MLS All-Star Game 2012 - Summary and Analysis

2012 MLS All Star Game

Who Won the 2012 Major League Soccer All-Star Game?

On July 25th, 2012 at PPL Park in Philadelphia, the MLS All-Stars faced off against Champions League winners Chelsea FC. The game was an exciting match, with back and forth action, resulting in a 3-2 victory for the MLS All-Stars over Chelsea FC.

The MLS All Stars will take on AS Roma for the 2013 All Star Game.

Starting Lineups and Photos

MLS All-Star Team photo
MLS All-Star Team photo | Source
Chelsea Starting Lineup
Chelsea Starting Lineup | Source
MLS All-Stars Starting Lineup
MLS All-Stars Starting Lineup | Source
Eddie Johnson and the MLS All-Stars
Eddie Johnson and the MLS All-Stars | Source

2012 MLS All-Star Game - Match Summary

With a lot of hype surrounding the MLS All-Star game as well as live coverage on ESPN2, there were high expectations for the game. The MLS All-Stars and Chelsea Football Club took the field at a picture perfect PPL Park with a sold out crowd.

The MLS All-Stars were made up of the best players from around Major League Soccer as chosen by fans, the media and coaches. Some notable players on the All-Star team included David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Landon Donovan, Chris Wondolowski, Dwayne De Rosario and Eddie Johnson.

In the first 20 minutes, both the All-Stars and Chelsea saw a few half chances that were cleaned up by the defense. But just a minute later, the MLS All-Stars took the lead.

In the 21st Minute Landon Donovan steals the ball from a Chelsea player and sends a quick overhead through ball to Henry on the left sideline who puts a cross in to the penalty area. Chris Wondolowski, the MLS leading goal scorer, darts in, beating John Terry to the ball, and finishes into the back of the net. The MLS All-Stars are up 1-0.

Chelsea was quick to retaliate.

In the 31st minute, Chelsea gets a corner which finds the head of John Terry who hits it into the upper 90. Goal for Chelsea, game tied 1-1.

As the first half comes to an end, the All-Stars outside defenders Justin Morrow and Steven Beitashour do well to keep Chelsea’s offense from getting many more chances.

At the start of the Second half, both Chelsea and the All-Stars make a handful of substitutes. As this is Chelsea’s preseason, they are looking to try different player combinations and get the players up to match fitness. The MLS All-Stars are trying to give everyone selected for the team and chance to play in the game.

Surprisingly, despite the substitutions, the tempo and pace of the game remains high, perhaps because of the desire of each team to win the game or maybe each players desire to perform well. Either way, there were more goals to be had in the second half.

In the 56th minute, MLS substitute goalkeeper Dan Kennedy comes up with a huge save that he pushes out for a corner. Chelsea take the resulting corner, which does little to threaten the All-Star goal, but their next chance is much more successful.

In the 58th minute, Chelsea collects the loose ball off the corner kick and Ramirez sends a cross in around the 6 yard box. Dan Kennedy comes out to catch the ball but cannot reach it. It falls to the feet of veteran Frank Lampard who kicks it in for an easy go ahead goal. Chelsea leads 2-1.

At the hour mark, Chelsea makes a number of substitutes. As the commentators pointed out, Chelsea substitutes world class players, for world class players. No depth issues on their bench.

The MLS All-Stars also continue to make changes, taking off Donovan, Beckham, Wondolowski and Henry to put on other MLS All-Star players, with a favorable result.

In the 73rd minute, DC United’s Dwayne De Rosario chases down a long ball supplied by David Beckham, and lays it back to DC United teammate Chris Pontius, who entered the game for Donovan. Pontius makes a perfect side footed shot that beats Chelsea’s ‘keeper at the near post. MLS ties the game 2-2.

The game continued into the final minutes with Chelsea putting strong pressure on the All-Stars Defense. But the MLS players defend well, and create chances of their own.

The game looks like it will result in a tie, which would lead to an exciting penalty shootout. But the All-Stars have a different idea.

In the 91st minute, halfway through stoppage time, Kyle Beckerman sends a through ball in for Eddie Johnson. Johnson streaks towards the goal with only one defender for company and takes his shot around the edge of the penalty area. It takes a big deflection off the Chelsea defender and lands in the back of the net. MLS All-Stars win 3-2.

The game was exciting throughout, with neither team dominating the other. On a different day, Chelsea might have won, but on that day, the MLS won.

MLS All-Stars Win

The MLS All-Stars win the trophy in 2012
The MLS All-Stars win the trophy in 2012

Eddie Johnson's Game Winning Goal

What Does a Win for the MLS All-Stars Mean?

A lot of people (mostly MLS fans), will speculate what this victory for the MLS All-Stars over Chelsea, means. Some might say it shows the MLS is just as good as any other league. Others might say the All-Stars got lucky.

I think it is really just one more step closer to getting the league on par with other leagues around the world, and gaining a little respect.

One can argue that this is preseason for Chelsea, and they were not fit, or really trying. But the MLS All-Star team was made up of players from around the league, who only had a few days to play together. I don’t think either team had an advantage.

At the end of the day, this is an exciting victory for the MLS which has grown significantly in the last 10 years (9 new teams, 13 new soccer specific stadiums, huge increase in fans and TV coverage). These types of games are more for fun than anything else, and as a fan of good soccer, I thoroughly enjoyed watch the 2012 MLS All-Star Game.

