July 2011: All-Star First XII announced with Galaxy and Red Bulls dominating

Two things are certain about David Beckham. He still can deliver and he will have an opportunity to play against his former English Premier League team, Manchester United in the MLS all-star game.

On Saturday, Beckham set up Landon Donovan's goal and scored the second one straight off a corner kick in the 65th minute to lift the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-1 home win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday night. The victory snapped Chicago's eight-game unbeaten streak.

A day later, Beckham discovered that he, Donovan and defenders Omar Gonzalez and Sean Franklin were voted to the MLS First XI for the all-star game by fans.

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David Beckham at a press conference in Los Angeles on July 12, 2011. (Photo: GettyImages)

Three minutes after Cristian Nazarit equalized, Beckham swung a corner kick that was untouched by either side and into the net for the decisive score.

Beckham said he had scored a similar goal while playing on loan at Preston North End.

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David Beckham (not pictured) scored the winning goal from a direct corner kick for Red Bulls’ 2-1 win over Chicago Fire, ending Fire’s series of eight matches without a defeat. (Photo: GettyImages)


“I saw the goalkeeper cheating a little bit, going towards out of the goal," he said. "I saw a little bit of a gap and I knew if I put in an area it was going to a get a touch off somebody or it was going to go straight it. Luckily it went straight in.”

Beckham has been playing with a stress fracture to his spine.

“From what I hear, playing with the injury . . . is really painful," Donovan said. "He is a warrior. Since he has been here he has played through a lot of tough injuries. He has spent a lot of time off the field so I think he wants to do everything he can do this year to play as much as possible so he is playing through a lot of pain.”

It should not be surprising that the Galaxy and New York Red Bulls dominated the First XI. After all, both teams have some of the biggest names in the league. The Galaxy and Red Bulls had seven of the 11 players selected in fan voting. Major League Soccer’s best will face Manchester United at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey on July 27.

The Red Bulls had three players voted in -- forward Thierry Henry and defenders Rafa Marquez and Tim Ream.

The rest of the First XI included former U.S. international goalkeeper Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders FC), midfielders Jack Jewsbury (Portland Timbers) and Brek Shea (FC Dallas) and forward Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), last year's MLS Golden Boot winner as the league’s top scorer.

Being voted among the First XI doesn't necessarily mean a player will start. It only means he will be guaranteed a spot on the team. For example, Marquez, the Mexican National Team captain, has been sidelined with a hamstring injury suffered in El Tri's 4-2 win over the U.S. in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final. It was not known whether he will be fit to play.

Red Bulls coach Hans Backe, designated as the MLS all-star coach, will determine the lineup. Don Garber will announce his commissioner's picks July 16, while the game roster will be unveiled two days later.

Red Bulls roller coaster season rolls on as De Ro strikes back

Even with its star-studded lineup, the Red Bulls finished with a mixed week. On Wednesday, they rolled over Toronto FC, 5-0, in what arguably was their best performance of the season. Henry, Luke Rodgers and Joel Lindpere scored the first three goals and substitute Juan Agudelo, 18, contributed two second-half goals.

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On Saturday, they came back down to earth, losing to D.C. United as Canadian international Dwayne De Rosario, in his first game at Red Bull Arena since the trade for Dax McCarty late last month, connected enjoyed some revenge against his ex-mates with the lone goal.

"De Ro played an amazing game tonight," Henry said.

"The way he dictated the game was pretty impressive," United coach Ben Olsen said. "It's the reason why he is one of the best this league has ever seen."

The Red Bulls just could not get into a good rhythm as their passing from the backline and midfield was not crisp.

"Every time you pass a ball into the midfield today they were just giving the ball back," Henry said. "You can turn and you can run at people. It's allowed."

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Dwayne De Rosario moved from New York to D.C. United two weeks ago. The Canadian scored the 1-0 winning goal against the Red Bulls on July 9. (Photo: GettyImages)

Seattlewins Northwest derby as Vancouver continues to struggle

Osvaldo Alonso's penalty kick broke a 2-2 draw to give the Seattle Sounders a 3-2 away win over the Portland Timbers. Colombian international Freddy Montero, who was named MLS Player of the Week, struck twice for Seattle, while Portland had an own goal and score by Jorge Perlaza.

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Jeff Cunningham tied former D.C. United great and Bolivian international Jaime Moreno for the league's all-time scoring lead with his 135th goal in the Columbus Crew's 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday.

It turned out to be another difficult week for the Whitecaps, who also lost on Saturday to the Colorado Rapids at home, 2-1. Conor Casey's second goal of the week gave the hosts the lead before Scott Palguta added an insurance goal that was needed as Camilo scored for Vancouver.

Casey also tallied the first goal in a mid-week match at Sporting Kansas City, but Graham Zusi equalized for the hosts in the second half.

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Jeff Cunningham of Columbus Crew achieved his 135th goal during the 1-0 over Vancouver Whitecaps and now heads the MLS all-time scoring list. (Photo: GettyImages)

Kansas City was even more dramatic in a its 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on Saturday as Mexican forward Omar Bravo scored three minutes into stoppage time to offset Nick LaBrocca's goal. LaBrocca also tallied for Chivas in its 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday. Ben Zemanski also found the back of the net.

The Houston Dynamo handed Toronto FC its second road loss in four days behind a 2-0 triumph on Saturday. Danny Cruz scored his first goal of the season and Geoff Cameron provided some breathing room.

Jamaican international Andy Williams and Argentine Fabian Espindola scored to lead Real Salt Lake to a 2-0 home victory over FC Dallas in a battle of two of the Western Conference's best teams. Dallas remain 5 points behind Los Angeles with two games in hand. RSL are a further 4 points back, but have played 6 fewer games than the league leaders.

The Philadelphia Union held on to the Eastern Conference lead on goal differential as it played the host Earthquakes to a scoreless draw on Saturday. Philadelphia has played two less games than New York, as have Columbus who trail both teams by a single point.