Pontius scores, as Generation adidas wins
Chris Pontius and Rodney Wallace are in South Africa with a group of young MLS players as part of Generation adidas. The team has its first game on Monday and United rookie Chris Pontius opened the scoring in the 24th minute. Pontius played 66 minutes and Wallace played 82 minutes in two stints.
Here's the full game report from Major League Soccer:
With goals from D.C. United's Chris Pontius and the Chicago Fire's Patrick Nyarko, the MLS Generation adidas team began its South Africa tour with a 2-0 victory Monday against Orlando Pirates at the University of Johannesburg Soccer Grounds in Auckland Park.
After a training session Sunday and a visit to SoccerEx, where the team was able to attend a Showball Legends exhibition tournament, featuring past stars of the national teams of Brazil, England, Holland and South Africa, the Generation adidas team got down to business and played the first of the three games against South African competition.
The Generation adidas side dominated the action from the start, as the Pirates tried to play a short passing game that was easily controlled by the physically superior MLS team. The first goal of the game came in the 24th minute when Pontius intercepted a poor clearance by the Pirates defense, and after dribbling past a defender, took a low hard drive to the far post that got past the African 'keeper.
The Pirates were able to put together some sporadic counterattacks, but when they got behind the GA defense, goalkeeper Stefan Frei (Toronto FC) came up with the necessary saves.
In the second half the Pirates brought on a full new team, changing all 11 players. The game became more balanced and the Pirates enjoyed several good scoring opportunities, forcing saves from Frei in the 54th directly from a free kick, and then a spectacular point-blank save in the 80th minute when the TFC 'keeper dove to his right.
In the 83rd minute, from a short corner, Bruno Guarda (FC Dallas) sent a perfect cross to Nyarko, who from the edge of the 6-yard box was able to put in the insurance goal.
Overall the Generation adidas team saw solid performances from the entire squad, as the only players who did not see action were reserve goalkeeper Josh Lambo (FC Dallas) and defender Kevin Alston (New England Revolution), who is nursing a hamstring injury. Frei was the man of the match in goal for the MLS team, which also received outstanding performances from both outside backs, Chance Myers (Kansas City Wizards) and Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake).
Three players originally named to the squad -- Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Tristan Bowen (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Ciaran O'Brien (Colorado Rapids) -- did not make the trip. Shea and O'Brien remained home due to injuries, while Bowen stayed behind due to family matters.
The game kicked off at 10 a.m. local time with temperatures in the 80s and at an altitude that surpasses Denver by 500 feet.
MLS GENERATION ADIDAS 2, ORLANDO PIRATES 0
GA: Stefan Frei; Chance Myers, Jeremy Hall (Wallace 66*), Rob Valentino, Tony Beltran, Chris Pontius (Danny Cruz 66), Baggio Husidic, Eric Avila (Bruno Guarda 58), Rodney Wallace (Roger Espinoza 58), Peri Marosevic (Alex Nimo 62), Patrick Nyarko.
*Wallace had to re-enter due to an injury to Hall.
SHOTS: 5; SAVES 6; CORNER KICKS 9
Orlando Pirates: 1st Half: Nkumane (Nzoyiya 35'), Themba, Mkhize, Madonsela, Khuzwayo, Nyambi, Twala, Shiba, Ngubo, Moleko, Tshabalala. 2nd Half: Nzoyiya (Mzisa 77') Khena, Zulu, Maphakane, Mkhwahazi, Xaba, Jembula, Diamini (Mothobi 70'), khoza (Mohohoma 72'), Mzizi, Mtghali.
SHOTS: 6; SAVES 3; CORNER KICKS 5
(Photo courtesy of MLS)