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Juve’s Allegri left impressed by level, atmosphere of MLS All-Star Game


It’s almost impossible to draw overarching conclusions based off of a one-off MLS All-Star Game. The MLS team is disjointed and unfamiliar. The opponent is often in preseason. The game, as a whole, is usually a mishmash of moments featuring a number of different players with a number of different goals in mind.

That said, though, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri had nothing but good things to say about both the level of play at Wednesday’s MLS All-Star Game and all of the theatrics that surrounded this year’s match in Atlanta.

Allegri’s Juventus played the MLS side to a back-and-forth 1-1 tie on Wednesday before the Italian champions coasted through penalty kicks to seal the win. It was a lively match with a number of key contributors on either side, and that left Allegri impressed despite the obvious limitations of the event itself.

“It’s hard to say for only 30 minutes,” Allegri said, “but I’ve seen some very good players, some very fast ones, and very tactically well prepared. I think they can have a future in Europe.”

Both teams had vastly different goals. Juventus is in the U.S. building towards preseason, and they’re doing it without a number of big pieces. The obvious one, Cristiano Ronaldo, just began training in Turin. World Cup stars like Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa are also back in Italy. Gonzalo Higuain looks set to depart with Leonardo Bonucci coming back into the fold.

Meanwhile, the MLS All-Stars have no overarching goal. Sure, it’s a showcase and a chance to prove yourself, and young players like Miguel Almiron, Tyler Adams and Ezequiel Barco probably saw the match as a chance to shine against a legitimate European team. Veterans like Brad Guzan, Michael Parkhurst and Bradley Wright-Phillips saw it as a fun event. Sebastian Giovinco saw it as a chance to face a former club.

Regardless of the aim, Allegri saw the event as a success.

“I was very pleasantly surprised for the entire climate and the entire impression that we got from Atlanta,” Allegri said. “You know it’s not easy to put 70,000 people in a stadium like today. We also had the opportunity to see all of the presidents of the MLS teams last night. There was a dinner with MLS, and it was an honor and a pleasure to be a part of it. There was so much enthusiasm. They were able to create good momentum in the United States, and I think this speaks well for the future in the United States.

“I think congratulations are in order for the president of Atlanta United as well as the president of MLS,” Allegri added. It’s a beautiful event. It gave us the opportunity to participate in it. It was really a wonderful game, and it was a good preparation for us.”


  1. I’ve commented on the following point once before, but it bears emphasizing. Man, what about those Atlanta fans! Did anyone expect that Atlanta would turn out so much for soccer? I love to watch Atlanta home games as much for the fan support as for the play of their team. Finally, let me repeat something I’ve been saying for a couple of years. MLS should be building bigger stadiums. While we can’t expect fan support like in Atlanta or Seattle everywhere, new stadiums should be more in the 35 to 40,000 capacity size instead of 20 to 25,000. I think MLS and soccer in the US have reached the point where we are about to rival many great soccer nations in fan support. When an exhibition game between 2 EPL teams draws over 100,000 in Michigan and San Diego, which doesn’t even have a franchise, draws a couple of thousand for an outdoor showing of the World Cup final, we are seeing the beginning of something special.

  2. agree with ryan, quozzel and gary page.
    and so if you have a kid who is about 8 years old and loves to go to mls home games and if you take your kid to see this all star game then what will you have? A VERY HAPPY KID. and very happy kids imo become fans for life. to me, the all star game is first and foremost ABOUT THE FANS. especially the kids. (just my opinion)

    • in 2015, 93,000+ showed up at the Rose Bowl for Barca-Galaxy, insane atmosphere, including my family of four. made a positive impression on my kids for life

  3. Allegri’s reaction is nice, but the real story was on the Juve players’ faces when they walked out to that massive crowd and the awesome light show on display, the petrified looks on their young players’ faces as Allegri (correctly) made his young players take the PK’s with massive pressure on them…at the end of the day, we don’t really need verbal validation. It was all right there: THIS was no insignificant deal to these guys, and Allegri was brilliant to make the young guys do it because you just simply can’t simulate that kind of pressure any other way.

    It was an exhibition, sure. It was also a very intense one and anybody involved in it could tell you the statement made there was hardly insignificant. You think the Juve guys will forget playing in Atlanta, like, ever? Not likely.

  4. these stories always amuse me…what else is he going to say ?!? he is just being polite to his guests that paid him a lot of money to be there.


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