Carlos Vela scores early in MLS All-Star win over Liga MX

It took the MLS All-Stars just three minutes to open the scoring in Wednesday night’s All-Star game, defeating a team of Liga MX All-Stars 2-1.

The XI

Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath named a front three of Jordan Morris, Carlos Vela and Chicharito, with Sebastián Driussi and Emanuel Reynoso in midfield ahead of Darlington Nagbe.

Heath rotated his attackers every 30 minutes, giving the defensive unit (including Nashville SC defender Walker Zimmerman) a half each.

On the pitch

Vela linked up with LAFC teammate Diego Palacios for the opener, heading home a cross at the back post to put MLS ahead after just three minutes.

After the goal, Liga MX looked the more dangerous side. Minnesota United ‘keeper Dayne St. Clair was forced into four saves in his 30 minute shift, eventually earning MVP honors. Late in the second half, Seattle Sounders striker Raúl Ruidíaz gave MLS an insurance goal, converting from the penalty spot after New England’s Carles Gil was brought down in the box.

Ruidíaz’s goal proved to be the winner. Pachuca defender Kevin Álvarez pulled a goal back in the 84th minute, blasting a shot from outside the box past NYCFC goalie Sean Johnson.

The big picture

Was this another instance of the United States surpassing Mexico? Because a team of MLS All-Stars featuring three American starters beat a team from Liga MX that only started a single Mexican player in a meaningless exhibition game?

It probably doesn’t mean anything. But hey, an MLS team won Concacaf Champions League, the Skills Challenge and the MLS All-Star Game in a calendar year. If that’s not meaningful data, what is?

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids.

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