East pulls out MSL All-Star Game, 9-8 MVP Borja scores in OT to win it


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Wichita Wings' Chico Borja scored 25 seconds into overtime, giving the East a 9-8 victory over the West in the Major Soccer League All-Star Game last night.

Borja's score was his third of the game and earned him the Most Valuable Player honor for the MSL's 12th All-Star Game, played before 13,720 at Kemper Arena.

Borja also had an assist on a goal by the Baltimore Blast's Dale Mitchell that tied the score at 8-8 with 47 seconds left in regulation. The total of 17 goals was the second highest in the all-star series. The West won, 11-7, in 1985.

The top defensive effort was turned in by Baltimore goalkeeper Scott Manning, who held off a furious West charge in the last 35 seconds of overtime. Manning stopped a shot by Fernado Clavijo of St. Louis, then a header by the Storm's Preki.

"The important thing is to make saves when it matters," Manning said. "I was just fortunate enough to be there. The first and second halves were two different games tonight. In the second half, the boys got that gleam in their eye and opened it up."

Mitchell said he thought the game would be high-scoring.

"I was surprised it was just 3-2 at the half," Mitchell said. "When we got three ahead [5-2 in the third quarter], the game opened up because they [West] kept coming after us."

Blast coach Kenny Cooper, on the losing side of this game last year, was happy to get the victory. "It's a wonderful feeling," Cooper said. "We were the home team tonight, and the crowd was like a seventh man for us."

It didn't take long for the scoring to start. Kansas City Comets star Jan Goossens drilled a 15-footer from the left side 3 minutes, 52 seconds into the game. Wichita's Dale Ervine, who had the assist on the first goal, made it 2-0 for the East with 6 minutes, 27 seconds gone on an assist from Mitchell.

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