Thursday, August 01, 2013

Success All Over with the All Star Game

There's little I can say about the All Star Game that hasn't been said, but I'll try. As a whole the entire All Star week was a great success. I saw nothing but good things and good articles from everyone in the national and international media that was in town. From the Macklemore and Silversun Pickups concert, to the 5K on Sunday, to the US watch party, to the game and pregame itself, it was a fantastic event. The game as a whole was the only real disappointing part as looking back on it, it didn't really live up to expectations. Roma played extremely well at times, combining fantastically to cut up the MLS defense. And the MLS team looked like a bunch of guys who had mostly never played together, topped off with an injury to a key player for the home side Sporting that could keep him out Saturday.

AS Roma grabbed an early lead with some really good combination play starting with their own goalkeeper. Starting with the goalkeeper, Roma made 8 passes and were all the way up and through the All Star team. The final pass, a little flick by Alessandro Florenzi into the path of Junior Tallo and Kevin Strootman. Strootman was the one that got to the ball.  Aurelien Collin made a late challenge trying to get the ball away from him but ended up hitting it off his foot and pass Raul Fernandez and into the net making it 1-0. Roma controlled the play in the first half, and had two more goals ruled out due to offside calls. They also tested Fernandez in the net for the All Stars.

The second half started just like the first did, with Roma getting an early goal.Roma worked the ball down the left and then Frederico Balzaretti crossed a ball to Florenzi who was all alone at the back post. He beat Nick Rimando and made it 2-0.  With the two goal lead, Roma sat back a bit and let the All Stars bring the game to them.  Finally the All Stars started to create some chances of their own, Landon Donovan had a shot well saved and DeAndre Yedlin fired a shot wide of the goal after a great 1-2 with Chris Wondolowski. Roma made it 3-0 though in the 68th minute. Again some great passing by Roma Strootman and Michael Bradley combined with some nice passing before Strootman played it into the middle. Tallo beat Tony Beltran to the ball and put it past Rimando. Finally in stoppage time the All Stars got a goal.  A free kick by Camilo was headed into the net by Omar Gonzalez to get MLS on the board.

The loss is the third since the league switched to it's current format of playing a foreign team. The league has a 6-3-1 record in these games.

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