Today Major League Soccer announced that Italian giants AS Roma will face the MLS All-Stars in the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. The marquee match will be played Wednesday, July 31 at Sporting Park, home to Sporting Kansas City and one of the premier venues of its size in the world. The annual summer showcase will be broadcast live on ESPN2, UniMás, and in Canada on TSN and RDS starting at 6 p.m. PT.
For the 10th time in the event’s 18-year history, a top international club will take on the MLS All-Stars, who have a 6-2-1 record in this format – the most compelling among all-star games in North America. In addition to honoring the best players in MLS, the game has featured popular clubs such as Manchester United (2010 & 2011), Everton FC (2009), Chelsea FC (2006 & 2012), Fulham FC (2005), and Club Deportivo Guadalajara (2003).
“We are pleased to welcome AS Roma as the opponent for the MLS All Stars in the 2013 All-Star Game in Kansas City,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “As the winner of multiple Serie A and Coppa Italia titles, Roma is one of Italy’s most popular and successful clubs. We are also proud to welcome back Roma midfielder Michael Bradley. Michael began his professional career in MLS as a 16-year old and has become one of the most successful American players of this era." AS Roma, the first club from Italy’s Serie A to appear in the MLS All-Star Game, features star players such as Francesco Totti (Italy), Michael Bradley (United States), Daniele De Rossi (Italy), Erik Lamela (Argentina) and many others who represent their respective national teams. Founded in 1927, the legendary club has won three Serie A titles, nine Coppa Italia titles and two Supercoppa Italiana titles. AS Roma’s youth academy regularly produce more Serie A players than any other in Italy. The "Giallorossi," who call Stadio Olympico home, are the only Italian club owned and managed by a United States-based group. The group, based out of Boston, MA, is led by owner and AS Roma President James Pallotta, Chairman of Raptor Group.
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"Playing in the MLS All-Star Game fits in perfectly with our initiatives in the United States such as our Disney partnership and growing youth academy system,” AS Roma President James Pallotta said. “Major League Soccer has done a great job building its All-Star Game into a top-tier event and we are proud to participate."
"We look forward to playing against the best talent in MLS,” said Italo Zanzi, AS Roma CEO. “The All-Star game has proven to be a serious and competitive match and will be an important part of our preparation for next season. We're also very happy that it will highlight Michael Bradley's important role at Roma and for the U.S. National Team."
MLS and Sporting Kansas City will host the AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Sporting Park, where today’s announcement was made. Since opening in June of 2011, Sporting Park has hosted the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship, the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying semifinals and championship,, a FIFA World Cup Qualifying match between the United States and Guatemala last October, both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams and international friendlies, as well as concerts such as FarmAid and Journey.
On October 11, 2013 Sporting Park will be the site for FIFA World Cup Qualifying when the United States hosts Jamaica.
““We are honored to host AS Roma for the 2013 MLS All-Star Game. The weeklong events and game will be great for Kansas City as our fans here deserve it,” Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman said. “Our ownership group and organization is setting a strong emphasis on making this the best All-Star game there has been in our League. We welcome AS Roma, a great club with tremendous history, to Sporting Park on July 31st where it will be as loud and passionate as ever.”
The stadium’s inaugural season saw Sporting Park receive recognition locally, nationally and internationally, garnering many awards for venue, fan experience and technology. In 2012, Sporting Park was also recognized at The Stadium Business Awards in Turin, Italy, receiving the highly acclaimed Venue of the Year award and the Product Innovation Award. The state-of-art venue was also nominated for facility of the year by the Sports Business Awards.
In addition to serving as the game’s title sponsor, AT&T will host five days of activities in the heart of downtown Kansas City, Mo. at the Power and Light District, including a July 30 concert by Silversun Pickups, an alternative rock band with hits such as Lazy Eye, Panic Switch and Bloody Mary. Information regarding additional fan-facing events, activities, sponsor activation, player appearances and other musical entertainment during AT&T MLS All-Star at Power & Light District will be announced at a later date.
“As AT&T’s involvement in the world’s most popular sport grows, we look forward to our continued sponsorship of Major League Soccer, especially around this year’s AT&T MLS All-Star Game in Kansas City,” said AT&T Kansas President Steve Hahn. “We’re giving fans the opportunity to experience the game like never before through a number of exciting offerings both onsite and via their mobile devices.”