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East continues dominance over West in 2004 edition of the All-Star game
Washington D.C. - The West may be the stronger conference in MLS, but they still have trouble beating the East when it comes to the All-Star game. After two years of trying out different formats for the All-Star game, it finally returned to the Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format and the Eastern Conference wasted no time and continuing their All-Star game dominance to improve to 4-1-1 in all games played in an East vs. West format. Prior to the East’s 3-2 defeat of the West, a 50 minute legends match took place in which the U.S. Legends, comprised mostly of Americans who played on the ‘94 World Cup team and went on to play in MLS, tied the World Legends, comprised of past foreign stars who played in MLS in an exciting 2-2 draw.

Amado Guevara lead the East and earned MVP honors for his two goal, one assist performance. The Metrostars playmaker started the scoring in the 20th minute after receiving a pass from the Chicago Fire’s Damani Ralph near the top of the box. With his back to goal, Guevara turned and sent a shot into the right corner of the net. West goalie Pat Onstad of the San Jose Earthquakes may have been able to get the ball if it hadn’t deflected off a sliding Jeff Agoos, his teammate on the Earthquakes.

Guevara doubled the lead two minutes later, when D.C. United’s Dema Kovalenko earned the East a penalty kick. After receiving a through ball from Ralph, Kovalenko tried a cut back move, but seemed to have put too much on the ball and probably had no chance to get to it. Ronnie O’Brien of the Dallas Burn held back Kovalenko and the D.C. midfielder had no problem dramatizing the foul to earn a penalty kick. Guevara, who is 5 for 5 on penalty kicks in MLS this season, stepped up to take the penalty kick sending it to Onstad’s right just like he has done on every other penalty kick this season.

O’Brien had the chance to make amends seconds later when he got free in the East goal box and managed to dribble around goalie Henry Ring of the Chicago Fire. Kovalenko, however, somehow managed to track back and block the ball on the goal-line.

Damani Ralph had two chances to extend the East’s lead in the 33rd and 39th minute. Both times Ralph was denied by Onstad in one on one situations.

The West pulled back within one just before halftime, when three San Jose teammates linked up. Landon Donovan sent the ball to Richard Mulrooney on the right flank, who sent a cross into the box. Brian Ching jumped up to head the ball past Ring for his first ever All-Star game goal. Ching took off his jersey and unveiled an undershirt with “Hawaiian Superman” printed on it.

Both coaches used every available sub at half time and New England Revolution stars Pat Noonan, Steve Ralston and Shalrie Joseph entered the game as well as D.C. United 15-year old phenom Freddy Adu, among others.

Ralston almost hooked up with Adu in the 58th minute, sending in a pass from the right side, but second half substitute goalie Kevin Hartman of the Los Angeles Galaxy managed to break up the play. Noonan had a great chance moments later after receiving a through ball from Guevara, but his close range shot from a tight angle was saved by Hartman.

D.C.’s Alecko Eskadarian gave the East a 3-1 lead in the 74th minute. After a nice pass by the Rev’s Joseph to Guevara, Guevara sent a through ball to Eskadarian, who shot the ball past Hartman from just inside the box into the right side of the net.

The league’s All-Time Leading Goal-Scorer, Jason Kreis of the Dallas Burn, finished the scoring in the 89th minute with a spectacular strike from just out side the box. Landon Donovan sent a pass across the top of the box that LA’s Jovan Kirvoski ran onto, but stopped at the last minute for Kreis to send a rocket into the upper right corner of the net. The ball went off the post and into the net making the final score 3-2 and capping off an exciting month for MLS. July left fans with a lot to look forward to with the announcement of expansion franchises in Utah and a second Los Angeles team for the 2005 season, as well as a new soccer specific stadium to join the current soccer specific stadiums in Los Angeles and Columbus and future ones in New Jersey, Chicago and Dallas.
August 01, 2004 Sean Donahue


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Columbus 1
New York 1
DC United 0
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New England 0
Toronto 0

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Colorado 3
Houston 1
Los Angeles 1
Salt Lake 1

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Cunningham 2
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Pause 1