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Juventus defeats the MLS All-Stars after penalty kick shootout


Carlos Vela said he hoped to see the MLS All-Stars put on a show for fans Wednesday night at the MLS All-Star Game against Juventus F.C.

The game did not disappoint the 72,317 fans in attendance—an MLS All-Star Game record—nor those watching on TV as the two teams played to a 1-1 draw before Juventus edged the MLS side on penalty kicks.

For the first 15 minutes of the match, both teams traded attacking blows in a relatively fast paced, end-to-end game, although neither team was able to put a solid shot on frame.

Things quieted down a bit as Juventus seemed to settle in and take control of the match, putting constant pressure on the MLS All-Stars until the Italian champions drew first blood in the 21st minute.

Emre Can played the ball out of the middle of the field to midfielder Matheus Pereira. None of the MLS All-Stars put pressure on the midfielder, giving Pereira far too much time to pick out his pass Andrea Favilli in the box, who neatly headed the ball down into the lower right corner of the goal.

The goal looked for a moment as if it would open the floodgates for The Bianconeri, but just five minutes later MLS All-Stars pulled level thanks to Atlanta’s own Josef Martinez.

Miguel Almiron sent a lovely cross to the far post to Martinez, who picked out an open Vela near the penalty spot. The LAFC forward fired a shot off the hands of Juventus keeper Wojciech Szczęsny, but Nacho Piatti sent the loose ball back across goal where Josef Martinez ended the chaos with a point blank header into the net.

Martinez’s goal seemed to light a fire beneath the MLS All-Stars, who almost took a 2-1 lead just before half as Almiron broke free for a one-on-one with Szczęsny, but the offside flag put an end to the attack. Replay showed that Almiron appeared clearly onside.

After the half, both teams had chances and forced saves from the keepers, but it was the MLS All-Stars with the best chance of the half in the 82nd minute.

High pressure from Ilie Sanchez forced a turnover deep in Juventus territory. Bradley Wright-Phillips gathered the ball and played Diego Valeri into a dangerous one-on-one situation, but Juventus defender Medhi Benatia cleared the shot off the line, preserving the 1-1 scoreline and forcing the game to penalties.

Both sides went goal-for-goal in penalty kicks until Bradley Wright-Phillips uncharacteristically bounced his shot off the left post. Juventus defender Mattia De Sciglio immediately stepped up and sent the ball straight past Steffen to give The Bianconeri the victory on penalty kicks.


  1. i agree again with gomer pyle. my arguments to go back to the old east-west format fall apart when 72,000+ show up for a game like this and the players didn’t disappoint. kudos to garber and those who thought this concept up.

    • i also agree with ives, who wrote this:
      Is it time to change the MLS All-Star Game format?
      yes, mls has SO MANY big name players now, the east west game could probably stand on its own merits now, i agree. also, earlier this season, the all star voting was really difficult because there are (again) so many excellent players to choose from, that you really could have easily made two sides, call them east versus west or whatever you want, both equally as good and interesting as the side that played in atlanta on wednesday, yes? could we have both? let all star east play west early in the week, and then later in the week let the combined all stars play together against a euro club? probably not. agree with ives, the reasons for changing to the current format don’t exist anymore today. mls has plenty of big name players now, the all star game can stand on its own.

  2. adding to what gomer pyle said, if this game in atlanta made a positive first impression on juventus, who knows what positive implications that might have for mls in the future. for example, if all of the juve guys tell cr7 what a good time they had playing the all stars, who knows? maybe it gives him that little tiny extra bit to consider his next move after his contract with juve expires? my theme today is “everything is connected.”

  3. Ok. I’ll admit it. That was fun. And (not for the first time) I will walk back my criticism of the MLS All Star game. While I suspect it still will outlive its value one day (as it has in every other sport), that day was clearly not today. Full props to the Atlanta franchise – the fans, players, and ownership continued to show why they are the model for this iteration of MLS.
    Also, am I the only one who was certain BWP was going to miss that PK? Dude wandered up there like Raoul Duke and scarcely looked at the goal. Amazing he came as close as he did. Whatever… minor point.


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