AS Roma want an even tighter relationship with MLS, including player loans

The 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game was only the beginning for AS Roma.

The Italian club, which is now making the US market a priority, wants an even tighter relationship with Major League Soccer and its clubs.

The head of the Giallorossi ownership group, American James Pallotta, indicated as much in last week’s Bloomberg Sports Business Summit held in New York (watch from minute 7:00 in the video above).

"Don [Garber, MLS Commissioner] and I have spoken about this, we are looking forward to having a relationships where similar to what goes on in Europe in terms of not just transfer markets but loaning players,” he said. “At some point, we want to have a very close relationship with all the teams in MLS in the US where we can do that with our players as we do with some of the other countries."

But Pallotta's group, which has struck a deal with Disney to hold a training camp in Orlando during the Italian season's winter break, is also interested in bringing MLS clubs to Italy when AS Roma’s new stadium opens in a few seasons.

“Hopefully MLS teams will go that way for an occasional game,” Pallotta said.

He also added that his company, Raptor Group Holdings, has conducted surveys in major US cities, including in colleges like New York University, Columbia University and Fordham University and the results consistently show soccer ranking higher in popularity than other traditional sports.

"You're going to be shocked in five years what happens in soccer both worldwide in the United States," he said.