It was a night to remember for Major League Soccer. First, it was on the international stage, with wins in the Nations League and Gold Cup. This time, many of the same faces had one last rematch in the MLS All-Star match.
The new format put North America’s two primary leagues against each other, using some of their best players as representation. It’s easy to say that the format was awesome, and should return in the future. The Liga MX vs MLS rivalry continues to grow, but MLS still has a lot of ground to make up. Their performance in the CONCACAF Champions League has been subpar.
One team that may be playing Champions League football next season is the New England Revolution. If they were to hold on to the Supporter’s Shield, the Revs would play in the prized tournament for the first time in a long time. That is a long ways away though, as Tajon Buchanan will be long gone, and presumably, a flurry of other signings will come in. But, the focus is on the now.
Matt Turner was substituted into the game in minute 60, coach Bob Bradley told him he would be the closer. Turner played from minute 60 to 90, LAFC’s Jesus Murillo sent it to penalty kicks with his headed equalizer. Turner stopped two penalties in the middle frames of the shootout, one with his feet down the middle, one with the outstretched hands. Another shot was skied straight over the crossbar, likely due to his commanding presence.
Revs striker Gustavo Bou started and played in the game as well, though most would agree it wasn’t his best performance. He looked hungry, but his touches were off, and he seemed a bit unlucky. His teammate Matt Turner stole the show, earning the MLS All-Star MVP trophy directly after the Ricardo Pepi winning PK. Now, the attention turns to Saturday’s matchup with NYCFC, in which Bou and Turner plan to play in.
Tajon Buchanan was supposed to play in the match, but he was visiting clubs in Europe and was sold just days ago. He will finish the season with the Revs, however.