kind of historical moment. It was, however, an excellent representation of the quality of this league and its players.

Nobody can deny that.

USA2010 said...

I hope the great play by MLS is rewarded with some new fans who may have tuned in as a bounce from the World Cup.

Gregg said...

I was at the game yesterday with Kartik and what stood out for me was how well this unheralded group of MLS defenders marked some of the world's best strikers in Drogba and Schevcenko.

Chelsea can complain about how the MLS is in the middle of their season but to any observer, the fact is MLS All-Stars were cleary the better team on yesterdays pitch.

They had a lot to prove and they accomplished what they set out to do.

I thought the spread on the game would be Chelsea -3.5 goals but MLS showed a lot of heart and grit yesterday.

Super Frankie Lampard said...

Why are all the English fans getting on my case?

I wasn't the worst player on the pitch in the world cup. I had the most shots of any player in the tourney, although many missed their targets.

I know some still support me and chant "Super Frankie Lampard" and I value their support.

Kartik said...

I can attest to suck lampard! We walked into the game yesterday with drunk brits around us shouting super frankie lampard!

They were drunk up and down the mag. mile on michigan avenue before the game. The fans thought the MLS team was a joke but they found out otherwise.

Let's hope the fans who got a great show listen to Jaime Moreno's call for Chicago to come out support the team and a great facility.

Hernandez said...

mls is deserving of more respect. you have even said it was a b side that defeated the mighty chelsea. the argentine kid from dc was amazing at the back and what a game from albright of the galaxy. he used to play as an attacker and showed he still has the ability to move forward with pace and also cross the ball well.

mls is among the better leagues in the world. i have said it while all the euro biased people on this weblog have argued otherwise. soon mls and the mexican first division will merge many ops and have player exchanges. this joint league will be one of the best in the world.

Torres said...

what a show yesterday here in LA! 93,000 plus to see futbol here as our mexcian heroes battled Barca.

Regarding MLS, obviously Chelsea thought this would be a free holiday but DeRossario and co. took care of them!

Harvey said...

Don't forget about Nate Jaqua. He showed some class and ability to hold the ball in this match. Perhpas he is Brian McBride's succesor.

hat trick peter crouch said...

It is amazing how arrogant you Yanks and Mexicans have become over a win in an exhibition friendly. Chelsea would crush your so-called All Stars if they played at Stamford Bridge in mid season.