The MLS All-Star Game heads to the heartland Wednesday night when the league's all-stars take on A.S. Roma at Sporting Park in Kansas City. It marks the ninth time the MLS All-Star Game has featured a foreign club, with the MLS team winning five of the eight prior contests, including a 3-2 victory over Chelsea last season.
Roma are coming off of a sixth-place Serie A finish last season, but have bigger ambitions with a new stadium coming that they expect to change the finances of the club so they can move into the league's upper-echelon. This revolution at Roma has been pushed by their new American owners, who have made the club's exposure to the U.S. market a priority. It also helps that the club have an American -- maybe the best American -- in Michael Bradley.
There isn't much value in the All-Star Game. While MLS may point to wins as proof of MLS' growth, if someone needs an exhibition to prove to them the league's worth than they are already lost. For Roma, it is just another preseason match.
As is the case with many friendlies, there are plenty of goals and with no stakes, players have no problem getting ambitious. When viewed through the lens of entertainment and not sport, it becomes much more fun. And fun is what the All-Star Game is.
Have a blast, Kansas City.
Game date/time: Wednesday, July 31; 9 p.m. ET
Venue: Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.
TV: ESPN2 (USA English), UniMas (USA Spanish)
Streaming: MLS Live