HIGHLIGHTS: MLS All-Stars vs. Liga MX All-Stars | August 25, 2021

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Major League Soccer 25 August, 2021 - 11:13pm 17 views

When is the Liga MX vs MLS?

The MLS vs. Liga MX All-Star game will take place at Banc of California Stadium, home of Los Angeles FC, on Wednesday, Aug. 25. USA TODAYMLS vs. Liga MX All-Star game: Rosters, game time, how to watch on TV and live stream

MLS All-Stars lineup: Roldan brothers make history among 6 Sounders starters vs. Liga MX | MLSSoccer.com

MLSsoccer.com 26 August, 2021 - 03:10am

Alex and Cristian Roldan will make history in Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game presented by Target (9:30 pm ET | FS1, Univision in US; TSN, TVA Sports in Canada), becoming the first brothers to feature in the same MLS All-Stars team.

The Roldans will be two of six Seattle Sounders players to start against the Liga MX All-Stars, the joint-most players from any one club to start for an MLS All-Stars team in the event's history. That number equals the record set by D.C. United in 2006 when the MLS All-Stars took on, and beat, Premier League side Chelsea.

The other Sounders players chosen by All-Star coach Bob Bradley to start the game are defenders Yeimar Gomez Andrade and Nouhou, midfielder Joao Paulo and striker Raul Ruidiaz.

Orlando City's Peruvian stopper Pedro Gallese will start in goal, with Nashville SC's Walker Zimmerman completing the defense. Last year's MLS Cup MVP Lucas Zelarayan of the Columbus Crew will be charged with pulling the strings behind a front three of New England's Gustavo Bou and LAFC's 2020 Golden Boot presented by Audi winner, Diego Rossi, alongside Ruidiaz.

Three Takeaways from MLS' dramatic win in the 2021 All-Star Game pres. by Target | MLSSoccer.com

MLSsoccer.com 26 August, 2021 - 12:45am

LOS ANGELES – That was fun, right?

Even the most stubborn All-Star Game skeptic surely had to give at least a grudging nod on Wednesday night after the best of MLS and Liga MX cut and thrust across the pitch at Banc of California Stadium in front of a rambunctious crowd of 22,118.

The 1-1 final score after regulation was a reasonable reflection of the run of play, and then in true Hollywood style, the ensuing penalty-kick shootout set the stage for Matt Turner and Ricardo Pepi to steal the show.

Here are three observations from a glittering night in Exposition Park.

Over the decades we’ve seen MLSers face one another in East-West and “US vs. the World” formats in this event, then big-name clubs from overseas invited in to supply some international flair. All have offered various pros and cons. But I’d argue that nothing hit the spot quite like this affair.

In some years the All-Star Game either struggled to supply the vibrancy or intensity that gets spectators excited, or at the very least intrigued. Then the prospect of hastily-assembled MLS squads keeping pace with world-class talent from the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid brought interest, but also angst at the prospect of humbling scorelines.

On Wednesday night, however, the two squads showcased the speed, fluidity and star power we see in their week-to-week league action, elevated by the chance to gain a measure of pride and roared on by fans who have grown familiar with the history and character on both sides. MLS and Liga MX leaders probably already loved what they gained from this soccer summit even before the opening whistle, and the engaging flow of play can only seal their satisfaction.

Oh, and the players relished it, too.

“I think this match was highly anticipated by both teams, and then the fans. The atmosphere was great, the quality of soccer was really good,” said MLS All-Stars captain Cristian Roldan postgame. “I thought there could have been a little bit more goals, but at the end of the day it was a great overall All-Star game."

What a summer it’s been for the New England Revolution goalkeeper. The late-blooming talent’s unlikely rise to MLS and US men’s national team stardom was already an incredible tale well before he backstopped the USMNT’s Gold Cup triumph and the Revs’ run to the top of the Supporters’ Shield race. And now he’s an All-Star MVP, thanks in large part to the two PKs he saved in the shootout.

“For a normal match, I think I’d have a little bit more data. I’d watch penalties, I’d know the shooter, I’d be a lot more familiar with them,” Turner told reporters postgame.

“But in this particular scenario, I was trying to think back to the games I looked at before we played Mexico in the Gold Cup final. And really, nothing was coming to me. So I just sort of tried to shut my mind off, use my instincts, tried to read cues from the way they were approaching the ball.”

