MLS All-Stars disappoint crowd by topping Chivas

Posted: Sunday, August 03, 2003

CARSON, Calif. Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman wasn't a fan favorite at home during the eighth Major League Soccer All-Star game.

Los Angeles forward Carlos Ruiz scored the tiebreaking goal in the 68th minute, and several of Hartman's nine saves were of the spectacular variety as the MLS All-Stars beat Chivas de Guadalajara 3-1.

As expected, the vast majority of the announced crowd of 27,000 was pro-Chivas, so those fans went home disappointed.

Thousands wore the Mexican team's red and white striped jerseys and showered the field with confetti when the lineups were introduced.

''They're the most popular team in Mexico and a large portion of our supporters here in Southern California are Mexican,'' Hartman said. ''So they support them out here.

''It's not very often that you're going to see Chivas in an atmosphere in a stadium such as this in your hometown.''

Chivas became the first foreign team to play in the MLS All-Star game and dominated a scoreless first half.

It was a different story after that.

''The game really was divided into halves,'' Chivas coach Eduardo de la Torre said through an interpreter. ''In the first half, we had great hold of the ball and had great opportunities at the goal. In the second half, the MLS All-Star team had a better grip on the field. They were playing all-around, playing better.''

Regarding the fans, de la Torre said: ''It's always a big compliment to us to play in these places because of the tradition of our team, even in Los Angeles. Our approach to the game is that whenever there's a Chivas fan in the stands, we want to put on a good spectacle for that person.''

Chivas is a 10-time champion of Mexico's First Division and has a strong following on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Chivas owner Jorge Vergara said the game was an opportunity to avenge the Mexican national team's recent losses to the United States, including a 2-0 setback in the World Cup last year.

It was an opportunity lost.

''Chivas is a very good team, came out strong and played very well in the first half,'' said MetroStars coach Bob Bradley, who guided the MLS. ''I felt like we had a group in the second half that got things going. We were able to sort of set the pace and get some good goals.''

The MLS brought five players off the bench to begin the second half including Ante Razov and Ruiz, who scored its first two goals.

Razov, who plays for the Chicago Fire, broke a scoreless tie in the 57th minute, left-footing the ball into an open net after taking a pass from Landon Donovan of the San Jose Earthquakes. Mauricio Cienfuegos of the Galaxy was also credited with an assist.

Chivas tied it nine minutes later when Jair Garcia took a long pass from Manuel Sol, maneuvered around Hartman and scored into the open net.

The tie lasted barely a minute as Ruiz took a long pass from Carlos Bocanegra of the Fire and headed it past Chivas goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez into the left corner of the goal.

Hartman made a diving save of a shot by Miguel Sabah in the 73rd minute to preserve the lead.

Hartman made another save in the 77th minute on Rafael Medina's shot, and deflected Johnny Garcia's shot over the crossbar in the 81st minute.

DaMarcus Beasley of the Fire scored an unassisted goal in the 83rd minute to complete the scoring.

The first goal was scored about a minute after Preki checked out of the game. The 40-year-old Kansas City Wizards midfielder is the only player to compete in each MLS All-Star game.

Chivas led 8-2 in shots and 5-0 in shots on goal in the first half. Chivas finished with 14 shots to 12 for the MLS and led 10-4 in shots on goal.

Putting Chivas in the game was a continuation of the league's desire to face the best of the rest of the world. That plan began last season when the All-Star game matched the U.S. national team, minus its European-based players, against an MLS All-Star team.

The game was played in an East-West format from 1996-97 and 1999-2001. MLS all-stars from the United States faced their counterparts from the rest of the world in 1998.

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