Friday, August 2, 2013

2 August 2003 - The Cynic In Me Suspects That Deal Was Already Done

On 2 August 2003, the MLS All-Star Game featured a foreign team for the first time, hosting Chivas de Guadalajara.

Established in 1996, the league's first season, the previous All-Star Games pitted an East team against a West team. The only exceptions were in 1998, when the format changed temporarily to a contest between MLS USA and MLS World teams, and 2002, when the All-Stars played against the US national team (and won, 3-2).

For the 2003 edition, the league invited Guadalajara, one of Mexico's most popular and successful teams, with 10 league titles to their credit at that point (though none since 1997). They met at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, where a crowd of 27,000 watched as the All-Stars took a 57th-minute lead with a goal from Chicago Fire forward Ante Razov.

Chivas quickly equalized with a strike from Jair Garcia (66'), but LA Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz (68') put the All-Stars back ahead and a late score from Chicago's DaMarcus Beasley (83') sealed the 3-1 victory.

It wasn't all bad for Chivas, however, as MLS announced a few months later that their next round of expansion would include a new affiliated club, Chivas USA.

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