The Major League Soccer All-Stars will face AS Roma in the 2013 MLS All-Star Game on July 31 at Sporting Park.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
An official announcement is expected Thursday during a news conference at Sporting Park, but U.S. mens international star Michael Bradley and Roma will be the opponent, according to ESPN and league sources.
Roma, 18-12-8, finished sixth in the recently completed Serie A season and will be the first team from Italys top league to play in the AT&T MLS All-Star Game, which has featured an English Premier League opponent in seven of the last eight seasons.
In addition to Bradley, a midfield star for the U.S. men, Romas roster includes Italian forward Francesco Totti, who scored 12 goals with 12 assists this season, along with Argentine midfielder Erik Lamela, who scored 15 goals in 30 games.
The MLS All-Stars, who also have hosted Mexicos Chivas Guadalajara (2003) and Scotlands Celtic (2007) for its version of the mid-summer classic, are 6-2-1 in matches against top-tier international clubs since adopting that format in 2003.
Both losses came against Manchester United in 2010 and 2011, while the draw came in 2009 against Everton, who eventually won on penalty kicks. Fulham, Chelsea and West Ham United also have played in the all-star exhibition.
MLS President Mark Abbott, Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman and AT&T Kansas President Steve Hahn will participate in a news conference at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, which will be streamed live at www.SportingKC.com, www.MLSSoccer.com and on the MLS YouTube channel.
The All-Star Game, a three-day event culminating in the match against Roma, is set for 8 p.m. on July 31 and will be televised on ESPN.
Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes will coach the this years MLS All-Stars, who beat Chelsea 3-2 in last years match at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
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