Ten Best: Metro at the All-Star Game
July 25, 2008
Another year, another pointless All-Star game. To say that we don't care is an understatement. West Ham? It could be Real Madrid, Scunthorpe United, or the Djibouti national team. Our response would be the same. We don't care.
Of course, just because we don't care about the All-Star game, it doesn't mean we can't celebrate Metro players' achievement in it. So here is the top ten, as pointless as it may be.
10) Tim Howard, 2002
It's not often that a goalkeeper shines in an All-Star match, but Howard did just that, shutting out the US national team for the entire first half. Howard and the MLS team that also featured Mike Petke ended up winning 3:2.
9) Mike Ammann, 2000
It wasn't Ammann's performance on the field that earned him a spot on this list -- he allowed four goals in a half. It was when he entered the game as a field player with two minutes left, wearing the jersey of teammate Daniel Hernandez, who was selected for the match but couldn't play due to injury.
8) Tab Ramos and Alexi Lalas, 1998
The first non East/West matchup saw MLS USA take on MLS World. Fresh off the disappointing World Cup, Metro's Ramos and Lalas helped the US to an early 2:0 lead in what ended up a 6:1 romp.
7) Giovanni Savarese, 1996
The inaugural game, played in front of a packed Giants Stadium, with many anticipating the Brazil vs World match that was due to follow, saw the East go down 2:1. Then, in the 69th minute, the hometown hero made good. On his 25th birthday, Giovanni Savarese did what he did best -- goal-poached, knocking in a rebound off a save by the West keeper. The East would end up winning 3:2.
6) Clint Mathis, 2000
Metro was well-represented at the 2000 match, with coach Octavio Zambrano, Ammann, Petke, Lothar Matthaus, Mark Chung, and, of course, Mathis. And it was Clint who scored the quickest goal in All-Star history less than two minutes in. In an all-Metro sequence, Ammann sent the ball up the left wing to Chung, who sent it forward to Mathis, and the floodgates of the eventual 9:4 match opened.
5) Bob Bradley, 2003
Perhaps this All-Star game mattered. With Chivas Guadalajara honcho Jorge Vergara wanting to bring his brand of goat-loving into MLS and boasting at every turn about the superiority of Mexican soccer, it was up to the Bradley-coached MLS team to set them back. And they did just that, in a decisive 3:1 victory... The first time a coach actually had to coach in an All-Star game.
4) Juan Pablo Angel, 2007
The MLS All-Stars shutout Scotland's Celtic 2:0, with Angel taking home the MVP trophy. He scored the game's first goal, taking a through ball and rounding Celtic's keeper for what turned out to be the game-winner.
3) Tab Ramos, 1996
The first goal in All-Star history was scored by none other than the first player in MLS history, Tab Ramos. 14 minutes into the match, Ramos launched a blast into the corner of the net to give the East the lead. A full Giants Stadium, Ramos, Savarese, Roberto Donadoni, Tony Meola... Brazil vs World, featuring George Weah... We had so much hope back then.
2) Amado Guevara, 2004
In the summer of 2004, Guevara was on top of his game. Everything he did was coming up roses, as was the case in the All-Star game. El Lobo scored two goals in three minutes; the first with a low shot into the corner, the second on a trademark penalty kick to his left. In doing so, Amado became the first Metro to be named the MVP of the match.
1) Tim Howard, 2001
But in reality, Guevara should have been the second Metro to be named so. For in 2001, in a 6:6 match, Howard turned in an amazing performance in goal, making 14 saves in 45 minutes (the MLS record for a full match is 15); the most memorable one was on a penalty kick by Luis Hernandez. The West peppered the East with shots after shot during the match (by comparison, East's goalkeeper in the first half, Nick Rimando, allowed four goals while making just three saves), but Howard stood strong time after time, proving that no matter how pointless the endeavor might seem to others, there are some who still care. So maybe we should take a clue from Timmy and start embracing the All-Star game?
Don't bet on that.