MLS All-Star Game Matchday

MLS All-Star Game Matchday

Major League Soccer

MLS All-Star Game Matchday

By

2008_004

Good evening folks. I’m coming to you from BMO Field and we’re less than two hours from kick-off of the 2008 MLS All-Star game between MLS and West Ham United.

The fans haven’t been let in yet but I can see them stacked outside the gates. A sell-out crowd is expected tonight and it will be interesting to see how Toronto fans embrace an MLS All-Star team that may have no Canadians in the starting lineup.

There is some All-Star news to report. FC Dallas midfielder Juan Toja’s long-rumored move to Steaua Bucharest is set to be completed, which will make tonight’s game his last in the league.

I will be doing a running commentary on the match so please check here throughout the night for updates on match. Also, if you will be watching the match please feel free to share your pre-game and in-game thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the match.

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81st minute- Okay folks. I have some stories to write so I’m done for now. I’ll check back in after the final whistle. Feel free to pick up the slack in the commentary department.

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78th minute- I am now being told that Multiple teams are bidding for Kenny Cooper, which could make things very interesting in Dallas this summer.

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75th minute- Someone needs to tell the linesman on the left side of the field to stop calling the game so tight.

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73rd minute- DeRosario looks mighty fresh for someone who just played 90 minutes in D.C. last night.

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72nd minute- Joseph narrowly misses a header.

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71st minute- ANGEL has a goal called off for offside. What a finish and what a pass. Shame it didn’t count.

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70th minute- GOAL MLS. Dwayne DeRosario converts the PK, powering it off the underside of the crossbar. The hometown boy gets it done.

And Pat Onstad has come into the match. That’s three Canadians.

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69th minute- DeRosario is taken down in the box.

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67th minute- Goal WEST HAM. And we’re tied 2-2. Ashton’s shot was redirected by Conrad into the MLS net.

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63rd minute- I am also now hearing that reports of Kenny Cooper’s move to Rosenborg being complete are also premature.

Beckham comes VERY close on a free kick, but misses just wide.

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61st minute- The crowd is awake now. Should be a good final 29 minutes.

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60th minute- The crowd is going nuts with some very loud TFC chants.

And Beckham has a wide open shot but sends it high, leaving the crowd gasping. A goal there would have set things off here.

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59th minute- And here come the Canadians. Jim Brennan and Dwayne DeRosario are coming in for Christian Gomez and Juan Toja.

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58th minute- Did I mention how bad Frankie Hejduk has been tonight?

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57th minute- Jonathan Bornstein has had a good day today. I ripped his selection to the team but I think he’s played well. Gonzalo Segares still deserved it more.

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56th minute- Bornstein with a great ball in but nobody gets to the cross.

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55th minute- Frankie Hejduk has been pretty awful tonight.

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52nd minute- Bornstein with a foul near the edge of the area. Dangerous free kick chance for West Ham.

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51st minute- Brennan and the rest of the MLS reserves have begun to warm up, setting off some applause.

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50th minute- And the "We Want Brennan" chants are back, and even louder.

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48th minute- MLS corner and Beckham goes to the best corner in BMO Field for streamers. Not that many streamers though.

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HALFTIME- In other news, the Juan Toja stories that circulated today about him being sold already are apparently false. An FC Dallas source just told me that quotes attributed to Toja regarding a move to Steaua Bucharest were fabricated. The team is in negotiations, but no deal is imminent.

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HALFTIME- Landon Donovan and Juan Pablo Angel have come into the match, replacing Blanco and Cooper.

Luis Boa Morte has also come into the match.

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HALFTIME- MLS 2, West Ham 1. A very good show overall after a rather flat first 20 minutes.

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44th minute- GOAL MLS. And it’s Blanco with a SICK curler into the far corner. He cuts from his left to his right, then places a perfect shot past Green. MLS 2, West Ham 1

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41st minute- It needs to be said. It’s a shame that Shalrie Joseph isn’t playing in a top European league. He’s absolute quality in the middle of the field.

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40th minute- Beckham takes it and it hits a West Ham defender.

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39th minute- Blanco gets taken down and now we’ll see who gets to take the free kick. I say Blanco.

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38th minute- Some good passing from MLS. Would have been fun to see a rested Dwayne DeRosario on the left side instead of Juan "I can’t get hurt before I leave for Romania" Toja.

