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Atlético Madrid tops MLS All-Stars

After a lightning delay, the rain continued to pour as the MLS All-Star game got underway at Exploria Stadium in Orlando on Wednesday night. La Liga’s Atlético Madrid paid a visit for the friendly matchup on its preseason tour, taking the spoils to the tune of a 3-0 scoreline.

Orlando City head coach James O’Connor was at the helm of the MLS side which showed the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimović, Wayne Rooney, and Carlos Vela among others in the starting XI, though they didn’t see the second half.

From a quick free-kick play, Rodrigo Riquelme found a charging and isolated Marcos Llorente to open up the scoring in the 43rd minute. The 24-year-old Spaniard powered one past Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake from the center of the box.

In the 56th minute, Atlético brought out the heavy artillery with a five-man substitution headlined by João Félix, Koke, and Diego Costa.

A pair of free-kick opportunities from Atlanta United’s Ezequiel Barco and Chicago Fire’s Bastian Schweinsteiger came close enough to see the MLS squad go down swinging, but unable to find an equalizer before Atlético’s starters found a late rhythm.

From distance, Félix doubled the lead for Atlético in the 86th minute with a curling shot that Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando could not keep out.

Félix got involved again late in the match when he found Costa, who was able to poke one by Rimando from point-blank range for the final say of the evening.

Man of the Match

Factoring himself into two goals, João Félix made the most of his brief appearance.

Moment of the Match

A nod to the sentimental side, Nick Rimando’s entrance at the hour mark. The 40-year-old has spent 19 seasons in American soccer and the shift served as his sixth and final MLS All-Star appearance as he plans to retire at season’s end.

Match to Forget

In a friendly environment, it’s hard to fault anyone. Worth noting though, Audi offered a $5,000 per goal donation to its Goals Drive Progress initiative and the MLS squad played no part in the $15,000 contribution.

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