Manchester United 5-2 MLS All Stars: Five Star United Shows Class

HOUSTON - JULY 28: (R) Federico Macheda  of Manchester United celebrates with a teammate after scoring a goal against the MLS All Stars in the first minute of the MLS All Star Game at Reliant Stadium on July 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Mexican new boy Javier Hernandez joined up with his new team as Manchester United continued their American exploits, this time in Houston, Texas as the MLS All Stars stood in wait. Sir Alex elected for another young squad with old boy Ryan Giggs thrown in for good measure. An impressive and packed crowd of 70,000+ watched on from Reliant stadium for the annual event.

Former Premier League star Juan Pablo Angel started up front for MLS while golden boy Landon Donovan started on the bench having featured in his Galaxy side’s 4-1 defeat in the CONCACAF Champions League the previous night.

United found the break through early through Federico Macheda largely due to a defensive error from Kevin Alston that put Macheda in on goal after some 30 seconds.

United pinged the ball around well early while the All Stars struggled with possession and nerves. In the 12th, Macheda again struck with a well placed header off a United corner from six yards out. The aforementioned Angel came closest early on for MLS with a free kick in the 15th only to be denied by United stalwart Edwin Van der Sar.

MLS soon settled and looked most dangerous through a combination of Marco Pappa and Guillermo Barros Schelotto while Ryan Giggs and Darren Fletcher pulled the strings for United. Even for a pre season friendly, United did brilliantly in spreading the ball quickly and finding the seams in the MLS defense to create chances.

As the half approached, MLS created a few decent chances as an attentive and respectful sold out crowded cheered and ‘aahh’d’ every half chance. For United, the loss of Frenchman Gabriel Obertan to injury in the first half, their only concern.

With unlimited substitutions at the manager’s disposal, Bruce Arena elected to make six changes at the half in attempts to get back in a match which saw his side down by two goals.

Much to the crowd’s delight, Javier Hernandez made his United debut in the 63rd minute yet seconds later Brian Ching found the break through for MLS with a fantastic set piece header. Hernandez came close to pleasing the receptive crowd when Tom Cleverley provided a good far post ball into Chicharito who wasn’t able to beat Nick Rimando in goal.

It wasn’t long until United extended their lead to two goals again through Darron Gibson who found the net on a stunning free kick that David Beckham himself would have been proud of.

As the benches continued to clear, Tom Cleverley provided arguably the moment of the night for United when he slotted home United’s fourth. Cleverley received a ball into the box and ‘cleverly’ chipped Wilman Conde to create the space he needed to finish smoothly. Brilliant bit of skill from the United youngster who has a bright future.

Ultimately, United’s class was too much for a good group of MLS players who hadn’t had the time to gel as a team to compete against a United side who played their best match this pre season. Chicharito got his goal, which was arguably offside, but did well in finishing when he chipped the keeper for United’s fifth.

Chicharito looked impressive in his debut and is definitely one to watch progress in the Premier League this season. He has a natural striker’s ability to be in the right place at the right time and his instincts will serve him well with a supporting cast such as the players he’ll be surrounded by at United.

Congratulations to Landon Donovan who made his tenth appearance in an MLS All Star game yet looked slightly sluggish due to his run out on Tuesday.

What were your thoughts concerning the MLS All Star game? If you’re a United fan, how excited are you about the potential young players like Javier Hernandez and Tom Cleverley showed?

42 thoughts on “Manchester United 5-2 MLS All Stars: Five Star United Shows Class”

  1. Here come all the MLS haters…now!

    Honestly, the score really didn’t shock me, what did is finding out what happened before hand with Arena, 1-4 loss to the Pueto Rico Islanders. And now this. If Galaxy can’t win the MLS Cup, much less get to the final, Arena’s days are numbered.

    As for Man U, what do you expect from one of the top teams in the world to finally get things started? As soon as I saw the second goal, I knew it was Man U from there.

  2. “[Sir Alex wants] to walk away with as many minimum injuries as possible”

    John Harkes is terrible.

    Good game. MLS had some terrible mistakes but it’s just a friendly. They need to focus on not humiliating themselves in the Champions League. The only reason they have this All-Star game is to generate more money, not to see if the MLS is up to par with Europe’s best.

  3. Wow! Donovan Ricketts was subbed out at half-time which would make it impossible for him to block Javier Hernandez’s shot! Stupid! This article sucks!

    1. I forgot to see who was the author before I read the piece and then I read “United did brilliantly in spreading the ball quickly and finding the seems in the MLS defense ” and thought to myself, “this must be Chula”. Sure enough it was and I would not have wasted my time reading if I realized it at first.

      1. Matthew,

        I guess sometimes my curiosity gets the better of me and I just can’t help myself. Maybe it’s my desire to constantly improve myself, maybe I’m just bored and have nothing better to do, so I must ask you one question:


        1. why do I avoid your blogs, whenever I can? Sure, I can let you know in a constructive way. Your blogs seem to either have fact or grammar problems, like the one listed above. I also find your spin on subjects to be common and done before (your surely not alone in this area).