Producing the goods in a high-profile moment while more or less flying blind showed that the New Jersey kid has a few more chapters in his saga.

It can only bolster his standing in the eyes of USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter, who was in the house to witness Pepi make Turner’s good work stand up by blasting the match-winning penalty past Nahuel Guzman, the wily Tigres ‘keeper who’d iced him in the very same goal in the Skills Challenge presented by AT&T 5G the night before.

However you arrived at the Banc, you could see long before you reached the stadium gates just what a fiesta del fútbol this evening would be in this deeply Hispanic metropolis.

The adjoining streets and plazas were packed as attendees took in the many pregame entertainment options, as well as classic LA features like hot-dog carts, street tacos and homespun merchandise sales of questionable authenticity. And once inside the stadium, it became clear just how much Mexican flavor was representing, right down to the banda music that blared when Jonathan Rodriguez scored the game’s opening goal.

🔊 @LAFC3252 >>>#LAFC | #MLSAllStar pic.twitter.com/PJn9HbkdVh

While the black jerseys of host club LAFC were everywhere too, the overflow crowd was spangled with Liga MX colors and crests from América to Tigres, with many proudly brandishing sombreros and tricolor flags as well. The big cheers that greeted the MLSers’ eventual victory underlined the groundswell of support for the home league, but there was no mistaking the power and vibrancy of the southern neighbors’ soccer culture.

The marketing of this matchup had urged fans to “representa tu liga,” and it seemed that Southern California’s Mexican-American and Mexican expatriate communities took it seriously.

RECAP: Six Sounders start the match as MLS beats Liga MX in 2021 All-Star Game | Seattle Sounders

SoundersFC.com 25 August, 2021 - 11:08pm

LAFC’s Diego Rossi nearly opened the scoring for MLS eight minutes in when he chipped goalkeeper Memo Ochoa, but Rossi’s shot was acrobatically cleared off the line.

Liga MX took the lead in the 20th minute when Uruguayan international Jonathan Rodríguez deftly corralled a cross before slotting home past Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

MLS equalized in the 53rd minute when LAFC center back Jesús David Murillo headed in a corner kick from his Black and Gold teammate Eduard Atuesta.

The match ended 1-1 and went to penalties where New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner made two saves and another shot went over the crossbar. Real Salt Lake’s Damir Kreilach and Sporting Kansas City’s Daniel Sallói opened the PK scoring for MLS before Atuesta had his attempt saved and Orlando City’s Nani missed wide.

MLS won in the bottom of the fifth frame when FC Dallas teenager Ricardo Pepi converted with a rocket of a shot that rattled the underside of the crossbar and went in.

BIG W FROM THE BOYS 💚💙#MLSAllStar | #Sounders pic.twitter.com/3GCnFK1mog

All six Seattle Sounders started on Wednesday, joining the 2006 D.C. United side as the joint-most in All-Star Game history. Raúl Ruidíaz, João Paulo, Alex Roldan, Yeimar and Nouhou started alongside team captain Cristian Roldan in LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley’s 4-3-3 formation. Ruidíaz, Yeimar and Nouhou all went 30 minutes before being replaced, while João Paulo and both Roldan brothers finished out the first half before exiting.

Speaking of the Roldans, they became the first pair of brothers to compete in the same MLS All-Star match. Cristian started in defensive midfield next to João Paulo, while Alex played in a more traditional right fullback role as opposed to the wingback hybrid position that he has shined in so far this season.

A record 6⃣ Sounders in the Starting XI for the @MLS All-Stars! 💙💚#MLSAllStar | #Sounders pic.twitter.com/vCztTSJqtI

Nouhou had been out since May 30 while recovering from an adductor injury and recently returned to the matchday roster in the Sounders’ 2-1 win at Columbus Crew SC last weekend. He did not feature in that match, though, so he earned his first half an hour of action in the All-Star Game and looked like his lively self that helped lead Seattle to an MLS-record unbeaten streak to start the season.

The Sounders’ All-Stars will return to Seattle ahead of a massive rivalry clash against the Portland Timbers at Lumen Field on Sunday (7:30 p.m. PT; ESPN, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS). The Sounders will look to extend their four-match winning streak in all competitions that included a 6-2 romp of Portland at Providence Park on Aug. 15.

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