Johnson's goal in 91st minute lifts All-Stars to 3-2 victory over Chelsea FC
CHESTER, Pa. — Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson scored on a deflection in the 91st minute to give the Major League Soccer All-Stars a 3-2 victory over Chelsea FC on Wednesday night.
Just when the game appeared on the brink of being decided by penalty kicks, Johnson broke free for the winner from the top of the box and sparked the MLS All-Stars to a win over an international team for the first time since 2008.
“I’m just riding the wave right now, because when I’m getting deflections, they’re going in,” Johnson said. “When I got the through ball, (Chelsea defender) David Luiz was trying to force me one way but I was trying to get it to my strong foot. When I got it to my right foot, I had enough time to see the far post. I was aiming for the far post, but he stuck his foot out.
“Sometimes they say you have to create your own luck. When it deflected, for a moment I thought I missed my opportunity. When you come off the bench you want to make an impact on the game, and it was a blessing tonight.”
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San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski and D.C. United’s Chris Pontius also scored goals for the MLS All-Stars at PPL Park, the home of the Philadelphia Union.
Frank Lampard and John Terry scored for Chelsea, the touring English Premier League team selected to play in the All-Star game.
Los Angeles Galaxy star David Beckham received the loudest pregame ovation only hours after arriving from London. Beckham, his pink shoes as bright as the lights that lit up the field, was set to head back to London immediately after the game because he has a role in the opening ceremony at the Olympics.
“It was fun,” Johnson said of his All-Star experience. “It was good to get out there with some of the guys that you play against that are rivals and some of the guys you’ve had hard battles with during the season. We put all that aside and we all had one common goal. It was a fun three days with the boys. All the amenities in Philadelphia and the team camaraderie, it was amazing.
“But it’s back to business now, and I’m looking forward to the game against Colorado (in MLS play on Saturday).”
While Johnson and teammate Osvaldo Alonso played in Wednesday’s All-Star Game, Seattle coach Sigi Schmid hopes another Sounder starts getting national praise.
In the buildup to the high-profile exhibition, Schmid felt Andy Rose, one of the young contributors on his team, deserves some attention leaguewide as well. Schmid is backing Rose as a Rookie of the Year candidate.
“I think everybody gets excited because another rookie scores a goal or does this (and that),” Schmid said, “but I think stepping into the engine room of a team that’s expected to be a contender for the Western Conference title and holding your own is a pretty big accomplishment. It’s a lot harder breaking into midfield than it is either (at defender or forward).”
Rose, 22, has played the last 13 MLS game as a central midfielder for the Sounders, including eight starts. He’s also one of just two players who have played every minute of every U.S. Open Cup game this year in Seattle’s run to a fourth straight final.
• Sounders forward Fredy Montero was one of 13 players named “inactive” MLS All-Stars by way of a player vote. At least 32 MLS players must be named All-Stars as negotiated in the collective-bargaining agreement and receive their appropriate bonuses.
• Sounders Women’s star Stephanie Cox is a finalist for W-League Defender of the Year.
Times staff reporter Joshua Mayers and The Associated Press contributed to this report.