Kansas City, Kan. • The MLS All-Stars may have been dominated for much of Wednesday night's 3-1 loss to AS Roma, but their mood remained upbeat a mere minutes after the game.
After all, this was only a glorified friendly.
The MLS All-Stars went down early at Sporting Park and never really put up much of a fight against an Italian side that is in the middle of its preseason preparations. Still, most of, if not all, the MLS-based players said they looked back on the annual All-Star Game with fond memories.
"In the end, everyone had a great time, and I don't think anyone is walking away with their heads down," said L.A. Galaxy centerback Omar Gonzalez, who scored the lone goal for the MLS All-Stars. "This was a great experience for everyone and everyone can look back on this and say they had a great time."
More than just the game, the MLS All-Star players raved about the entirety of MLS All-Star Week. A number of the events in Kansas City were attended well, including Wednesday's match, and there was a real buzz in the city about the All-Star Game.
"The whole week was great," said MLS All-Stars captain and New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry. "The reception here in Kansas City, their stadium, the way in town when you were walking the loved that we received was just amazing, to be honest."
The 3-1 loss and performance from the MLS All-Stars may have been as forgettable as could have been predicted, but for the players that is not what is important. Not after a week in which they had so much and in which Kansas City shined as a soccer city in the United States.
"The experience was fantastic," said Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi, who left the match in the 24th minute with a quad injury. "Kansas City did an amazing job putting this event on [and] kind of set the standard for the rest of the league."