Major League Soccer put on it's summer party tonight in San Jose, California as the MLS All-Stars took on English Premier League side Arsenal FC under gorgeous skies at sold out Avaya Stadium. This was the 21st All-Star game and the first to feature Arsenal and while it was not the greatest exhibition of soccer, but it was an enjoyable match that was eventually won by Arsenal FC 2-1.
The first half was a bit of a drab affair, which was to be expected as the MLS All-Stars had not played a match together and Arsenal is in the throws of their preseason preparations. Arsenal scored first as Laurent Ciman of Montreal Impact committed a foul in the penalty box (which would have been an ejection in the regular season) which led to a Joel Campbell penalty kick goal.
The goal seemed to settle down the MLS All-Stars and they did better controlling possession but still found themselves on the end of several good Arsenal chances. The All-Stars tied the game up late in the first half as Didier Drogba put in a rebound to level the game at 1-1 going into halftime.
The second half brought wholesale changes as both squads looked to find a game winner. Arsenal and the All-Stars both had opportunities, but the second half lacked a bit of the passion of the first. The game appeared to be heading for penalty kicks, however in the 87th minute there was a defensive breakdown from the MLS All-Stars that allowed Chuba Akpom to score the game winner. The All-Stars pushed for an equalizer but it was not meant to be and the match finished 2-1 to Arsenal.
Jermaine Jones of our beloved Colorado Rapids did not make an appearance tonight.
10th Min: BOOKING--Yellow Card--Laurent Ciman is shown the yellow card (Unsporting Behavior)
11th Min: GOAL--Arsenal--Joel Campbell scores a Penalty Kick goal
45th Min: GOAL--MLS All-Stars--Didier Drogba scores a goal
87th Min: GOAL--Arsenal--Chuba Akpon scores a goal
The MLS-All Star Starting XI:
Andre Blake (HT, David Bingham), Keegan Rosenberry (HT, Andrew Farrell), Laurent Ciman (HT, Kendall Waston), Jelle Van Damme (HT, Steve Birnbaum), Kellyn Acosta (57th Brandon Vincent), Andrea Pirlo (32nd, Sacha Kljestan, 73rd, Clint Dempsey), Kyle Beckerman (HT, Darlington Nagbe), Giovani dos Santos (HT, Wil Trapp), Kaka (HT, Mauro Diaz), David Villa (33rd, Ignacio Piatti, 73rd, Chris Wondolowski) , Didier Drogba (HT, Sebastian Giovinco, 76th, Cyle Larin)
The Arsenal Starting XI:
Petr Cech (67th, Emiliano Martinez), Kieren Gibbs (51st, Nacho Monreal), Krystian Bielk (51st, Calum Chambers), Rob Holding, Mathieu Debuchy (HT, Hector Bellerin), Mohamed Elneny (67th Gedion Zelalem) , Francis Coquelin (HT, Granit Xhaka), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere (HT, Alex Iwobi), Joel Campbell (68th, Jeff Reine Adelaide), Theo Walcott (67th Chuba Akpom)