MLS will continue facing European opposition when it hosts the Italian powerhouse in the annual summer showcase.

By Avi Creditor
March 22, 2018

MLS's finest will be facing one of Europe's most consistent powerhouses this summer.

Juventus will be the opponent for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game in Atlanta on Aug. 1, the league announced on Thursday. Juventus, which is gunning for a seventh straight Serie A title, remains alive in the Champions League and will play Real Madrid for a place in the semifinals. Juve has played in the Champions League final in two of the last three years and is a two-time winner of the competition. 

Juventus will be the second Italian team to play in the MLS All-Star Game, after Roma was the opponent in 2013 in Kansas City. This summer will mark the 14th straight that a European side will be the opponent, with Juventus joining Fulham, Chelsea, Celtic, West Ham, Everton, Manchester United, Roma, Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Arsenal and Real Madrid as teams to take part in the exhibition. MLS is 7-4-2 in those matches, falling in penalties after draws against Everton and Real Madrid.

The match will take place just weeks after the conclusion of the World Cup, so it's unclear as to how many of Juventus's international stars will be with the team for the match, with many players taking a break between the World Cup and the ensuing preseasons with their clubs. With Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ghana among those missing out on the trip to Russia, the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Miralem Pjanic and Kwadwo Asamoah would figure to be among those available.

Should he be selected, Sebastian Giovinco could have the opportunity to face his former side, with the Toronto FC superstar coming up through the Juve system and being part of the club from 1996-2015 until his move to MLS.

The match also could provide a brother vs. brother moment, with Juventus's Gonzalo Higuain and Columbus's Federico Higuain potentially lining up against one another, should both be available for selection.

MLS announced recently that it would be playing Liga MX All-Stars in the summer showcase in future years, but for at least one more All-Star Game, the opponent will come from Europe.

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