photo by Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The MLS All-Star Game is an opportunity to showcase the league’s best talent, and two of the newest superstars to make the jump from Europe combined for a pair of first-half goals in another victory.
Kaka and David Villa scored three minutes apart in the first half, and that, combined with a strong performance from goalkeeper Nick Rimando, was enough to give the league’s top players a 2-1 win over Tottenham in the annual MLS All-Star Game.
Kaka opened the scoring at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the 20th minute with a perfect penalty kick. The MLS All-Stars captain then turned into a provider, feeding Villa for a one-timed effort in front of goal.
Harry Kane cut the deficit in half with a 35th-minute bomb from outside the penalty area, but Rimando superbly denied him three times before to keep the MLS All-Stars in a position to come out victory for the second straight year.
U.S. Men’s National Team youngster and former MLS player DeAndre Yedlin also saw time in the game played in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,671. Yedlin came off the bench in the 63rd minute for Spurs, who had chances in the second half to pull level.
Spurs substitute Josh Onomah had one of the best chances, hitting a curling shot in the 73rd minute that reserve goalkeeper David Ousted got down to corral.
MLS All-Stars head coach Pablo Mastroeni went with a completely different lineup to start the second half, and the new group got off to a slow start. Nacer Chadli almost pulled Spurs level in the 54th minute, racing in on goal before Ousted cut off the angle and forced the Belgian to push a shot wide of the goal.
Chadli was the player whistled for the handball in the penalty area that led to Kaka’s opener, and the Brazilian tucked a perfect shot past Spurs goalkeeper Michel Vorm to put the MLS All-Stars in front.
Villa quickly made it 2-0, finishing off a nice passing sequence that saw a streaking Kaka set him up by whipping in a low ball across the penalty area.
Tottenham had its first chance to score nine minutes in when a deflected shot fell into the path of Kane, who could not beat Nick Rimando with a side-footed effort.
Rimando denied Kane for a second time 13 minutes later, cutting off the angle on a point-blank volley. The veteran goalkeeper also stopped the talented young striker in the 34th minute, as he got in the way of a sliding effort from Kane.
Kane finally found a way to push one past Rimando late in the first half. After Matt Besler slipped in the MLS All-Stars’ half, Kane picked up the ball and darted forward before unleashing a cannon past a soaring Rimando.
That was as close as Spurs got, however, as the MLS All-Stars defended well to close out the game.
What do you think of the MLS All-Stars’ 2-1 win over Tottenham? Who impressed you more Kaka or Rimando? How would you rate Yedlin and the rest of the Spurs’ performance?
Share your thoughts below.