          Perhaps I shouldn’t be rude to an amateur writer who clearly is trying. I just don’t enjoy your posts, usually and the fact/grammar issues really make your work irritating to me. I will also try not to read EPLTalk before my morning coffee either. =)

          1. Interesting points, maybe I can shed a little light on why I disagree with some of them.

            First things first, I would love to hear all the ‘fact’ problems you’ve compiled from my writing. You may not like me or my style, but I don’t remember ever getting the facts wrong. Most of my writing focuses on my opinion anyway.

            These are broad accusations with no specific examples to back up your opinions. It honestly seems you just disagree with my thoughts and are grasping at straws in order to attack me and all my ‘amateur-ness’.

            My grammar: let’s see, find me a writer who doesn’t make the occasional grammatical error. I see these such errors on EPL Talk, the Guardian, Soccernet and many more all the time and simply look over them because I’m more interested in the overall theme of the story.

            What are you looking for? Perfect grammar and sentence structure, or articles about football?

            If it’s the former, go find a literary site.

            In my case, when you’re writing thousands and thousands of words per week, anyone is bound to make a mistake or two. I’m not the only one on this site or any other for that matter that will commit grammatical errors from time to time (and you’re lucky spell check exists, I’m an even worse speller).

            Get over it and focus on the overall theme of the article. If you can’t, just skip my posts when you see my name.

            You have a right to your opinion, but you come off nothing short of pompous and arrogant.

            I’m sure we’d all love to see you have a crack at writing an article or opinion piece on whatever you see fit where thousands of critical eyes can dissect every letter.

            If you’re up for it, I’ll even allow you my forum to post it.

            If interested, let me know and you can contact me by email with your piece. Here ya go:

          2. I fink dat chula da bestest righter

            hes tawt me soooooooo much

            Get a Life Matthew Reed, God forbid Chula’s articles ruin your morning coffee

    2. John,

      Great feedback. You’ve successfully practiced your right of free speech today, at least in the electronic realm. You should be proud.

      As far as catching my mistake, you should also be proud of your quick wit and attentiveness.

      I fixed it some hours ago before reading your comment and now hope you can calm yourself and rest well tonight knowing this injustice has been resolved.

      As far as why the mistake was made, the main announcer J.P. Dellacamera mistakenly announced Ricketts name in the second half which is why I made note of him still being in the game.

      Ultimately my responsibility, but I’m hoping you can find it in your heart to forgive me. Good luck in your pursuits.

  4. John Harkes; Some say…they play his audio commentary to torture prisoners of war and that he is the reason mute buttons around the nation are malfunctioning of late.

    Just Saying.

  5. Don’t forget that the Sounders won tonight! Positive result even though the goal was a keeper error, let’s support our boys in the champions league.

  6. I was fortunate enough to be at this game. It was my first taste of anything resembling an EPL match, and let me tell you it was a game i’ll never forget. Im not a ManU fan, but to see a team of such historical significance as ManU was amazing. The game was high flying and there was some quality play, from Cleverly’s fantastic finishing, Macheda’s early goals, and Gibson’s free kick. But I also want to point out the crowd. I never once heard anyone say anything bad about either team, as was the case in Philly as mentioned earlier. But the greatness was not contained on the field. I am a Newcastle fan, but I’ve never been to newcastle, or england for that matter. But I was wearing my Newcastle jersey, and a guy from Newcastle stopped me and asked me about it. Talking to this guy about Newcastle’ chances at staying up this season and about the Sol Campbell signing and whether Andy Carroll will be able to live up to the number 9 jersey made me feel like i could finally consider myself a true Newcastle fan. Truly an amazing experience.

    1. Now that is a great EPL talk comment. Heres to the magpies avoiding relegation this campaign!


      1. It was 75 for face value, but i got it off stubhub and it ended up costing 130. Huge markup, but i got the tickets late and they were great seats (4 rows back on the second level and right on the midfield line.). Considering the entire experience, it was totally worth the added price.

  7. Best comment of the night was before the match from Lalas: “…If I were the MLS All Stars, I’d be expecting to win this one tonight…honestly…”

    What a f*cking joke.

    1. RedMD, what did you expect? That crazy ginger has been out of control for ages. He. Is. Rubbish. If you expect the worst from him like i always do, then the shock caused by some of his comments will slowly subside.

      1. I know a lot of us talk about how terrible certain commentators are on here – but Lalas takes the cake for me.

        He is incapable of being subjective or taking the bias out of the equation. And to top it, his bias is generally outlandish and crazy.

  8. Totally forgot this game was being played tonight. Not exactly, but I did enjoy Man City v. Club America with 36,000+ in Atlanta.

    Smaller crowd than last year’s Intl friendly, but at times we were treated to quality football.

    Ps. horns ruin the excitement of the game.

