MLS All-stars beat Celtic: Becks attends

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by Solomon Kane, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. Solomon Kane

    Solomon Kane Mentor

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    Well at least MLS All-Stars have a 4-0 record against the Foreign competition (having beaten Fulham, Celtic, Chelsea, and Guadalajara-Mexico).

    The two MLsers who scored were not white Americans, but Angel is a white Colombian. He played for Aston Villa in England. His English is pretty good. He scored an impressive goal.

    I don't know much about the other Colombian who scored.

    Apparently Celtic has a lot of fans in America, you saw a lot of White and green. Disappointing total attendance though 19, 000.

    Becks debuts tomorrow.



    MLS newbies Angel, Toja lift All-Stars past Celtic FCAssociated Press


    COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- The goalie was rushing at him, but Juan Pablo Angel didn't panic. He switched the ball to his left foot, scooted past the keeper and poked the shot into a wide-open net -- a deft little move that you-know-who couldn't have done any better.





    Yes, David Beckham is the headliner now -- even in games he's not playing. But it's players like Angel who could be every bit as important to the future of soccer in America.

    The Colombian, who came to the States this season to play in the MLS, scored the first goal Thursday night to lift the MLS All-Stars to a 2-0 victory over Celtic FC.


    "We said before the game, there's no such thing as a 'friendly' game anymore," Angel said. "We wanted to go out and do it right."

    Indeed, the stakes have risen with the arrival of Beckham, who wore a suit, watched from the commissioner's suite and made a brief appearance on the field between halves. During a halftime interview, he said his much-anticipated debut Saturday with the Los Angeles Galaxy could be delayed by a nagging left ankle injury that has been slow in healing.

    Nobody wants to rush it because he's here for the long term -- five years, over which he'll earn $32.5 million and become the top ambassador for soccer in a country that has simply refused to embrace the sport over the decades.

    "For one of the biggest sporting nations in the world not to have soccer as one of its top three sports is pretty amazing,'' Beckham said. "So, if I can help grow the game here, then I want to be part of that.''

    Angel, the All-Star MVP on Thursday, took the same leap of faith this year, bidding adieu to Aston Villa of the English Premier League to play for the New York Red Bulls. He might be the best player in MLS, though neither his arrival nor his contract ($1.5 million a year) are on the level of what Beckham has received.


    "I think he's going to feel very welcomed here,"' said Angel, who has been gracious about Beckham's arrival. "It's going to bring a lot of attention to the league, and it's going to be great. He's a terrific professional, and he's still capable of playing on any team in the world."


    Yet as much as Beckham helps, MLS also needs more players like Angel will be important if the MLS is to start being recognized around the world as more than a minor league.

    More than just Beckham's arrival, it's the overall quality of play that figures to make or break this league in the long run, as soccer aficionados decide whether to pay attention and top soccer players decide whether they want to forgo established leagues around the world to play at places like Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.

    A crowd of 18,661 saw the MLS boys put on a pretty good show against Celtic FC, which is still working its way into form but is, nevertheless, the two-time defending champs of the Scottish Premier League.

    In the 36th minute, Angel took a pass from Dwayne De Rosario, made a nice move past goalie Artur Boruc and tapped the ball to the back of the net with his left foot for a 1-0 lead.

    Later in the first half, a free kick led to a scramble and Toja came up with the ball and had a wide open look at the net to make it 2-0.

    Boruc made a pair of point-blank saves in the first half and turned away Eddie Johnson's penalty kick to keep the game from getting further out of hand. Johnson and De Rosario spent much of the night distributing in the Celtic end.

    This marked the third straight year that MLS' best has beaten a team from overseas in its All-Star Game, a point that certainly won't get lost among commissioner Don Garber and the rest of the league brass as they pitch the quality of their product.

    This game aside, it's clear that Beckham's arrival buys the league some time to capture imaginations out there. Even his arrival at the stadium for a game he wasn't playing was enough to draw a crowd and bring out more than a few cameras.

    "Oh my God, Oh my God,'' swooned one teenage girl as she snapped a photo on her cell phone.

    "It's a step in the right direction,'' soccer fan Jesse Fillerup said outside the stadium as he watched Beckham enter. "But everyone knows, he won't be able to do it on his own.''



    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
     
  2. Angelcynn

    Angelcynn Guru

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    Angel is %100 European Columbian and used to play for Aston Villa in the English Premiership. Started of well and then faded. He is definatly a talented player but couldn't fit into the style of play here in England.

    As for Beckham he is being well over hyped but I'm sure he will make his mark if he can stay free of injury. He's a great leader and his passing, set pieces and workrate are second to none.
     

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