Juventus players highlight Giovinco, Vela threats ahead of All-Star Game

ATLANTA – Sebastian Giovinco is set to go up against his old club in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, but while many of the faces have changed since Giovinco’s time at Juventus, the bianconeri are well aware of the threat he presents.

Juve midfielder Federico Bernardeschi highlighted the Toronto FC forward and 2015 MLS MVP as the All-Star he’s most excited to face on Wednesday evening (7:30 pm ET | ESPN, UniMás, TSN, TVAS).

“They are all very important players, but there’s one in particular that is Italian, Giovinco, that has played for Juventus,” Bernardeschi told reporters following Juventus’ Tuesday training session at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “It will be a great pleasure, personally, to play with him. He has been a part of this great club and so we’re looking forward to meeting him on the field.”

Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, an experienced campaigner at the highest levels of European soccer with Arsenal, Juventus and the Polish national team, was also keenly aware of the kind of threat Giovinco can pose.

“I know he’s a great player, he can shoot from distance, he’s very fast, so he’ll be very dangerous, but it’s not only him, there will be a few more,” he told reporters.

Though Szczesny said he doesn’t try to analyze the opposition too much in preseason, he probably doesn’t need to do much scouting on another All-Star opponent – LAFC forward Carlos Vela.

The two were former Arsenal teammates, and though Vela spent much of his career with the Gunners on loan, he was at the club when Szczesny finally broke into the first team in 2009 after coming up through the academy. The 28-year-old goalkeeper, one year Vela’s junior, would go on to appear in 132 league matches for Arsenal, and is looking forward to an on-field reunion with his former teammate.

“He’s a great player,” Szczesny said, “but I hope he is not going to get a chance to show it tomorrow.”