The 18th Major League Soccer All-Star game gets underway from Sporting Park in Kansas City Wednesday night, and Philadelphia Union fans have a little extra incentive to watch.
Earlier in the week, All-Stars manager Peter Vermes called on Jack McInerney to replace New York Red Bulls striker Tim Cahill, who is dealing with a torn PCL in his right knee. McInerney had a quick stint with the United States Gold Cup winning squad before returning to the Union on July 20th. The 20 year-old will join an All-Stars team loaded with strikers, such as Thierry Henry, Chris Wondolowski, and MLS leading goal scorer Marco Di Vaio.
Those goalkeepers will be facing an AS Roma team with some world class offensive threats. American Michael Bradley makes a brief return to the MLS with his Italian club. After getting his professional start with the former MetroStars in 2004, the 26 year-old international star joined Roma in 2012. He's made 30 Serie A appearances with the team, scoring just one goal. Furthermore, Roma has other weapons including striker and captain Francesco Totti, and playmaking midfielder Daniele De Rossi.
Finishing 6th in Serie A last year was not good enough by any means for Roma, and De Rossi is hoping his team can use Wednesday night's game to help propel them to a strong 2013-14 campaign. In an interview with MLSSoccer.com, he had this to say:
Roma has to reemerge from the recent years that have been negative, and we start it from here. We start with the preseason. It's the preparation for a revival ahead of an important season.
But a win for Roma will be no easy task. Since the MLS began playing international clubs for its All-Star game in 2003, they've boasted a 6-3 record.
The rules of the contest are as follows:
- All players are eligible to play.
- Each squad can make up to 10 substitutions.
- If no winner is decided after 90 minutes, the game will go to a penalty shootout.