Pre-Season Friendly: MLS All Stars 1 Roma 3
By Football News
Roma have handed the Major League Soccer All Stars just their third ever loss with Kevin Strootman leading the Italians to a 3-1 triumph.
Strootman was fortuitously credited with Roma's opener in the fourth minute after a burst through midfield, and then helped create his new club's two second-half goals as they cruised at Sporting Park in Kansas City.
Alessandro Florenzi and Tallo Gadji both took advantage of the thrown-together All Stars' defence after half-time as Roma joined Manchester United as the only teams to have ever beaten the MLS' representative side, while the home side only got on the scoresheet in second-half stoppage time.
Roma took a very early lead on Wednesday, ripping through the middle of the All Stars and although Aurelien Collin got back promptly to pressure visiting midfielder Strootman, the Sporting Kansas City defender's tackle inadvertently knocked the ball into the Dutchman and it rolled into the net.
The Serie A club dominated the opening stages and Florenzi and Vasilis Torosidis both missed glaring chances to extend Roma's lead.
As the half wore on, the All Stars began to find their feet but could not manage an equaliser as Roma held on to their one-goal lead at the break.
Roma stunned the hosts two minutes after half-time to double their lead with Strootman releasing Federico Balzaretti down the left and the 31-year-old left-back crossed to Florenzi, who ghosted into the box to side foot the ball past Raul Fernandez of FC Dallas.
The Italian visitors wrapped up their win in the 68th minute in similar circumstances to their opening goal.
Balzaretti played the ball into Michael Bradley's feet and the American midfielder passed first-time to Strootman.
The 23-year-old Dutchman cut back towards Tallo Gadji and although Houston Dynamo full-back Corey Ashe slid in and got a toe to the ball, it simply ricocheted off the Roma forward and into the net.
As the game petered out, Los Angeles Galaxy's Omar Gonzalez gave the home fans something to cheer about when he headed a free-kick from Camilo Sanvezzo of Vancouver Whitecaps into the net.