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34th minute- Blanco with a beautiful cross into the area but Cooper can’t get himself positioned for a good header.

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31st minute- Beckham with the rare left-footed shot to earn a corner. And here come more streamers. Okay, not that many streamers.  Beckham picks out Gomez at the top of the box for an open shot but Gomez shanks it.

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30th minute- The crowd is a little more into the match now. Not sure if they’re ready to root for MLS though.

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28th minute- Blanco gets the pass from Beckham and delivers a perfect back-heel to Gomez on the run. Great sequence.

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27th minute- GOAL MLS. And it’s Christian Gomez with the instance response to equalize. Great finish.

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26th minute- GOAL WEST HAM. And it’s Dean Asthon with a great finish off a great pass from Faubert.


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24th minute- West Ham with some better stuff offensively, but still can’t test Matt Reis.

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20th minute- The first MLS corner doesn’t amount to much but Beckham got the streamers treatment from the fans. Telling you, this is one weird All-Star Game.

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19th minute- Cooper with a great run and give and go with Gomez, but he can’t get his shot on goal. Still some nice work by Cooper.

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17th minute- The "We Want Brennan" chants are back and they are LOUD.

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14th minute- The MLS lineup is very awkward. Christian Gomez looks a bit lost because Blanco is in his position so he’s dropped back and isn’t in position to do what he does well.

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13th minute- Landon Donovan was shown on the big screen and still got loud boos.

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10th minute- Carlton Cole with a nice turn and shot to force a corner. Only a few streamers for that one. They haven’t replenished the stock apparently.

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7th minute- The whole Kenny Cooper as lone forward thing doesn’t look likely to work today.

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6th minute- Not much to report so far. MLS with a bit more possession early on, but the game has no rhythm yet.

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2nd minute- We’re under way here and the fans have already begun their "We Want Brennan" chant.

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PRE-GAME- This is really a Bizarro World All-Star Game. Every MLS player is getting loud boos when their name is announced. Well, except for Beckham, which drew a good mix of boos and cheers (and a bunch of ‘Who Are Ya" chants.

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PRE-GAME- Canadian anthem just finished and, as you might expect, the crowd went wild.

The stadium is filling up pretty well as we get close to kickoff.

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PRE-GAME- We just got through the anthems and, yes, the American anthem got booed. Landon Donovan also drew some loud boos.

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PRE-GAME- The players just left the field  after warm-ups. Not sure how this game is kicking off any time soon. So much for a 7pm start.

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PRE-GAME- No West Ham fan violence to report. Apparently there are no tea and krumpets here at BMO Field.

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PRE-GAME- So there are no Canadians in the lineup today. So much for hoping to get some crowd support behind the MLS team.

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PRE-GAME- A correction on the West Ham lineup. Wonderkid Freddie Sears is NOT here. Joe Widdowson is the player in the lineup. Here is his lineup:

————–Dean-Ashton———-Carlton Cole———

————————Julian Faubert———————-

Etherington—————————————–Mullins

—————————–Parker————————

Widdowson—-Davenport——Ferdinand———-Neill

—————————Robert Green——————-

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PRE-GAME Landon Donovan not starting is VERY interesting. He did have some ice on his knee after training yesterday so maybe he’s hurt. If this was a straight coach’s decision I would really have to question starting Christian Gomez ahead of Donovan.

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PRE-GAME- Estelle is still singing. Maybe someone should tell her to stop so the fans can get to their seats. We’re a half hour from kickoff and BMO Field is about 10 percent full.

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PRE-GAME- Here is the West Ham Lineup:

——–Dean-Ashton———-Carlton Cole——–

——————–Julian Faubert——————-

Etherington————————————Sears

—————–Parker—–Mullins—————–

Davenport———-Ferdinand—————–Neill

———————Robert Green——————-

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PRE-GAME- Here is the MLS lineup:

————————-Cooper————————

————————-Blanco————————-

Toja——————-Gomez—————-Beckham

————————Joseph—————————

Bornstein——Conrad—Mastroeni———–Hejduk

————————-Reis—————————–

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PRE-GAME– Estelle, who is doing the half-time show, is performing outside. I’m not really feeling the song.

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PRE-GAME– The fans are making their way in and weather is clearing up. There’s still hope that this game won’t be a sloppy mess.

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