Carlos Vela, MLS All-Stars Defeat Liga MX in 2022 All-Star Game

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 11, 2022

Omar Vega/Getty Images

Bragging rights still belong to Major League Soccer.

After defeating Mexico's Liga MX All-Stars in a thrilling penalty kick shootout in last year's contest, MLS' best players earned a 2-1 victory in the 2022 MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This was the second straight year the All-Star Game format was a showdown between the two leagues, and MLS is now 2-0 thanks to goals from Carlos Vela and Raúl Ruidíaz.

B/R Football @brfootball

Diego Palacios tees up Carlos Vela in the second minute. <br><br>LAFC has entered the chat 🌴<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/MLS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLS</a>) <a href="https://t.co/QZYanjguwj">pic.twitter.com/QZYanjguwj</a>

Major League Soccer @MLS

That man <a href="https://twitter.com/RaulRuidiazM?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RaulRuidiazM</a> from the spot to make it 2-0. 🎯<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sounders?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sounders</a> // <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLSAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MLSAllStar</a> Game pres. by <a href="https://twitter.com/Target?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Target</a> <a href="https://t.co/dlG9nuCSyN">pic.twitter.com/dlG9nuCSyN</a>

The home side wasted little time setting the tone thanks to some brilliance from the LAFC teammates two minutes into the game.

Diego Palacios shook a defender with a beautiful fake and unleashed a perfectly placed cross to a waiting Vela, who buried the ensuing header in the back of the net. That it was Vela, the highest scoring Mexican player in MLS history, who scored against the Liga MX All-Stars made the goal all the more notable.

MLS Communications @MLS_PR

With his goal in the third minute, <a href="https://twitter.com/LAFC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LAFC</a>’s Carlos Vela (<a href="https://twitter.com/11carlosV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@11carlosV</a>) scored the fastest goal for Major League Soccer against international competition in <a href="https://twitter.com/MLS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLS</a> All-Star history. <a href="https://t.co/hozngIPmAo">pic.twitter.com/hozngIPmAo</a>

Gio Garcia @GioGarciaLA

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLSAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MLSAllStar</a> Carlos Vela puts MLS ahead 1-0 over LigaMX. It was an incredible header been a while since we’ve seen his score a goal like that.

Drake Hills @LiveLifeDrake

A Vela header. This game is turnt already… <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLSAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MLSAllStar</a>

Chuck Booth ✊🏾 @ChuckBoothSport

I think Carlos Vela enjoyed that one a bit

John Bava III @JohnBava3

Absolutely phenomenal service from Diego Palacios to set up his teammate Carlos Vela. That was quick! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLSAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MLSAllStar</a>


👑 <br>😁 <a href="https://t.co/BwJvX5QLb3">pic.twitter.com/BwJvX5QLb3</a>

MLS maintained that advantage into the second half thanks in part to multiple saves from Minnesota United FC goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, much to the home crowd's delight.

His diving save right before halftime stood out:

Minnesota United FC @MNUFC

DSC. LFG. <a href="https://t.co/0ruCYRv89A">pic.twitter.com/0ruCYRv89A</a>

Philly Soccer Page @phillysoccerpg

Dayne St. Clair brings the home crowd to their feet with a great save to force a corner, followed by a solid snag off a weak effort. <br><br>Chants of “DSC” ring through Allianz Field.

Ty Fisher @FisherTyler__

Dayne St. Clair with a world class save <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLSAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MLSAllStar</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MNUFC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MNUFC</a>

The second half was far more wide open with each side creating a number of chances.

While MLS had a goal taken off the board for an offside ruling, it got one back by drawing a foul inside the box. Ruidíaz of the Seattle Sounders scored what proved to be a key insurance goal with a no-doubter on the penalty kick.

Cesar Hernandez @cesarhfutbol

Doesn't matter the situation, Raul Ruidiaz loves to score against Liga MX goalkeepers.

Still, it was just a matter of time before the Liga MX All-Stars finally broke through given the pressure they applied throughout much of the second half. Kevin Álvarez drilled one past New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who replaced St. Clair, to cut the deficit in half.

That was the end of the scoring, though, as MLS protected the lead to clinch a second straight victory in the current format.


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