Roma beat the MLS All-Stars 3-1 last night in a game that showed the wide gulf between a good European side and Major League Soccer.
Most games are decided in midfield and the All-Stars could not get near Roma’s three-man midfield of Michael Bradley, Kevin Strootman and Miralem Pjanic. The performance of his midfield really impressed new Roma boss Rudi Garcia:
“I was very happy with my midfield with Kevin, Michael and Miralem,” Garcia said. “For me the midfield is the heart of the game. It’s the heart of the team and the heart of my game. Obviously, that’s why I need several good players in my midfield. Sometimes it’s better to have choices even though it’s more difficult than not having any.
“These are midfielders that know how to change positions and today you saw Kevin, Michael and Miralem that they are capable of pushing forward … You need complementary midfielders and to look for ways to make life complicated for the opponents.”
While Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi took home the MVP honors after scoring one goal and assisting on another, he was not the best player on the field. That honor went to Roma legend Francesco Totti who was simply brilliant. Whether it was making the correct short pass,or the raking long-ball to free an attacker, Totti did it all last night effortless.
As for the MLS All-Stars it was a bitterly disappointing performance. There was no fight or energy from the team, especially in the first half. Yes I know that it is difficult to bring together 11 individuals and make them a team in 48 hours, but the MLS has been able to do that in the past. Not sure if the flat US performance was due to a lack of interest by the players, or the inability of Peter Vermes to put together a game plan that worked. But it was a shockingly bad performance by the MLS All-Stars last night.