WASHINGTON -- Armado Guevara made sure that Freddy Adu wouldn't need to be remarkable for the Eastern Conference to win the MSL All-Star Game.
Guevara verified his stature as the league's leading scorer, contributing two first-half goals yesterday to carry the East past the West, 3-2.
Adu, the 15-year-old rookie sensation for hometown D.C. United, was inserted in the second half and thrilled the announced crowd of 21,378 with some sharp moves with the ball. But none of his shots came close to getting past goaltender Kevin Hartman.
Adu, who has two goals in seven games since joining the league in April, was a special pick by commissioner Don Garber.
Although Adu had no bearing on the game, one of his teammates did. Alecko Eskandarian of D.C. United kicked a left-footed shot into the left corner of the net in the 74th minute to make it 3-1. Shalrie Joseph of the Revolution assisted.
Jason Kreis, a nine-year veteran of MLS and a seven-time All-Star, scored in the 89th minute for the West on a 20-foot shot that bounced off the right post.
Guevara, voted the game MVP, is the MLS points leader with 25 in 17 matches. He broke up a scoreless duel by scoring twice within a two-minute span, connecting from 18 yards and converting a penalty kick.
Five of the midfielder's nine goals with the MetroStars this season are on penalty kicks.
Down, 2-1, the West missed a chance to pull even in the 53d minute when backup goaltender Jon Busch flicked away Kreis's twisting penalty kick.
The game was expected to be a high-scoring affair with little defense, but the sweltering conditions took a toll on the athletes and caused both coaches to substitute liberally in the second half.
In the 20th minute, Guevara took a pass from Damani Ralph at the top of the 18-yard box and deftly booted the ball past West goalkeeper Pat Onstad. Then, after Ronnie O'Brien fouled Dema Kovalenko, the East was awarded a penalty kick by referee Michael Kennedy. Guevara kicked the penalty into the left corner of the net past the diving Onstad for a 2-0 lead. The West closed to 2-1 in the 43d minute, when Brian Ching put in a header off a fine crossing pass by Richard Mulrooney.