SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Landon Donovan gave an All-Star performance worthy of the United States' greatest young soccer hope.
Donovan, the San Jose Earthquakes' 19-year-old rookie forward, scored three goals in the first 18 minutes -- and a fourth 83 seconds into injury time -- as the West All-Stars played to a 6-6 tie with the East on Saturday in the sixth MLS All-Star game.
Donovan's four goals doubled the previous All-Star game record. He won the game's MVP award for his remarkable show for his home fans at a packed Spartan Stadium.
The East scored twice in the final seven minutes of regulation and nearly stole the game from the West, which never trailed until Cate of New England scored a go-ahead goal in the 88th minute.
But the final result was secondary to the all-out offensive show put on by both teams -- and the fun of a friendly match among MLS' best players.
Jim Rooney of the Miami Fusion scored in the 84th minute to tie the game at 5-5 -- and in the light-hearted spirit of the All-Star game, Rooney pulled off his jersey to reveal a black sports bra similar to the one famously worn by U.S. women's team star Brandi Chastain at the 1999 World Cup.
When Donovan scored the game-tying goal in injury time at the end of a brilliant run, he pulled off his jersey and revealed his own sports bra.
It was the only less-than-original move made by Donovan all afternoon.
Even without his bright blond dye job, Donovan would have stood out on Saturday. Donovan, widely considered a future star of the U.S. national team, used his seemingly effortless speed and careful footwork to become the MVP of his first All-Star game.
With four teen-age All-Stars -- including 16-year-old Santino Quaranta of D.C. United, the youngest All-Star in North American pro sports history -- the game was a perfect showcase for MLS' new generation of stars. None shone brighter than Donovan, who broke the records for goals and points in an MLS All-Star game.
With six of his Earthquakes teammates in the West's starting lineup, Donovan was very much at home -- and he waited three minutes after the opening whistle to score his first All-Star goal.
West goalie Joe Cannon, Donovan's teammate in San Jose, lofted a length-of-the-field pass over the entire East squad to Donovan, who took one dribble and put the ball off East goalie Nick Rimando's short side and into the net.
Four minutes later, Ariel Graziani settled the ball in the penalty area for Donovan, who fired a 20-yard strike into the far corner. He celebrated with hugs from his teammates and a wave at his twin sister, Tristan, in the stands.
At 17:44, Donovan found himself alone in the penalty area yet again on a pass from San Jose teammate Manny Lagos. He fired a low left-footed shot past Rimando for the first hat trick in All-Star game history.
Graziani, of the Dallas Burn, scored to put the West up 4-0, but Cannon's shutout bid ended two minutes later on a volley goal by Miami's Alex Pineda Chacon. Columbus' Brian McBride got two goals for the East in a five-minute span near the end of the first half.
Mamadou Diallo of Tampa Bay and Dema Kovalenko of the Chicago Fire traded second-half goals before Rooney tied the game.
© 2017. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us