The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

August 1, 2013

AS Roma routs best of MLS in All-Star game

(Continued)

The goal took much of the zip out of the home crowd, which had been feverishly waving flags and pounding drums during its second All-Star game in two years. Major League Baseball staged its Midsummer Classic just across the state line at the Royals' Kauffman Stadium last July.

The two second-half goals by Roma only served to seal a joyless night for the MLS during an otherwise positive period of growth and progress.

Stadiums are in the works for D.C. United and San Jose, and an expansion club will start play in New York in 2015. The Columbus Crew were sold to ambitious new owners earlier this week, and Commissioner Don Garber announced at halftime Wednesday night that four expansion franchises will begin play by the 2020 season, bringing the total number of teams in the league to 24.

There's perhaps no better example of how far the league has come than Kansas City, which once played its games before a few thousand fans in cavernous Arrowhead Stadium.

The team was sold to local owners in 2006, and they embarked on a dramatic rebranding of the franchise formerly known as the Wizards. They spearheaded the construction of one of the most glamorous soccer-specific stadiums in the country, built a feverish fan base and became one of the most successful teams on the field — the club has won two straight Eastern Conference titles.

It was little surprise that Kansas City was awarded this year's All-Star game, and even less of a surprise that there was plenty of hometown flavor throughout the night.

Not only was the MLS side led by Sporting KC's Vermes, the coach also included three of his own in the starting lineup. Collin was joined by forward Graham Zusi and fellow defender Besler, who helped the U.S. national team win the CONCACAF Gold Cup over the weekend.

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