The MLS All-Star Game featuring Real Madrid was a spectacle of a match, giving a rag-tag group of Major League Soccer’s most popular athletes a chance to face possibly the world’s biggest juggernaut team. And like the Mighty Ducks v. Team Iceland, the loveable scamps were able to spark a last minute stunner to send the match into penalties. However, reality eventually righted itself, as the All-Stars missed their first two kicks, giving Real Madrid the cushion needed to snuff the match out completely
Big Winner - Adidas
The clothing manufacturing giant held the monopoly on tonight’s match, with both teams donning the three stripes. And if strutting around the field wasn’t enough, the company inked a new deal earlier today that will see all MLS teams in Adidas gear for the next eight years. For a match that is mostly showcase and display, Adidas won Best in Show.
MVP - Toni Kroos
In a match in which substitutions are unlimited and just about every player on each team’s list will see minutes, every moment is crucial. The MVP is more of an award for a defining series of moments in tonight’s match more than a goal or assist. That said, Toni Kroos made the most of his time by attempting five shots, 40 passes, and a chance created with his 56 touches. His presence served as an absolute nuisance for the All-Stars for the entire first half.
Goat - The fans
Chicago’s finest and most rambunctious supporters came out in the thousands, and displayed their colors brightly. No, not for the Blue and red All-stars, no por Los Blancos (in fact, most of the match seemed a confused and dazed series of cheers and boos for both teams)...but the color displayed was for a particular darkness heard in a chant used during the match. The crowd synchronized as one to deliver the single word that represents homophobia and hatred as Tim Howard delivered his goal kick. The fans deserve the honor of being the MLS All-Star goat for perpetuating regressive ideals.
Biggest Surprise - David Villa’s feet failed him
New York City FC’s star forward has created magic with his touches in Yankee Stadium and other venues throughout North America. His sublime skills in Soldier Field, however, seemed to sink under the rain like a pair of concrete galoshes.
Best/Worst Moment - Greg Garza subbed out in only 7 minutes
Many players saw limited time on the pitch. Garza’s early departure, however, was not a part of Veljko Paunovic’s plan. Garza suffered a heavy blow during the first few minutes of the match, and was pulled out due to the pain. It was later revealed that his injury was a separated right shoulder. Any injury is bad, but an injury suffered during a match with little consequence hurts so much more.
Once again, the All Star Game barges its way into the MLS schedule, inciting discussion and arguments over seemingly innocuous decisions made by MLS officials while at the same time robbing some of the league’s brightest stars through injury and poor performance. And once again, the game disappears as if it was never played, as its mention will only arise in the hype of a new All-Star Game. Stay tuned for 2018!