MLS Rallies to Beat European Champion Chelsea in All-Star Game

Eddie Johnson scored in injury time at the end of the game to cap a 3-2 comeback win for the Major League Soccer All-Stars against European champion Chelsea.

The All-Stars trailed 2-1 with 17 minutes to go at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, last night before Chris Pontius, who was chosen the game’s Most Valuable Player, tied it. Johnson sealed the win 55 seconds into added time.

The All-Star squad included David Beckham of the Los Angeles Galaxy, Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls and Landon Donovan, the career scoring leader for the U.S. national team. The MLS also beat Chelsea 1-0 in the 2006 All-Star Game, while Manchester United won the past two years, 5-2 and 4-0.

“I’m glad we could make our fans proud,” All-Stars captain Dwayne De Rosario said at the trophy presentation.

Chris Wondolowski put the All-Stars ahead after 21 minutes. He beat Chelsea captain John Terry to a cross from Henry and shot past starting goalkeeper Henrique Hilario from about six yards (5.5 meters).

Wondolowski, 28, has scored a league-high 17 goals in 20 games for the San Jose Earthquakes this season. With 12 games remaining, he has the chance to eclipse the single-season MLS scoring record of 27 set by Roy Lassiter in his debut campaign for the Tampa Bay Mutiny in 1996.

The All-Stars’ lead lasted 11 minutes, until Chelsea won a corner from which Terry scored with a header. England international midfielder Frank Lampard put the Premier League team ahead in the 59th minute as he tapped in from close range after goalie Dan Kennedy missed a cross from Ramires.

Tying Goal

The All-Stars tied it 14 minutes later with a sweeping move. Beckham flighted a long, cross-field pass from his own half to De Rosario, who cut the ball back for his DC United teammate Pontius to slide a low shot past Chelsea substitute keeper Ross Turnbull from about 12 yards.

Johnson of the Seattle Sounders secured the win when he collected a pass from Kyle Beckerman and scored with a shot that deflected off the heel of a Chelsea defender and over Turnbull into the net.

Chelsea in May defeated Germany’s Bayern Munich 4-3 in a penalty shootout to win the European Champions League for the first time.

Also last night, Roma beat Liverpool 2-1 in an exhibition game at Fenway Park in Boston. Liverpool is owned by Fenway Sports Group, while Roma belongs to Boston Red Sox minority owner Thomas DiBenedetto.

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