MLS All-Stars vs. AS Roma: Players to Watch in International Showdown

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJuly 31, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 24:  Landon Donovan #10 of the United States celebrates his goal against Honduras during the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal match at Cowboys Stadium on July 24, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game kicks off on Wednesday, July 31, 9:00 p.m. ET at Sporting Park in Kansas City, as the MLS All-Stars take on Serie A club AS Roma.

Roma finished sixth in Serie A last season, 25 points behind champion Juventus.

This is the 10th time the MLS All-Stars have faced an international foe, going 7-2-1 against international competition. Last year, the MLS All-Stars defeated Chelsea 3-2, with forward Eddie Johnson notching the game-winner.

Let's take a look at the players to watch in the annual clash.

Landon Donovan, Midfielder

Landon Donovan just guided the United States to a Gold Cup title, posting five goals and seven assists in six games in the tournament.

The 31-year-old midfielder has posted three goals and six assists in 13 MLS matches (12 starts) this season. He racked up 11 goals and 16 assists for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 31 games (30 starts) last season.

Donovan is the embodiment of American soccer, and you can bet he'll be ready to go in the All-Star Game. The all-time leader in goals (56) and assists (57) for the United States should be fun to watch on Wednesday. 

Thierry Henry, Forward

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Former France and Arsenal forward Thierry Henry is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous players on the pitch in the MLS, even at 35 years of age. He's posted seven goals and five assists in 20 matches (18 starts) so far during the campaign.

A do-it-all player, Henry possesses excellent ball control, strong pace, solid passing skills and, of course, the ability to put the ball into the net.

Last season with the New York Red Bulls, Henry racked up 15 goals and 12 assists in 27 games (26 starts). 

Matt Besler, Defender

A two-time All-Star and the reigning MLS Defensive Player of the Year and Breakout Player of the Year, Matt Besler, ladies and gentlemen.

Besler is an anchor on the back line for the Americans. He doesn't post many assists or goals as a defender (one assist in 15 MLS starts this season), but he excels at what he's paid to do. He's an excellent defender and he received only three yellow cards last season in the MLS, despite registering 2,769 minutes.

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