Major League Soccer announced Juventus as its 2018 All-Star game opponent Thursday morning.
The Serie A club is one of the most decorated in Italy with a rich history, having existed for 120 years. Juventus is the reigning serie A champion — and has been for the last six seasons. It’s won more Serie A and Coppa Italia titles than any other club, and went to the UEFA Champions League finals in 2015 and 2017.
This year’s All-Star match will be held Aug. 1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to Atlanta United. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN and UniMás in the United States. TSN and TVA Sports will carry the match in Canada, and it also will be broadcast in 170 countries worldwide, according to MLS.
“We welcome Juventus — one of the world’s iconic clubs — as our opponent for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement released Thurday. “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.”
Led by coach Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus features players such as young forward Paulo Dybala; Gonzalo Higuaín, brother of Columbus Crew captain Federico Higuaín; and star goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, among others.
Each year, the MLS All-Stars face off against a top-flight foreign club. Last year, they fell to Real Madrid 1-1 (4-2) on penalties. Juventus is the second Serie A team to play the MLS All-Stars. AS Roma featured in the 2013 installation of the event. Other past opponents hailed from the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga, Mexico’s Liga MX and the Scottish Premier League.
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli emphasized the opportunity the All-Star game presents for his club to grow its presence in the American and Canadian soccer markets, saying, “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.”
“It will be a pleasure for us to play in this game and feel the energy of MLS, an ever-growing league attracting more and more passionate fans,” Allegri added in the statement. “It will also be a great chance for the many Juventus supporters in North America to see their team and favorite players.”
Atlanta United’s season ticket and four-pack holders will receive priority pre-sale access to tickets, which will go on-sale to the public Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster.com.
More information on the 2018 MLS All-Star Game can be found here.
HISTORY OF MLS ALL-STAR GAMES
1996: East 3, West 2 (E. Rutherford, N.J.)
1997: East 5, West 4 (E. Rutherford, N.J.)
1998: MLS USA 6, MLS World 1 (Orlando, Fla.)
1999: West 6, East 4 (San Diego, Calif.)
2000: East 9, West 4 (Columbus, Ohio)
2001: East 6, West 6 (San Jose, Calif.)
2002: MLS 3, U.S. National Team 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2003: MLS 3, CD Guadalajara 1 (Carson, Calif.)
2004: East 3, West 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2005: MLS 4, Fulham FC 1 (Columbus, Ohio)
2006: MLS 1, Chelsea FC 0 (Bridgeview, Ill.)
2007: MLS 2, Celtic FC 0 (Commerce City, Colo.)
2008: MLS 3, West Ham United FC 2 (Toronto, Ont., Canada)
2009: MLS 1, Everton FC 1 (Everton 4-3 pen) (Sandy, Utah)
2010: Manchester United FC 5, MLS 2 (Houston, Texas)
2011: Manchester United FC 4, MLS 0 (Harrison, N.J.)
2012: MLS 3, Chelsea FC 2 (Chester, Pa.)
2013: AS Roma 3, MLS 1 (Kansas City, Kan.)
2014: MLS 2, Bayern Munich 1 (Portland, Ore.)
2015: MLS 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Commerce City, Colo.)
2016: Arsenal 2, MLS 1 (San Jose, Calif.)
2017: MLS 1, Real Madrid 1 (Real Madrid 4-2 pen) (Chicago, Ill.)