Orlando City wins MLS All-Star Skills Challenge

Filed under: Florida News,Orlando City Soccer,Orlando Events,Orlando News |

In a fun filled evening at ESPN Wide World of Sport, the 2019 MLS All-Star Skills Challenge literally came down to the final kick of the ball as Orlando City dramatically took home the honors and the $25,000 check that was donated to Orlando City Foundation.

Wayne Rooney began the evening for the MLS All-Stars in the shooting challenge as players took it in turns to hit targets carrying point values hung from the goalpost. Koke, João Félix, and Héctor Herrera, from Atlético Madrid gave their team an early lead as they collected 47 points while Orlando’s Nani, Chris Mueller and Sebas Mendez managed 46. The MLS All-Stars of Rooney, Carlos Vela (pictured above), and Jonathan dos Santos managed a measly 28 points from their fifteen kicks.

The Touch and Volley contest was next and Orlando City’s Mueller produced a stunning scissor kick that helped the Lions earn style points from the judges including Kaka and Orlando Pride’s Alex Morgan and take the lead two thirds of the way through the festivities. Félix, also produced a similar effort but it wasn’t enough as Orlando gained a further 56 points, the MLS All-Stars 40 and Madrid 23.

Going into the final round of the evening it was Orlando City 102, Atletico Madrid 70, MLS All-Stars 68.

The passing challenge saw various targets scattered over one half of the field with varying values based on difficulty. All of the players decided to make it into a cross bar challenge though as they decided there was more to be gained from hitting the crossbar from the halfway line for 25 points rather than trying to run the score up via a slower method.

The timed challenge saw MLS All stars clock up 100 points to take them to 168 while Atletico Madrid racked up 125 points to go to 195 as Felix hit the bar three times. For Orlando to win they would need to score 100 points and with literally the last kick of the evening and the clock down to its final seconds, Nani stepped forward and executed a perfect right foot pass that hit the crossbar and won the challenge for the hosts and give Orlando a total of 202 points.

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com


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