MLS All-Stars vs. Roma: Most Impressive Performances in Exhibition Match

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2013

Jul 31, 2013; Kansas City, KS, USA; AS Roma forward Francesco Totti (10) holds up the MLS All Star Game trophy after the 2013 MLS All Star Game at Sporting Park. AS Roma won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

The best players in the MLS were no match for a middling Serie A squad, as Roma defeated the MLS All-Stars 3-1 Wednesday.

In the match, the Italian club showcased more cohesion, which is not surprising considering the host squad was full of players who had rarely played together, if at all. There was also a great deal of skill from the winners that could not be matched.

Still, there were impressive showings from both sides in this one, highlighted by the following players' performances.

Kevin Strootman, Roma

After coming over from PSV Eindhoven in Holland, Kevin Strootman is expected to make a big impact for Roma this season. If he plays like he did against the MLS All-Stars, his new club will be very happy.

The 23-year-old midfielder needed just four minutes to score the opening goal in the match and was able to make a consistent impact throughout the 90 minutes. He also showcased his passing ability with an assist on a second-half goal.

Strootman is generally known for his defensive ability as a sure tackler who can stop opposing attacks, but he proved in this one that he could be a big help on the offensive end as well.

As he continues to improve, he will make a big difference in the midfield for Roma.

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Omar Gonzalez, MLS

In the closing seconds of the match, Omar Gonzalez saved the MLS squad from an embarrassing shutout. 

The Los Angeles Galaxy player showed off his aerial ability with a header that went past the keeper and into the back of the net, making the final score a more respectable 3-1.

While the defense as a whole left a lot to be desired, Gonzalez was as good as ever at center-back. With more communication, the squad could have seen a better result. However, the young player was still one of the better players for the All-Stars in this one. 

Francesco Totti, Roma

Although it is nothing new for Francesco Totti to dominate a match, the fact that he is still doing it at 36 years old is impressive.

Even without tallying a goal or an assist, the forward's skill was on display with excellent passes that made the opposition look silly. The MLS All-Stars simply had no answer defensively to stop Totti on the attack.

After totaling 12 goals and 12 assists last season in Serie A, it is clear that the veteran will not be slowing down any time soon. 

Matt Besler, MLS

The Sporting Kansas City defender was a huge hit with the home crowd as one of a few players represented by the host team. Fortunately, he was one who stood out with his solid play.

Despite allowing one goal very early in the match, the rest of the first half featured good defense from the MLS squad to keep the score 1-0 at intermission.

Roma were able to add to the lead after Besler was taken out of the match, but he played well enough while on the pitch to remind people that he is among the best defensive players in the country.

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