KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After breaking his face in his first MLS All-Star game, and with an important Eastern Conference clash looming for his club team, Aurelien Collin is going to be a little more careful this time around.
“It's always the same thing for me: You take one game at a time,” Sporting Kansas City's French center back told MLSsoccer.com on Monday. “Right now, our next objective is Wednesday night. Personally, I take it very seriously. I really want to win.”
That doesn't sound like a man prepared to play cautiously in Wednesday night's All-Star matchup with AS Roma at Sporting Park (9pm ET, ESPN2, UniMas, TSN, RDS). Still, All-Star manager Peter Vermes – who's also Collin's club manager with Sporting – struck a more hopeful note.
“Maybe I'll have a chance to control him a little better than he did himself last year,” said Vermes, whose club lead the East by one point over Montreal and New York and host the Red Bulls on Saturday.
Last year, at PPL Park, Collin had to come out of the All-Stars' 3-2 victory over Chelsea in the 36th minute after running over the Blues' Michael Essien near the middle of the pitch. The collision left Collin with facial fractures that caused him to miss Sporting's first two games.
“It happens to everybody. It was just a very crazy play,” he said on Monday. “Hopefully, it only happens once in a career, so I'm very excited and very positive about this game. I want to win it, to keep going. Last year we beat Chelsea, and hopefully this year we can beat Roma.”
And injury concerns aside, that's the approach Vermes wants all of his players to take.
“There's one thing you learn from a very young age, especially in this game,” he said. “If you go in with a lackadaisical mentality into a game, you really risk the chance of getting injured.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.