Celenza's three goals lead rout

Blast forward named MVP of USA's 10-1 All-Star win

Pro Soccer

March 01, 2004|By Keith Schildroth | Keith Schildroth,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ST. CHARLES, Mo. - The coaches at this year's Major Indoor Soccer League All-Star Game had different views on how the game should be played.

Keith Tozer, coach of the USA All-Stars, chose a no-nonsense approach to the league's annual showcase, a mentality International All-Stars coach Tatu called "too systematic, a little too serious for me."

Fortunately for fans of the USA All-Stars, Tozer's approach had the better of things yesterday at Family Arena. After a slow start, Tozer had his team buzzing on offense and swarming on defense, leading to a 10-1 win over the International team.

Blast forward Giuliano Celenza, playing in his first All-Star Game, scored three goals and was named Most Valuable Player.

"I have had All-Star Games in my city [Milwaukee], and players have left at halftime, got in Lear jets and left," Tozer said. "I think fans want to see the players play their game like they normally do. This is a format for the fans."

Yesterday the fans received a fine show, especially from Celenza, who worked up and down the floor with his teammates and frustrated the International side.

"I was just happy to be here playing and to be selected," Celenza said. "I played with a bunch of great guys. We all worked very hard together and hopefully gave the fans some enjoyment."

Said Tozer: "I watched him score four goals against us in [last season's] playoffs. He is a tremendous finisher and is great around the goal."

The game started slowly in the first half, but the pace picked up quickly. The USA team led 2-0 at halftime and the hole could have been deeper if not for several big plays from International goalkeeper Jim Larkin (Cleveland). He made several key saves in the first to keep it close.

Celenza took over in the third quarter and put the game out of reach with two goals midway through the period. He scored 7:01 into the third when he stole the ball from goalkeeper Hector Mireles (Monterrey), then beat him again, this time to the far post at 7:49 to make it 4-1.

USA 1 1 5 3 - 10

International 0 0 1 0 - 1

First quarter-1. USA, Wright (Todd Dusosky), 12:02.

Second quarter- 2. USA King (Hileman), 9:37.

Third quarter-3. International, Alebic (Andonovski), 5:33; 4. USA, Celenza (unassisted), 7:01; 5. USA, Celenza (King), 7:49; 6. USA, Doran (Todd Dusosky), 9:44; 7. USA, Wright (unassisted), 13:04; 8. USA, Doran (D'Ambra), 13:42.

Fourth quarter-9. USA, Butcher (Wright), 2:16; 10. USA, Celenza (Howe), 6:54; 11. USA, D'Ambra (Celenza) 9:06. Shots-International 4-10-6-10-30, USA 12-10-11-13-46. Saves-International Larkin 10, Mireles 6, USA Hileman 8, Nogueira 8, Doran 0. A-4,129.

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