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Roma all business in 3-1 win
by Paul Kennedy, July 31st, 2013 11:42PM

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TAGS:  italy, mls


[MLS ALL-STAR GAME] There was no messing around from Roma. It came out to train Wednesday morning, and 45 minutes after it had defeated the MLS All-Stars, 3-1, to win the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, a dozen reserves were out on Kansas City's Sporting Park field taking shooting practice.

Playing the first game of its three-game North America tour, the Italian club got an opening goal in the fourth minute, added a second two minutes into the second half and pulled ahead 3-0 after 68 minutes.

A goal by Omar Gonzalez on a header off a free kick made the final score more respectable than the All-Stars' only other regulation-time defeats, 4-0 and 5-2 to Manchester United.

Roma's new French coach, Rudi Garcia, was forced to make one change as Erik Lamela, rumored to be on Tottenham's shopping list if Gareth Bale is sold to Real Madrid, was a late scratch after being injured in the morning practice.

But the lineup was otherwise close to Roma's first-team lineup, and Garcia kept most of his starters in the game for the entire 90 minutes. Francesco Totti, the 36-year-old Roma, played 86 minutes, and American Michael Bradley went all the way.

Garcia said Bradley would be an important player for Roma in his second season with the Giallorossi, who finished sixth in Serie A in 2012-13.

"Michael is a great ambassador for your country in Europe," said Garcia. "He will be a very important player, that's for sure."

The Roma coach was impressed with the all-star event that drew a record crowd of 21,175 at Sporting Park.

"The atmosphere was great," he said, "and the game felt like a real competitive match against a strong team, so to win is important."

Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes played all 20 all-stars, though he took off one of his three Sporting KC starters, Graham Zusi, as a precaution midway through the first half with a cramp in his leg.

Vermes used all five players who had played in Sunday's Gold Cup for the USA, though only Matt Besler started.

Landon Donovan came on at half and had the best chance for the All-Stars until Gonzalez's goal when his shot from close range was stopped by goalie Bogdan Lopont.

Vermes praised all that players like Donovan and All-Star captain Thierry Henry had done in promoting the league and event in the buildup to the game for which the team had one practice. Rain on Monday had forced the team -- those players who had arrived -- to train in a hotel ballroom.

"We took the game seriously," said Besler. "There were a lot of challenges. Roma played well. They are a very good team."

July 31 in Kansas City, Kan.
MLS All-Stars 1 Roma 3. Goals: Gonzalez (Camilo) 90+1; Strootman (Florenzi, Pjanic) 4, Florenzi (Balzaretti) 47, Tallo (Strootman, Bradley) 68.
MLS All-Stars -- Fernandez (Rimando 46), Beltran, Collin, Besler (Gonzalez 46), Ashe (Yedlin 66), Johnson (Magee 46), Beckerman (Bernier 46), Davis (Donovan 46), Zusi (Camilo 24), Di Vaio (Wondolowski 46), Henry (McInerney 57).
Roma -- De Sanctis (Lobont 63), Benatia, Balzaretti, Torosidis, Castan, Pjanic (De Rossi 63), Bradley, Florenzi (Marquinho 63), Strootman, Totti (Ricci 87), Tallo (Caprari 80).
Att.: 21,175.

MLS All-Star Results:
2013 Roma 3 MLS All-Stars 1
2012
MLS All-Stars 3 Chelsea 2
2011 Manchester United 4, MLS All-Stars 0
2010 Manchester United 5, MLS All-Stars 2
2009 Everton 1, MLS All-Stars 1 (4-3 PKs)
2008 MLS All-Stars 3 West Ham United 2
2007 MLS All-Stars 2 Celtic 0
2006 MLS All-Stars 1 Chelsea 0
2005 MLS All-Stars 4 Fulham 1
2003 MLS All-Stars 3 Chivas de Guadalajara 1


7 comments
  1. miguel abisaab
    commented on: August 1, 2013 at 9:27 a.m.
    Good morning Soccer fans! Well I was impressed with the MLS All-Stars last night. Playing AS Roma was no easy task, Serie A is still the most technical league in the world. For the MLS all- stars last night it was a good expireance playing Roma. It could have been a much higher scoreline however, Roma showed the fans and the all-stars the high level of technical soccer played in Serie A. For the most part,I will give the all-stars a fair grade for their performance a C plus, the plus being that they at least got a goal in. Playing a top european team is a good test for future MLS all star games,this will indeed show how far the league has come and needs to come. Playing eight straight British sides since 2005 has shown we can play with those clubs, you learn the style of play. If we could get another two more Italian sides to come in future MLS all-star games, the all-stars would defeat one of them. This is a good show case for soccer here in the United States, if you look at the marketing aspect of the MLS all-star game,it bodes well for the opposing team. AS Roma is trying to market their brand of soccer in the states right now, so maybe this would entice other top continental European sides to take this seriously like Roma did. If Portland could get next year say like the Champions or Europa League winner or runner-up if possible would be a very good thing. This would be another small stepping stone in making MLS a top notch league in the future. However MLS teams still needs to win a Concacaf Champions League title so the football world can start taking about soccer here in America being very serious business. Take care everyone until the next time!

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: August 1, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.
    Good match. Roma showed that individually and as a team they can handle pressure while MLS-Stars lacked in that department. Totti showed the savvy and technical ability that is a pleasure to watch. Purpose of play goes to Roma hands down.

  1. The Dude
    commented on: August 1, 2013 at 11:27 a.m.
    Roma played well, All Stars looked in the backline like an All Star team... Now if the MLS can be like the Mighty Europeans and become as corrupt as the Serie A!!! LOL

  1. Kent James
    commented on: August 1, 2013 at 11:58 a.m.
    I would say the difference was clinical finishing on Roma's part, but that would only be true for the 2nd goal (when Corey Ashe's momentary lapse of concentration was punished clinically). Both the first and third goals were deflections as defenders tried to clear the ball and hit the forwards' shins. While the Italians were in a great position to score on those plays anyway, the MLS defenders did make valiant efforts to save them. But it was unusual for the deflections to be so lethal that the keepers never had a chance. Totti's passing demonstrated why he's still a star at age 36. I love the format, since both teams take it seriously but nobody bunkers in. I was a bit surprised by how chippy it got; Pjanic seemed to take exception when Donovan fouled him early in the half, and his desire for revenge was evident when he blatantly took Donovan down and then got in Donovan's face (not the sort of behavior you come to expect in an international friendly!).

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: August 1, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.
    One thing that Roma showed is that individual players have solid awareness as to the opponents presence. How many times did Roma players control a loose ball in their box and dribble it out or calmly distribute it out of danger, unlike 'others' who big-foot it no matter what. The truly skilled players turn on their athleticism when it matters in order to beat their opponent or to gain advantage. Otherwise, simplicity rules..

  1. Andrew King
    commented on: August 1, 2013 at 5:28 p.m.
    Roma played an excellent game and you are right I w, Roma continually built from the back even with some intense pressure. Totti's passing and vision is phenomenal. Did anyone catch the opening act? Is it just me, or was that pretty strange? I was actually at the game, just curious if it looked different on TV, it's hard to imagine it could have been any worse than it was live

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: August 2, 2013 at 6:23 p.m.
    Andrew, live soccer beats the TV version hands down, and forever. You didn't have to listen to the overblown commentary and the ground level video boosted by in-your face zoom-ins; and most of all u didn't have to get the refs birds-eye view of the action through his headgear camera which was a total disaster. Anyone who thinks that the headgear camera adds a positive dimension of the game, is seriously brain dead. The TV production manager should be fired.


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