By Sean Connolly
They’re not the greatest side, but West Ham is an English Premier League team…and to most of America, that’s all that matters.
The MLS media will try and hype this game up and try to convince America that the MLS can play with the best of them, heck that’s all the post game questions were to David Beckham after his side’s victory. The truth this is just a start for the MLS. They need to continue these winning habits against solid teams who play in legitimate leagues.
But enough about the nuances of the result of the MLS’ victory, let’s talk about the game. For the most part it was a pretty exciting game. For the MLS the majority of the ball went through Beckham…exactly what the crowd, sponsors, and ESPN wanted. Becks played very well and assisted on Cristian Gomez’s goal to tie the game. The goal came within a minute of the game’s first goal by West Ham’s Dean Ashton, which set the tone of the game.
The MLS All-Star squad seemed to be united more than West Ham United as they actually played like they have played together hundreds of times before. They showed heart and determination as they scored right before half with Cuauhtemoc Blanco’s goal(Blanco won the MVP of the game) and again minutes after West Ham scored, Houston Dynamo’s Dwayne De Rosario took it into the box, got fouled, and then drilled and I mean drilled the penalty home. He put as much strength as I’ve ever seen behind a penalty as he rocked it off the bottom of the crossbar and it crossed the line.
Overall, you have to appreciate what the MLS has done. These game will always sell out because there are always going to be supporters of an international battle of some sort. With Barcelona making a US tour this summer, playing Chivas soon, and the Champions League ripoff Superliga actually working, I think its time for MLS teams to begin competing against European teams. The interest garnered in a match between an MLS team and an English Premiership team would certainly help the league. This is another great step for the MLS.