Another MLS All-Star Game is upon us, and as they say in the movie trailers: This time... it's personal.

For the first time, the MLS All-Stars will face their Liga MX counterparts in this annual showcase. Sure, it's an exhibition match, but don't fool yourself into thinking both sides have no intention of losing this game. Bragging rights are a powerful reward, my friends.

With so much pride on the line, let's take a look at a side-by-side comparison of the two rosters broken down by field lines. The margins are close all over, and there are cross-border fan arguments to hold before Wednesday's kick-off at Banc of California Stadium (9:30 pm ET | FS1, Univision in US; TSN, TVA Sports in Canada).

Goalkeepers
Edge: MLS

The Liga MX trio of 'keepers has an experience edge, but it's not like their MLS counterparts are anywhere near green. And while those MLS goalkeepers have the younger legs, the Liga MX stars possess an envious efficiency of movement. We'll just call the whole age/seasoning dynamic a push.

What these netminding stables have very much in common is a cupboard overflowing with larcenous shot-stopping ability. YouTube is littered with clips of them breaking shooters' hearts through the years.

There's much to like about both groups, and anyone would have a hard time separating them โ€” until you get to the penalty kicks factor. The All-Star Game will go straight to a shootout if the teams are tied at the end of 90 minutes, and the MLS 'keepers have better spot-kick save credentials (especially if Bob Bradley saves Matt Turner for last). Hence, the home team measures up with a slight overall edge.

Defense
Edge: Even

Bradley and MLS fans have combined to assemble a well-balanced backline selection. The center-back collection has air marshals and guys who can defend in transition. The wide backs have the pace and verve to tilt play on the flanks and the skills to contribute in attack. It's a group without many holes.

Over on the Liga MX side, they're probably thinking the same thing. Their defenders are feisty, proven winners and boast more top-level experience, both in club life and internationally. Though they can't quite match the aerial prowess of the MLS All-Stars, the Liga MX defenders are a bit better with the ball at their feet.

If ace Tigres right back Luis Rodriguez was included on the Liga MX roster, it would have tipped the scales in their favor. As is, overall, it looks like a stalemate.

Midfield
Edge: MLS

Once again, the MLS selections have afforded Bradley with plenty of talented options for every scenario. Eduard Atuesta and Joao Paulo make for a strong midfield foundation (and James Sands can also shift into the No. 6 role, if needed). Cristian Roldan is there to do all the dirty work. Even without Carles Gil available, the attacking midfielders are loaded with ideas and goal-dangerous, to boot.

The Liga MX side is incredibly talented, but not quite so balanced. When it comes to the defensive and holding midfield slots, they're loaded for bear, to put it mildly. Having Pedro Aquino and Luis Romo around to cover those spots is like a coach's dream. If we stopped right there, the edge would go to the visitors.

However, the Liga MX central playmakers can't quite stack up to the MLS assortment (even Diego Valdes is more of a box-crashing goal threat than a set-up wizard). This is an All-Star Game, so it will take something special to create big chances. For my money, the MLS midfield corps has more ways to hurt you out of Zone 14, so they should hold a slim advantage here.

Attack
Edge: Liga MX

Right off the top: I've included the wingers along with the strikers. They're all front liners responsible for end product, so let's group them together. It just seems proper to do it that way.

When it comes to the wing stables, Liga MX can't match the danger and depth of the MLS group. Then again, Bradley can only get two wide attackers on the field at a time (and none of them are the ailing Carlos Vela), so the MLS advantage for this one-off is not sizable as it would be in a full-season situation.

As for the center forwards, both teams will have a trio of ace marksmen on hand. That said, even without the injured Andre-Pierre Gignac, I'm going to have to give this position to the Liga MX trio of Alexis Canelo, Rogelio Funes Mori and Jonathan Rodriguez (the one I'd personally be most scared of). The fact Diego Valdes will constantly give the MLS center backs one more target to deal with only enhances their firepower rating.

And though I'm surely stepping in it here, this striker precedence for Liga MX is a little bigger than the one earned by the MLS wingers, which means I'm going to give a small edge to the visitors this time.