The 26th MLS All-Star Game featured the best of Major League Soccer against the best of Mexico’s Liga MX at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota on Wednesday night. The MLS All-Stars took the glory, as the best of MLS won 2-1 after an early goal from LAFC attacker Carlos Vela and a penalty from the Seattle Sounders forward Raúl Ruidíaz. Pachuca’s Kevin Alvarez was the lone goal scorer for Liga MX after his side went down 2-0. Columbus Crew midfielder Darlington Nagbe started and played the first half of the game.
The match's first goal came early on, as Vela broke the deadlock in the third minute. The Mexican slotted away fellow club teammate Diego Palacios’ cross in the six-yard box with a header to take a 1-0 lead. It was the second straight time members of the California-based team scored for the MLS All-Stars, as LAFC’s Eduard Atuesta and Jesus Murillo combined for the equalizer in the 2021 edition of the All-Star Game.
A Scary moment occurred in the 36th minute for Crew fans after Nagbe was on the receiving end of a dangerous tackle from U.N.A.M. Pumas’ Juan Ignacio Dinenno. Nagbe was caught from behind in the challenge that saw his ankle get caught in the dirt and his boot fly off. Being the midfield warrior he is, Nagbve took a moment to collect himself and got on with the game, looking rather unscathed. This was a welcome sight for worrisome Black & Gold fans.
The first half concluded with Liga MX pounding on the door, but the MLS All-Stars put together a tremendous defensive effort to keep the Mexican league off the score sheet and enter the locker room on top 1-0.
In the 70th minute, things got even sweeter for the MLS All-Stars, as the team was awarded a penalty after New England Revolution’s Carlos Gil was brought down in the penalty box. After a VAR review, referee Joe Dickerson gave the MLS All-Stars a penalty kick and Seattle’s Raúl Ruidíaz beat Santos Laguna goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo from the spot for the 2-0 lead.
Liga MX, pushing for a goal all game, finally found one after an outrageous strike from Pachuca’s Kevin Alvarez. This hit made the score 2-1 in the 85th minute. Liga MX saw a few more opportunities denied in the dying moments of the game, as the MLS All-Stars saw out the contest for the 2-1 victory and the first back-to-back victory against the Liga MX All-Stars in the competition's history.
Nagbe and the Crew continue the MLS regular season on Saturday night as the Black & Gold travel to Commerce City to take on the Colorado Rapids. The kickoff for the match is set for 9 p.m. ET.