WATCH: The "Nature Boy" Ric Flair introduces the 2018 MLS All-Star Game
MLS announced on Thursday that Juventus FC, champions of Italy’s Serie A for the last six seasons and UEFA Champions League finalists in 2015 and 2017, will face the best in MLS in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.
This year’s match is set for Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Aug. 1 (7:30 pm ET | ESPN, UniMás in US; TSN, TVAS in Canada), and will be broadcast in more than 170 countries around the world.
“We welcome Juventus – one of the world’s iconic clubs – as our opponent for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a press release. “Our midseason showcase annually attracts the most prominent clubs in global soccer, and this year our All-Stars will face one of the sport’s most historically successful teams. And we can’t think of a better city to host the game than in Atlanta, which due to the incredible success and popularity of Atlanta United, has rapidly captured the attention of the entire soccer world.”
Established in 1897, Juventus are the most decorated club in Italy and one of the most revered in global soccer, having won more Serie A and Coppa Italia titles than any other Italian club. Led by coach Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus currently sit first in the Serie A table, paced by stars like Paulo Dybala, Miralem Pjanic, Giorgio Chiellini, Gonzalo Higuain – talented forward and brother of MLS star Federico Higuain of Columbus Crew SC – and Gianluigi Buffon, one of the greatest goalkeepers of this generation.
“We are happy to represent European football in this year’s MLS All-Star Game,” said Juventus President Andrea Agnelli. “It’s an opportunity to get closer to the passionate American soccer fans. For many years, Juventus has considered the United States and Canada as a crucial market for growing our presence as shown by the opening of our new academies and our digital strategy that has greatly expanded the possibility to connect with fans on this continent. The first team and the game, however, will be the main show that Juventus offers and we are proud to be in Atlanta.”
Juventus become just the second team from Italy's Serie A to appear in the MLS All-Star Game, after AS Roma played in the 2013 event in Kansas City. The MLS All-Stars have also faced top clubs from the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Germany's Bundesliga, Mexico's Liga MX and the Scottish Premier League in past years, with Real Madrid the most recent guests, in Chicago last year.
In addition to the match with Juventus at MBS, MLS will host a week of events in Atlanta surrounding the game, including concerts, community service initiatives, player appearances and an additional showcase match featuring the best young players from across the league.