On the eve of the 2019 MLS All-Star Game, fans packed the ESPN Wide World of Sports to enjoy the MLS Homegrown Game and the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge.

The MLS Homegrown Game featured some of the most accomplished young players in the league. Those youngsters took part in the annual clash with Chivas de Guadalajara U-20’s, winners of the 2018 U-20 Apertura title.

Goals came almost immediately after kickoff as the teams exchanged early blows. Irving Marquez scored for Chivas while New York Red Bulls striker Omir Fernandez responded a minute later.

In the 71′ minute, Sebastian Martinez pulled his side back with what looked like the winning goal, but in the dying embers of the match, Toronto FC’s Noble Okello leveled the score in stoppage time to take the game into penalty kicks.

Colorado Rapids midfielder Cole Bassett converted the final penalty, as the MLS Homegrowns won the tiebreak 3-0 to take their first victory in the game since it was first contested in 2014.

See more from the Homegrown Game.

“It was an honor,” said George Campbell in reference to how it felt to be a part of today’s match. Campbell is a product of Atlanta United and recently signed his first professional contract. The Georgia native started the match at centreback and anchored the backline during his time on the pitch.

homegrown MLS

The 2019 MLS All-Star Game featured three challenges: Touch and volley, shooting, and passing. Three teams of three players each will compete in each challenge and every player will participate in three contest. The highest cumulative team score at the end of the three challenges will decide the winner of the skills challenge.

The teams were Orlando City SC, MLS, and Atletico Madrid. Representing Orlando City were Nani, Chris Mueller, and Sebastian Mendez. The MLS All-Stars were represented by Wayne Rooney, Carlos Vela, and Jonathan Dos Santos. Finally, the Spanish Giants Atletico Madrid featured Koke, Hector Herrera, and the $130 million signing Joao Felix.

Nani’s final kick in the Crossbar challenge put Orlando (202 points) above Atletico de Madrid (195) and MLS (168) to win the event at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

View the Skills photos HERE

The 2019 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target is scheduled for Wednesday, July 31.


-Jon J.

Photos: Hakim Wright



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