MLS All-Stars put on a show but Atlético Madrid take 3-0 win

Atletico de Madrid topped the 2019 MLS All-Stars 3-0 in the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday evening in front of a sellout crowd at Exploria Stadium, Orlando.

After a 30 minute weather delay, things kicked into action with fireworks blasting off all around the stadium and Atletico leaving some star names on the bench for the first half. Ultimately the result didn’t really matter as the 25,527 sell out crowd came out to see the star names in Major League Soccer such as Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Nani competing against Diego Costa, Koke and recent $140 million acquisition teenage prodigy João Félix.

It was another Summer signing Marcos Llorente, signed from city rivals Real this summer for $42 million, who gave the Spanish side the lead two minutes before half-time. It was all change at half time as both sides made numerous substitutions to give players a run out and included in the mix was 19 year-old striker Felix (pictured below) who then gave the crowd an inkling of his talent as he scored a brilliant second from outside the penalty box in the 85th minute.

His evening wasn’t done with that though and his perfectly weighted through ball saw Costa outstrip Chicago Fire’s Bastian Schweinsteiger and he fired home past Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando in the closing moments to make it 3-0.

It was a swan song appearance for Rimando (pictured below) who is retiring at the end of the season after twenty professional seasons and who was a sentimental commissioner’s pick, making him an All-Star for the sixth time. After the game he said: “I think I said this in the beginning, I was surprised to come into this All-Star Game. There’s so many good goalkeepers in the league. But yeah, it was special, of course, for them to pick me and honor me in my last year. Very special for me, and like I said I took everything in, I brought my family out, and it was a special one even though we lost.”

MLS All-Star Head Coach James O’Connor also had a few words : “It’s more of an occasion for the whole league. I think when you look at the league this is the standout game for the league and it gives a great representation of the league. It’s a chance for so many more players to test themselves against some of the best players in the world and I think, equally, we have some of the best players in the world in the league. When you look at the quality of those players, there were some exemplary pieces of passages of plays from both teams. I thought it was a very entertaining game. So, again, for all of the players I think it’s just pleased that everyone’s managed to get through with no injuries and I’m sure everyone’s happy that they’ll be able to rest and enjoy the rest of the evening.”

More photos from the game at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

More photos from All-Star week here

 

 

 

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