Guevera scores two goals to lift Eastern Conference

Sunday, August 1, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Armado Guevara made sure that Freddy Adu wouldn't need to be remarkable for the Eastern Conference to win the MLS All-Star game.

Guevara verified his stature as the league's leading scorer, contributing two first-half goals Saturday to carry the East past the West 3-2.

Adu, the 15-year-old rookie sensation for hometown D.C. United, was inserted in the second half and thrilled the announced crowd of 21,378 with some sharp moves with the ball. But none of his shots came close to getting past goaltender Kevin Hartman.

Adu, who has two goals in seven games since joining the league in April, was a special pick by commissioner Don Garber.

Although Adu had no bearing on the game, one of his teammates did. Alecko Eskandarian of D.C. United kicked a left-footed shot into the left corner of the net in the 74th minute to make it 3-1.

Jason Kreis, a nine-year veteran of the MLS and a seven-time All-Star, scored in the 89th minute for the West on a 20-foot shot that bounced off the right post.

Guevara, voted the game MVP, is the captain of the Honduras national team and the MLS points leader with 25 in 17 matches. He broke up a scoreless duel by scoring twice within a two-minute span, connecting from 18 yards out and converting a penalty shot.

Five of his nine goals this season with the MetroStars are on penalty shots, and his score in that situation Saturday was his sixth in six tries this season.

Down 2-1, the West missed a chance to pull even in the 53rd minute when backup goaltender Jon Busch flicked away a twisting penalty shot by Kreis.

The game was expected to be a high-scoring affair with little defense, but the sweltering conditions took a toll on the athletes and caused both coaches to substitute liberally in the second half.

There were few choice scoring chances at the outset before the action picked up dramatically in the 20th minute.

That's when Guevara took a pass from Damani Ralph at the top of the 18-yard box and deftly booted the ball past West goalkeeper Pat Onstad. Then, after Ronnie O'Brien fouled Dema Kovalenko, the East was awarded a penalty shot by referee Michael Kennedy.

Guevara kicked the penalty shot into the left corner of the net past the diving Onstad for a 2-0 lead.

The West missed an excellent scoring chance in the 25th minute, when Kovalenko slipped behind his own goalie and kicked aside a sure goal by O'Brien.

In the 33rd minute, Onstad dropped to the ground to kick away a hard shot on goal by Ralph, who had broken free on the left side.

The West closed to 2-1 in the 43rd minute, when Brian Ching put in a header off a fine crossing pass by Richard Mulrooney.

In the preliminary game, a team comprising 16 members of the 1994 United States World Cup team tied the World Legends, 2-2.

Eric Wynalda had a goal and an assist to stake the United States to a 2-0 halftime lead, but Salvadorans Raul Diaz Arce and Mauricio Cienfuegos scored in the second half, the last goal coming in the 48th minute of the 50-minute exhibition.

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