WASHINGTON – Newly-acquired midfield star Declan Rice came on as a second-half substitute and helped Arsenal complete a 5-0 win over the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday night.
Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard, Jorginho, Gabriel Martinelli and Kai Havertz all scored – and those weren’t the only highlights for the many red-clad Arsenal fans in the crowd at Audi Field.
Rice moved from West Ham to the Gunners for a British record transfer fee last weekend, reported to be 105 million pounds ($138 million). The crowd roared when he entered just over an hour into the match and cheered again when he was in possession.
US international forward Folarin Balogun, whose Arsenal days may be numbered, also signed for the London club at the same time as Rice.
By then, the Gunners had a 3-0 lead.
The MLS team — which did not include Miami’s late Lionel Messi — picked up four yellow cards before halftime.
Jesus opened the scoring with a beautiful strike in the fifth minute. His shot from outside the penalty area went past St. Petersburg goalkeeper Roman Burki. Louis and jumped into the left post.
Trossard doubled the lead in the 23rd with another goal from outside the penalty area, a little more towards the middle – and hit harder – than Jesus’ shot.
Trossard was concussed early in the second half and was replaced by a substitute.
In the first minute after the first half, the defender of St. Martinelli and Havertz scored late to make it five goals.
In preparation for their Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest on August 12, Arsenal play friendlies against Manchester United on Saturday in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and against Barcelona on July 26 in Inglewood, California.