Moving Beyond All-Star WednesdayBy: Brian | July 31st, 2010
What conclusions can be made from the MLS All-Star debacle against Manchester United?
First, two factors to consider:
1) It is an exhibition. The MLS all-stars are randomly thrown together and then expected to perform against one of the world’s elite clubs.
2) Professional athletes are competitive by nature. Given the huge hype and setting for this match, it is hard to imagine the players not being motivated to play hard.
Giving up 5 goals to an undermanned Manchester United squad is certainly not something to be proud of. Yet, the all-stars have done very well against quality European clubs over the past several years so why was this year so different? Here are a few differences:
Sir Alex Ferguson – It’s no secret the MLS (like the USMNT) struggles to play quality defense. Manchester United came into the match with a plan to attack, attack, attack. A 1st minute gift set up Macheda for a nice finish and the goal-fest was on! I give a lot of credit to the Man U manager for attacking the match and sending a statement about what to expect in terms of attitude and depth from the Red Devils this season.
The da Silva boys – Wow, they are impressive, intimidating and relentless. They have an intensity level that is not seen very often in MLS.
Team Intensity – Man U came to play in an entirely different way than did Celtic, West Ham, Chelsea or Everton.
Was the 5-2 result embarrassing?
Is it an accurate reflection on the overall level of play in the MLS?
Not really, but it should be a wake-up call to the stars of the league that future changes for the positive are up to them.