Photo via Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Giovanni Garcia @entrepreneurgio
No Zlatan no Ronaldo no problem. A complete sell-out crowd of 72,317 still turned out for Wednesday night’s exhibition at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. It was the largest standalone crowd in the All-Star Game’s 23-year history.
The fans saw heroics from the local star Josef Martínez who continues his golden boot form against a Juventus squad that still brought a few big names and a competitive match that ended in a 1-1 draw and a 5-3 penalty shootout triumph for the Italian champions.
Juventus scored on all five of its penalties, winning when Mattia De Sciglio drilled one into the upper left corner past Columbus goalkeeper Zack Steffen. The MLS scored on its first three penalties, but Bradley Wright-Phillips of New York Red Bulls left the door open in the fourth round when he yanked his attempt off the left post.
It was the second straight year that the All-Star Game ended in a 1-1 draw and was decided by penalties. In 2017, Real Madrid prevailed over the MLS squad 4-2 at Chicago's Soldier Field. Hopefully next year the Major League Soccer can have all of its stars attend the All Star game but with a sell out crowd of 70,000 plus looks like things are going the right direction for soccer growth in America.