      1. hey blues,

        still got that flag up your arse?

        F*CK ALL!
        you’re gonna win f*ck all!

  9. Glad to read that many of the attendees had a good time. This match should be viewed as a very very relaxed friendly and nothing more. The people that look too far into these kinds of matches are just looking for trouble.

    The MLS puts their nose out there by gathering a bunch of strangers for 90 minutes and they go against a world class group of players (regardless of starting roles or not, these guys live and breathe together out there). I think it is fun to watch just like any other all-star game can be, but it’s a lose-lose for the MLS if people walk out of these matches thinking less of them.

    They win, and excuses like it’s our preseason or the pitch is bad come pouring out like Chelsea a couple years back. They lose like last night, and comments like “the leagues best players couldn’t beat a Man Utd B-team”. Neither is fair nor relevant.

    Great entertainment last night, and some nice goals on both sides of the pitch.

    1. when mls wins it’s good right, but the first year they EVER lose to a premeriship team, it’s a problem. get a grip man. you sound like a sore loser.

      1. Then you weren’t listening. I’m saying that when they even win, all the teams and fans come out saying it was their preseason while the MLS is in the heat of theirs or that it was a B team or anything else they can think of. I’m not even sore about it, I think the result means nothing either which way (like KC is really better than United?).

        Maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to jump to accusations.

  10. Why all the negativity?!? You cynical losers need to get a life. Its obvious that this isn’t baseball where you can throw together an “All Star Team” and have every guy do their part. This is soccer, a TEAM sport. Jesse’s absolutely right, they didn’t have enough time to create any chemistry but I also agree that Man-U has too much class. I only watch EPL and La Liga but I have to admit its pretty exciting what the MLS is doing. The Fire just signed Nery Castillo(the mexican playmaker who scored a a beauty just liked Cleverly did tonight, against Brazil, in the Copa America). Anyways, I enjoyed the article. You’re a much better writer than I am and I can tell you know what you’re talking about Jesse. In conclusion, I’m excited about Man-U and their young talent. I can’t wait to see how Chicharito does in the EPL. Oh yeah, Alexi Lalas is a Horrible soccer analyst hahaha the guy does not know what he’s talking about.

  11. God what a bunch of whiners we have around here any more. What is with all the negativity all the time about everything? I mean the internet breeds negativity and all message boards and blogs have it but I use to think EPL Talk was the one place that you could have intelligent conversations. Apparently I was wrong.

    Anyway, I will attemp to talk about the game instead of criticizing the author of the article, and saying the MLS is rubbish, or talking down about Lalas and Harkes, etc.

    I thought it was a great game. Maybe that’s because I’m a United fan but even if I wasn’t I think I would have enjoyed it. If anything it was that I finally saw a game this summer that wowed me besides any game that envolved Germany (minus the game against Spain). I think there was more skill showed in last nights game from the United youngsters than I saw in all 99% of the games in the World Cup. And I watched most of the World Cup games.

    Gibson’s free kick was absolutely perfect. Macheda had a great header and his one of one with the keeper showed a lot of poise, Chicharito showed how he will give EPL defenders fits with his lightening speed, and Cleverly had a goal that if Messi had done he would have been crowned King. As a United fan I’m definitely excited to see more of these young players.

    As for the MLS team, it was a bit unfair for them since they were missing many players due to the Champions League and they were thrown together at the last minute. But this game doesn’t mean anything for MLS players and the league.

  12. My question is why isnt Man U playing the 3 top MLS clubs (Columbus Crew, LA Galaxy, and Real Salt Lake). Kansas City and Philadelphia are currently at the bottom of the table and 1 is an Expansion team and the other didnt even make the Playoffs.

    By the way, gotta give prop to KC.

    1. I’m sure any of the clubs you mentioned would salivate over the prospect of United coming to town.

      United probably chose the cities to visit based on location. Well, they HAVE to come to the Northeast. Since the Barclays Challenge is in the NY area and Red Bull is already committed, Philly is the natural second choice and Lincoln Financial Field is a huge and modern facility that is worthy of the tour. KC seems like an odd choice at first, but it is literally at the center of America, accessible easily by many yet hardly ever gets toured. The Houston MLS game is a great backdrop for their push into the Latin American market. I’m surprised they didn’t go to the West Coast but time can be a constraint.

  13. I thought this was a blunder by the MLS. Putting together a team of veterans against a young Man U side made MLS look like a physically inferior side in the first half. Pretty dismal, and I am a soccer fan. A blunder because it was also unnecessary. You are putting players that don’t know each other, so next time add in a lot of youth that can run and correct mistakes. Only the next big setting can try to make up for it — time to move on.

  14. I thought this was a blunder by the MLS. You are putting players that don’t know each other, so next time add in a lot of youth that can run and correct mistakes. Next time.

  15. It was a very entertaining watch, and while the score (5-2 Manchester United) was a bit lopsided, both teams played good ball. It was not the dead match that the AP reported

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