Match Recap | MLS All-Stars (3)1-1(5) Juventus 8/1/18

Bradley Wright-Phillips missed his penalty as Juventus beat the MLS All-Stars 5-3 in a shootout at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday night after the two sides were tied 1-1 after 90 minutes.

Andrea Favilli opened the scoring in the 21st minute, only for local hero Josef Martinez, who was named MVP of the match, to bundle home from a goalmouth scramble five minutes later.

The two teams traded chances thereafter, but neither side could find a breakthrough. In the shootout that followed the teams traded conversions through the first three rounds before the All-Stars Wright-Phillips saw his shot bounce off the post. Mattia De Sciglio then converted his attempt to give Juventus the victory.

Much of the pregame hype centered on the players that were absent as opposed to those present. The LA Galaxy's Zlatan Ibrahimovic opted to skip the event, while Juventus' contingent of players who reached the knockout stages of the World Cup -- including new signing Cristiano Ronaldo -- were back in Turin having just started preseason.

Nonetheless, the match proved to be plenty entertaining, with each side generating chances in front of a crowd of 72,317, an MLS All-Star Game record.

The Bianconeri went on top on a relatively simple play. Matheus Pereira was left in plenty of space on the left wing, and his cross was redirected by Favilli via a glancing header to put the visitors up 1-0.

It didn't take the All-Stars long to respond. Wojciech Szczesny pushed Carlos Vela's volley onto the bar, but Ignacio Piatti was first to the rebound. His header went across the face of goal, but Martinez -- risking life, limb, and a boot to the face -- was on hand to nod home from close range, to the delight of those Atlanta United supporters in attendance.

Szczesny was sharp again in the 39th minute, parrying away a volley from substitute Ezequiel Barco.

Alberth Elis was denied by Juventus keeper Mattia Perin in the 46th minute, but overall the pace cooled in the second half, due in part to a parade of substitutions.

Both teams had chances to win the match late. Diego Valeri had a golden opportunity to put the home side ahead in the 82nd minute, but his goal-bound shot was cleared by Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia. Luca Clemenza's rebound attempt from his own free kick flew just wide deep into second half stoppage time.

Penalties ensued with De Sciglio playing the role of hero to give Juventus the victory.

Vela Named 2018 MLS All-Star Captain

The votes are in... Carlos Vela will be the captain of the MLS squad in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game in Atlanta. The LAFC forward will lead Tata Martino's side against Serie A champions Juventus on August 1.

So how did we get here? And how did an LAFC player beat out the captain of Atlanta United in match held in Atlanta? First, let's start with Vela's credentials.

In his first season in MLS and with LAFC, Vela has scored seven goals and has five assists in 14 appearances. Vela is in the top 10 in MLS in key passes, dribbles, and shots per game, according to, despite missing over a month of the season while at the World Cup with Mexico - Vela started all four of Mexico's matches in Russia, becoming only the second non-American MLS player to score in a World Cup.

Vela, along with LAFC captain Laurent Ciman, was voted to the MLS All-Star Fan XI at the end of June. His inclusion was designated as the EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge winner, taking the top prize as fans scored more than two million goals with the LAFC star in EA SPORTS FIFA 18 - I'm assuming many of which were left-footed curlers into the top corner.

To select the MLS All-Star captain, the League nominated four players to be voted on by fans via Twitter. Vela joined Portland's Diego Valeri, Bradley Wright-Phillips of NY Red Bulls, and Atlanta United's Michael Parkhurst on the ballot. The hashtag #VoteVela was created, and the fans took over.

But it wasn't just fans. Vela received support on Twitter from his LAFC teammates, a few LA sports neighbors, as well as his former team Real Sociedad in Spain, and the Mexican National Team.

Vela even got some help from a man that knows a thing or two about voting, when Mayor Eric Garcetti campaigned for him.

The #VoteParkhurst movement made a late push, but as voting closed on July 24, LAFC fans had carried Vela across the line as the winner. And he recorded the message below to thank everyone for voting.

Vela, Ciman Selected To 2018 All-Star Fan XI Presented By Target

Vela And Ciman All-Star XI Graphic

Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) forward Carlos Vela and defender Laurent Ciman were voted by Major League Soccer fans to the 2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target, MLS announced today. The MLS All-Star Team takes on Italian powerhouse Juventus in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET, live on ESPN, UniMás, TSN and TVA Sports.

The first All-Stars in Club history, Vela leads LAFC with seven goals and five assists in 12 games. A key member of the Mexican National Team, Vela is currently starring in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, leading Mexico to two victories and becoming just the second non-U.S. international playing for an MLS club to score a goal in the tournament. Vela also appeared in the 2010 World Cup and won two Concacaf Gold Cups with El Tri.

Vela was selected as the EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge winner, taking the top prize as fans scored more than two million goals for the LAFC star in EA SPORTS FIFA 18.

This will be Ciman’s third appearance in the MLS All-Star Game, as the Belgium National Team defender was also selected in 2015 and 2016. The 2015 MLS Defender of the Year and MLS Best XI member, Ciman has started and appeared in 13 games for LAFC this season, scoring three goals, including the dramatic game-winning, inaugural goal in the first match at Banc of California Stadium. Ciman’s three goals off direct free kicks this season is already the most by a defender in MLS history and is tied for fourth-most direct free kick goals in a single season.

The 2018 MLS All-Star gameday roster, consisting of 24 players, will be announced at a later date and will include the 2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target, two Commissioner’s Picks, and 11 players selected by All-Star Head Coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino, whose Atlanta United have the most points in MLS. Martino will select the starting 11 from the 24-man MLS All-Star roster.

The 2018 MLS All-Stars will face off against Juventus, the Italian giants who won their seventh consecutive Serie A title earlier this year. Juventus is the most decorated club in Italy, winning more Serie A and Coppa Italia titles than any other Italian club. Juventus also reached the UEFA Champions League final in two of the past four years (2015, 2017). The team is managed by Massimiliano Allegri, who just completed his fourth season with the club.

Tickets to the 2018 MLS All-Star Game against Juventus are now on sale by visiting Tickets start as low as $35.

2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target

Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)

Defenders: Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles Football Club),Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Forwards: Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge)