KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A raucous crowd packed into one of Major League Soccer's glitzy new stadiums to watch a team comprised of its best players on a picturesque late-summer night.
All that was missing was the outcome fans desired.
Italian powerhouse AS Roma, led by longtime star Francesco Totti, scored 4 minutes into the game Wednesday night, then added two second-half goals to rout a team of MLS All-Stars 3-1 and dampen what had been a festive celebration of soccer in Kansas City.
Kevin Strootman and Alessandro Florenzi each had a goal and an assist, and Junior Tallo also scored for Roma, the three-time Serie A champions. Omar Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Galaxy scored the only goal for the MLS side in second-half stoppage time.
"Every time you step inside the white lines you want to win, but I don't think the result was the focus," said MLS coach Peter Vermes. "When you look at the overall picture of what transpired the last few days, it was a great opportunity."
The MLS had been 7-2-1 against international opponents since the league adopted the current All-Star game format, the only losses coming to English Premier League club Manchester United.
Maybe it'll think twice about inviting Italy's top teams.
"You give these guys a half-second or a half-step and you're not all together after one training session, it's tough," MLS defender Matt Besler said. "These guys are world class."
Most of a sellout crowd had barely found its seats at Sporting Park, the $200 million home of Sporting KC, when Florenzi sent a pass ahead to Strootman. Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin recovered to get his foot on the ball, but Strootman still managed to guide it into the net.