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Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Last year, Wondolowski set the MLS record for goals scored in a single season, with 27 over the course of 32 games. He's one of the few finesse players on the thuggish San Jose Earthquakes, a team that had the best record in MLS last year before flaming out in the playoffs. His scoring touch has put him back on the U.S. national team roster during this year's Gold Cup, where his scoring streak has him in the conversation for a trip to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
Know Thy Enemy
Roma is a prominent but perhaps second-tier team in Italy — behind the likes of Juventus, Milan and Internazionale. Roma finished sixth last season in Italy's Serie A, the top league in that nation's soccer pyramid. The allure of having Roma square off for the All-Star Game is seeing American Michael Bradley, who is one of the United States' marquee players (and son of former U.S. head coach Bob Bradley). Bradley briefly played for the New York Metro Stars (the precursor to the New York Red Bulls) before joining a couple of German clubs. Last year, he wound up with Roma, which is probably why Roma is now headed to KC.
Roma Players to Watch
This attacking midfielder has played with Roma his entire professional career, dating back to 1993. Totti has at times been a leading player for Italy's national squad, picking up a World Cup title in 2006.
Fans can look to Osvaldo as a likely source for goals in the All-Star Game — if he makes the trip. Roma's striker racked up 16 goals and led the team in scoring last season. (This is the offseason for European club teams.)
If Osvaldo can't score, look to Argentinian Lamela to pick up the pace. He went toe to toe with Osvaldo during Roma's last season as the club's top scorer, only to come up a goal shy, with 15.
Daniele De Rossi
KC soccer fans with long memories might remember De Rossi from Italy's 2006 World Cup match with the United States. De Rossi caught former U.S. mainstay Brian McBride with a nasty elbow to the head and was tossed from the match. The game ended in a 1–1 tie, a good result for the United States. Since then, De Rossi has been a consistent performer for Roma and a fixture on the Italian national squad.
Where to Watch If You Don't Have a Ticket
Walk into Johnny's during a Sporting Kansas City or other high-profile soccer match, and you wonder, "How will I ever get a seat?" Arrive early. Bonus: Sporting players are known to frequent Johnny's, so there's a chance that you might spot one.
Martin City Brewing Co.
500 East 135th Street
Speaking of getting to places early, stake your claim at this small but popular pub on Martin City's main strip. It has long been a popular destination for Sporting crowds watching out-of-town matches. It will likely fill up with ticketless All-Star Game fans.
Fütbol Club Eatery & Tap
12030 Blue Valley Parkway, Overland Park
The walls of Fütbol Club are festooned with soccer regalia in the same way that Applebee's walls are covered with prefabricated crap. But the food is better than at Applebee's.
Patrick's Bar & No Grill
This no-frills bar has all you need: cheap beer and plenty of seats at the bar.