International Friendly – Atletico Madrid vs. MLS All-Stars

By  Jonathan Willis

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

Since 2005, the format of the MLS All-Star Game has seen a team of MLS superstars take on a major European club. We have seen mostly English clubs in this game since this format was introduced, but this year Atletico Madrid will take part for the first time. Atletico Madrid are the second Spanish team to go up against the MLS All-Stars, as Real Madrid was the European representative in 2017. Atletico are out to keep Europe’s win streak alive in this game.

Don’t miss this international friendly between Atletico Madrid and MLS All-Stars from Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The match will kick off at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 31. It will be broadcast on FS1.

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There have been 14 games played in this format, and each side has won seven times. The MLS All-Stars won the first four meetings, knocking off Fulham, Chelsea, Celtic, and West Ham United, but they have now lost three in a row after falling to Arsenal, Real Madrid, and Juventus in each of the last three seasons.

Penalty kicks have not gone well for the MLS All-Stars in this event. There have been three instances where this game has gone to penalties, and the MLS All-Stars have lost all three of those affairs. The first came in 2009 when Everton knocked off the MLS All-Stars 4-3 in penalties, and Real Madrid and Juventus both converted all of their spot kicks in each of the last two seasons.

Atletico Madrid Preview

In their first preseason game, it took a little while for Atletico Madrid to get going, but they managed to beat Numancia 3-0. Against Chivas Guadalajara on Tuesday night, Atletico started off much stronger, but they were left to play on the back foot for a while after Marcos Llorente was shown a red card for a silly foul.

Before Llorente saw red for a silly takedown that denied a clear goal scoring opportunity, Atletico had dominated the run of play. Alvaro Morata had a great chance that he missed, Thomas Lemar nearly found the back of the net, and Diego Costa was ruled offside after scoring. The Llorente red card changed all that though and made Atletico more defensive.

Fortunately for Atletico, defense is what they pride themselves on. They held firm and then won in penalties thanks to some excellent saves from Antonio Adan. Adan doesn’t have many chances to make a name for himself behind the great Jan Oblak, but he did show off his skills against Guadalajara.

Soccer Predictions

Carlos Vela will be the captain for the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday. Vela has had an incredible season, and he leads a team with a great set of attackers. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, and Josef Martinez are also in the lineup and that will give this side some flair and panache.

The MLS is not known as a defensive league, but there is some talent in the back line. Kemar Lawrence has made a name for himself the last few seasons, and Graham Zusi has been one of the top defenders in the league throughout the decade. Bastian Schweinsteiger is a man familiar to many European fans too.

Atletico Madrid vs MLS All-Stars Prediction

Diego Simeone will let his players run more freely than usual in his tactical system. Simeone needs to find out what he has with some signings (like Joao Felix), and he is looking for a player to step up now that Antoine Griezmann is gone. Felix is the obvious candidate there, but Morata and Costa are in contention to be the primary focal point too.

This match should be more high scoring than usual, and I think we see three or more goals.

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