Write your thoughts on the MLS All-Star game and what the win means, in the comments below.

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Comments 19 comments

CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England

I dont care if it is Pre-season, beating the Holding European Champions is a great Achievement for the MLS team/league, completely agree that it shows the development, hopefully they will kick on from it. I feel if the MLS league had the respect it deserved, Beckham would have been called up to England and Team GBR by now.

Cheers for the summary Pete, didnt get to watch the game


mmsu profile image

mmsu 4 years ago from Pakistan

Definitely MLS league as a whole is improving and the victory points towards that!


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

CCahill - Yep, I agree you. And I am still wondering why Beckham didn't get on the GB team. Thanks for dropping by!

mmsu - Yeah, it has been fun to watch the MLS over the last 8 years or so and I can say for sure, it has improved. It will be even more exciting to see where it can be in another 8-10 years. Thanks for your comment!


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

I twas good to show casre MLS talent. But outside of that liitle maning.


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Richard-Murray - Yeah, I doesn't mean a big change one way or another, but perhaps a small step towards better players and league. Thanks for your comment!


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England

A pretty strong lineup from Chelsea, they cant use that excuse but i see a lot of people attributing the loss to Chelsea players still gearing up in Pre-Season which i think is an overplayed excuse, its not like players suddenly forget how to play Football in the space of Several weeks and put on Kg's of fat.

Chelsea last played in the Champions League final as a team, so played on longer than any other EPL team (19th May), thats only 8 weeks ago and during that time they have nearly all being playing International Football and training frequently firstly with their country and then with their club, so its a very poor excuse.

Tim Cahill has just gone to the MLS, another good player


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

CCahill - "it's not like the forget how to play Football" haha, that made me laugh. As you pointed out, they have been playing quite a bit, all their lives.

And yeah, Tim Cahill to the New York Red Bulls seems like a big move! Plus Higuain to Columbus! And Nesta to Montreal a few weeks back! Big name players are rolling in. I am excited about the direction the MLS is heading, I think it shows good progress.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England

Didnt it do this once before? When Pele joined, Seemed to have fizzled out for a while


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Yeah, although I am not too familiar with what went on, but the league is very different now, to prevent it from folding again. One of the biggest differences are the number of soccer specific stadiums the teams have/are building. Also, many teams are getting sell-out crowds. I might have to look into why they league folded back when Pele played in it.


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

Interpete,

the development of youth players by the clubs is the most effectual way to developing better players and thus a league. Brazil's , Germany's, Italy's, Argentina's, history of greatness comes from youth development by clubs on all professional levels. The USA's sports culture is used to leaving player development to the NCAA , other countries develop players through professional, meaning legally paying players, clubs at all tiers. The best example of that is the womens game. As club soccer grows for women outside the USA, the quality gap is being shown in the olympics. The USA has a strong modern culture of women's athletics and that shows with the physical quality of the womens team but the foreign teams technique shows advancements in that area which , once coupled with greater fitness regiments through club play will place the USA be even larger and is why mens soccer can never match the championship quality of foreign clubs. Professional clubs at all tiers is key


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Richard - most, if not all, MLS clubs have youth development academies. There is actually a bit of discussion these days because these academies are pulling young players away from playing for their high schools, which is traditionally where they would learn to play. Thus, soccer is changing in American on all levels. There are quite a few exciting young players both in the MLS and also playing in Europe who will be leading the US Mens national team in a few years. Yes, professional clubs at all tiers is key, and the MLS is slowly developing that.


mmsu profile image

mmsu 4 years ago from Pakistan

For the USA soccer team to be successful in the future,definitely youth development has to be taken seriously,plucking raw talent from high schools is a good step.i still think most of these players need to start playing in the major leagues around Europe to gain that experience and exposure.


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

mmsu - Yep, totally agree. It is neat that there are actually quite a few Americans playing Europe, and doing very well. Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, and Michael Bradley are just a few who had outstanding seasons last year. Thanks for reading!


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

Internpete,

I agree, soccer is changing in the USA and you can see with basketballs development league an attempt by one of the majors to start the change in its domestic form away from the very powerful NCAA.

MMSU

with the financial fair play what you are seeing in Europe is a focus on domestic talent more and more. And, let's be honest, the big european countries have investments in the soccer of other regions outside the USA that hurt the chances of USA players getting time in UEFA.

I think USA players should try to go to south america. As Brazil grows, they are keeping more of their own talents and getting more talents from south america outside of Brazil while still producing the gems to be sent here their and everywhere.

But, as Brazil grows and absorbs south america's talent, argentina, uruguay and other south american countries will be in a position to grab youth or good players outside of conmebol. UEFA, CAF, and AFC are too expensive, but CONCACAF players will be affordable. I think that is the direction players should go.


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Richard-Murray - Good points, thanks for your comment!


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

my pleasure, I shared your post on twitter , at least i thought i did but your tweet count didn't increase, please contact hubpages


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

haha, thanks!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Interesting share on this sport. I am not a true fan of soccer but appreciate the efforts and dedication it takes to make a winning team, as you wrote in your hub.


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

teaches12345 - thanks for your interest and comment!

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