HOUSTON – Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson thinks Major League Soccer has made dramatic progress in recent years.
His team showed the best players in the MLS just how far the league still has to go.
Federico Macheda had two early goals, Mexican star Javier Hernandez scored in his Manchester United debut, and the Red Devils routed the MLS All-Stars 5-2 on Wednesday night in the final U.S. stop on their North American tour.
Darron Gibson and Tom Cleverley added goals for the Red Devils, tuning up for the start of the Premier League season next month.
Former Gonzaga University star Brian Ching of the Houston Dynamo had a goal and an assist for the All-Stars, who were hoping for a validating victory against one of the world’s pre-eminent soccer powers. Instead, Macheda scored twice in the first 13 minutes to quickly dash the hopes of the MLS team.
The Red Devils, who played without several top players, circled the field and applauded the fans after the game.
The sellout crowd was announced at 70,728, the largest for an MLS All-Star game since the first one in 1996 drew 78,416 to Giants Stadium.
“We were really delighted,” Ferguson said. “When you go and play in the stadium, the size of the crowd and the atmosphere, you’re motivated by that.”
MLS All-Star teams had won five of their last six matchups against international competition, including a 1-0 win over former Premier League champion Chelsea in 2006.
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