MLS All-Star Game 'Goalie Wars' Needs To Return To Our Screens Immediately
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If you haven't seen the MLS All-Star game 'Goalie Wars' before, then prepare to have your minds blown.
Back in the summer of 2001, when the San Jose Earthquakes hosted the All-Star Game at Spartan Stadium, three goalkeepers – Joe Cannon, Nick Rimando and Zach Thornton – took part in one of the most unique moments in Major League Soccer history.
So what did they get up to? Well, here's an official description of the rules:
A goalkeeper from each Divisional team will compete in a one-on-one game of protecting their goal while attempting to score on their opponent’s net. Goalkeepers can shoot on their opponent’s goal by throwing, kicking, or drop-kicking the ball. A shot must be taken within three steps and six seconds of recovering the ball from a save. Balls not controlled or deflected over the end line will be returned to the individual taking the initial shot. The player with the most points at the end of each two and a half minute match will be declared the winner.
Before diving into the results, here's some classic footage of Cannon, Rimaldo and Thornton in action during the 'Goalie Wars' segment. Can you imagine bringing this kind of competition to the Premier League?
🙌 GOALIE WARS 🙌— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 23, 2020
Who would win this today? #tbt pic.twitter.com/havMMHaF0f
RT if you think we should bring back GOALIE WARS!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 22, 2020
San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who made over 100 appearances for the MLS side during his spell at the Quakes, ran the show on the night.
He defeated both of his opponents in the first round before overcoming Chicago Fire shot-stopper Zach Thornton again in the final.
"I had to play the first two matches and I was exhausted, and I think I threw up in front of [television host] Rob Stone," Cannon told MLS Soccer in 2020.
"I think as a young goalie, a lot of us just love that exercise, because it really strips away any cognitive thinking, decision-making. It's all about shot-stopping, one-on-one, mano-a-mano, which, I have a twin brother, so that was right up my alley."
Zach Thornton may have suffered at the hands of Cannon in the 'Goalie Wars' final, but he thoroughly enjoyed the competition.
"Me and Joe Cannon had a good battle going," he said. "We put on a pretty good show, both of us got into it. I think anytime a goalkeeper has a chance to score, they enjoy that."
Unfortunately for those in attendance, 'Goalie Wars' was shelved in the coming years. But judging by the reaction of social media in recent hours, the unique competition would be welcomed back with open arms.
One fan said: "This looks amazing. So much money and attention on modern footballers, they don’t get involved in stuff like this anymore. Bring back the days of Kevin Keegan falling off a bike on Superstars."
Another commented: "The Premier League need to do like an all-stars weekend," while a third wrote: "This is how matches should be decided after extra time. Forget about penalties."
Let us know your thoughts on 'Goalie Wars' in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: MLS
Topics: MLS, Major League Soccer