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Roma Wins MLS Soccer All-Star Game as League Announces Expansion

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Roma won an All-Star game 3-1 as Major League Soccer announced it will add four clubs by 2020.

The Italian team scored four minutes into last night’s game on a goal by Kevin Strootman and added second-half goals by Alessandro Florenzi and Junior Tallo at Sporting Park in Kansas City. Omar Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Galaxy got the goal for MLS in added time at the end of the game. The Roma team included U.S. international midfielder Michael Bradley.

British clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea and Celtic contested the All-Star Game from 2005 through 2012, with MLS winning five times.

The expansion of the U.S. and Canadian league will take the total number of franchises to 24, Commissioner Don Garber announced during halftime at Sporting Park.

“The addition of new teams will allow us to expand our geographic coverage, grow our fan base and help us achieve our vision of being among the best leagues in the world by 2022,” Garber said in a statement on the MLS website.

MLS has added 10 franchises since 2005, including New York City FC, which will take the total number of clubs to 20 when it begins playing in 2015.

Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Detroit and Sacramento are among cities to have expressed interest in having an expansion team, the league said, and MLS said it has held talks with “multiple markets and potential owners.”

The announcement came the same day the Columbus Crew was acquired by Precourt Sports Ventures LLC from Hunt Sports Group, which had operated the franchise since 1996.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas at dmcluskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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