- This is a great event. A lot of people are harsh on the All-Star Game, but any time you can see world class players square off, it’s worthwhile.
- My big question for the first half is how will the Soldier Field pitch hold up? As we mentioned in the Roundtable, the worst thing that could happen is a Gareth Bale injury because of poor playing conditions.
- Schweini and Timmy on the same side. I’m getting chills already.
FIRST THOUGHT: Every single MLS player out there has something to prove tonight. Going against a Champions League winning club is a chance to shine and for people to take notice of MLS as a whole. Hoping for the same effort from Los Blancos.
1- Rainy and foggy (smoky?) here to start...
3- Greg Garza got a bit of a kick rom Isco and landed a bit awkwardly. Don’t want injuries, especially this early.
5- Penalty shout there from Vazquez, but the ref denies his cry.
6- Video Assistant Replay is going to be a part of this game. For all the details, check out JBG’s piece right here.
7- DaMarcus Beasley coming on here for Greg Garza. Got a lotta love for that dude. #GetHimToRussia
10- Zusi just stamped on a Real defender, not sure why he did that...
13- Game is starting to open up a bit here, Kroos had a good shot blocked by Kappelhof and Jozy Altidore had a nice run into the box that was eventually closed off.
18- Now we’re starting to see some tricks and skills as Kaka makes a cheeky move to advance past a defender.
22- And Timmy Howard with a good save! Hoping to see him get some chances to make a few stops tonight.
23- Bastian just caught a good bit of Isco there, which I will always welcome wholeheartedly.
25- MLS All-Star team doesn’t have a TON of pace, with Jozy and Villa up top, so the counter attack hasn’t been particularly effective.
28- Real Madrid simply dominating possession right now. And Beasley just got away with a penalty...
31- Ignacio Piatti on for Jozy Altidore.
33- TIMMY denies the chip! Stays 0-0!
33- Uh oh...free kick for Real here, in a really juicy spot...
34- Sergio Ramos bends a free kick just over the bar! Ronaldo will have a wry smile watching this from afar...
35- Madrid showing some class here and they aren’t far away from their first goal.
35- Seriously, the All-Stars are basically dribbling on their own goal line at this point
36- Giovinco takes the ball away from Real, lays it off for Kaka, who puts it on the foot of Villa but his shot is DENIED and the MLS All-Stars have a corner!
42- 16 shots for Real Madrid, 2 on target. They’ll wanna figure that out before the La Liga season starts.
43- Ramos just missed yet another chip! 0-0 in an interesting All-Star Game so far...
45- Real corner here before halftime, would suck to give one up now!
45+1- Giovinco finds some space and BLASTS a shot JUUUUUUUST wide to the left! This half will end 0-0!
HALFTIME THOUGHT: MLS need to inject some pace into their side. They are sitting back but have no potential to break on the counter if no one can run past a center back...
48- A laundry list of changes here, been trying to keep up with who’s actually out there Dax and Niko on from #cf97.
50- This is Nikolic’s chance to show he truly is one of the best strikers in the world. He’s certainly been the best in MLS thus far.
55- Positive starts for both teams. Surprisingly, good defending throughout this match up to this point.
58- One of the best looks of the second half thus far, as Hernandez heads it wide for Real...and like most of this game, it should have been a better effort.
59- FINALLY! A GOAL! IT’S LOS BLANCOS! Mayoral finds a break in the defense, and curls one by Frei! 1-0 to Real Madrid!
60- Nearly another one! MLS need to kick their attack into gear before it’s too late!
61- Notable subs...Benzema, Marcelo and Bale coming on...ruh roh, MLS...
62- Giovani dos Santos coming on as well...more attacking here for sure!
62- Right away, Gareth Bale tees up a shot, but it’s over the bar.
66- Madrid look as dangerous as ever and the MLS squad is having a tough time getting forward.
68- Bale flashing his excellence, as he drives a shot but it just deflects off the right post!
69- *Note to Self*- it’s hard to counter-attack if you can’t defend, first.
70- NIKOLIC, off the outside netting! Fans thought it was in, too!
80- MLS still struggling to get attempts as Real Madrid pile on the pressure.
85- Corner upcoming for the All-Stars...
86- GOALLLLLLLL!!!! MLS ALL-STARS!!! THEY FIND A WAY! We’re all square at 1-1!
87- Dax McCarty with a WIDE OPEN header off the bar, and Dom Dwyer finishes the job!
90- Benzema giving it all he’s got to try and get a late decider, but can’t find the final piece to the puzzle...
Two Minutes Added...
Nothing happening in stoppage time, so we’re headed to PENS!
Penalty #1 - Dom Dwyer is SAVED by Luca! Benzema scores for Real.
Penalty #2 - Giovani dos Santos RINGS the bar and misses! Gareth Bale teases Frei and puts it in and puts his side up 2-0.
Penalty #3 - Valeri drills this one down the middle and high. Kovacic puts it in and it’s 3-1...
Penalty #4 - Almiron sneaks it by Luca! 3-2...need a save here. Marcelo buries it! And Real Madrid earn the victory on penalties, 4-2!
FINAL THOUGHT: Yuck. A slow, defensive game with a lack of clinical finishing. Fans would have been hoping for more attacking. Still, a fun night regardless.