The best of Major League Soccer will once again face a European giant as one of the best teams in Spain is reportedly headed to the United States this summer. According to a report from Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, La Liga side Atletico Madrid will face the MLS All-Stars in Orlando City Stadium on July 31st. Atletico becomes the 15th consecutive European side to face the best of MLS in the annual event.
Atletico Madrid is managed by Argentinian legend Diego Simeone and bring star power on the pitch with the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Alvaro Morata, Jan Oblak, Diego Godin and Koke all donning the red, white and blue jerseys. The Spanish side will be on tour in the United States this summer with confirmed dates against Chivas at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas and a Madrid Derby against rivals Real Madrid at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey as part of the annual International Champions Cup.
The MLS All-Stars managed to draw 1-1 with Italian giants Juventus in regulation but were defeated in penalty kicks 5-2 last season’s All-Star game in Atlanta. In the MLS vs Europe series the MLS All-Stars have a 7-7 record against their European opponents.
After a disappointing exit from the round of 16 in the Champions League, Atletico Madrid hopes to secure a top-two spot in La Liga, the top league is Spanish football. You can be sure that they will be a motivated side this upcoming summer as they look to get back to winning trophies both domestically and in Europe.
For Columbus Crew SC fans, it will be interesting to see what players may make the All-Star team. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen would be the obvious favorite to make the team but he will be departing for Manchester City in July. With the team off to a hot start and players like Gaston Sauro and Gyasi Zardes already having solid campaigns, they could be two to look out for, although there’s plenty of time between now and late July. Sauro has been solid defensively and a threat on set pieces with two goals to his name already. Zardes has picked up right where he left off last season when he was the Crew’s leading goal scorer and already has scored three finishes of his own.
In last year’s All-Star Game against Juventus, only Steffen was selected to take part.
Which Crew player do you think could make the All-Star team? What players from Atletico Madrid are you most excited to see?