HOUSTON – Kevin Alston didn’t commit the only mistake by the MLS All-Star team Wednesday night. But his errant back-pass in the first minute that led to Manchester United’s first goal certainly set the tone in a 5-2 rout.
The New England right back tried to slot the ball back to Jamison Olave, but his pass was immediately intercepted by Federico Macheda, who scored his first of two goals in an MVP performance.
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“Tough pass, I guess,” Alston said after the match. “It’s just one of those things. It happens – it’s part of the game.”
But as Landon Donovan explained, no one in the All-Star camp put any of the blame on the 22-year-old, who was making his first All-Star appearance in just his second season.
“Even after the first play with Alston, we kind of looked at each other and said, ‘This is the first time he’s ever played in front of a crowd like this and against players like this,’” said the LA Galaxy star, who played in his 10th All-Star game. “We all go through it, we all make mistakes equally or even bigger. Hopefully he learns from it.”
Alston actually picked his game up after the early miscue and turned in a decent performance while doing his best to slow down Portuguese winger Nani. Many expect the talented Indiana University alum to parlay a promising MLS career into a future with the US national team, a possibility that isn’t lost on All-Star coach Bruce Arena.
“Even though he made a mistake in the opening seconds of the game, I thought he played well, defended superbly and really had a good game,” Arena said. “I think this is something Kevin’s going to benefit from.”