KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- After scoring a goal and playing a key role in the MLS All-Stars' victory over English Premier League power Chelsea a year ago, Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski found his third All-Star experience Wednesday evening at Sporting Park to be anything but a charm.
By the time Wondolowski, playing in his third consecutive MLS All-Star game, entered at the start of the second half, MLS already had spotted Italian Serie A contender AS Roma one goal.
Two minutes into the second half, Roma had a second goal and never looked back in a 3-1 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 21,175.
Wondolowski spent much of the half playing out wide of the All-Stars' 4-4-2 formation rather than his familiar roaming in front of goal. He worked hard, but the MLS quickly found itself in scramble mode trying to break through a staunch Roma defense led by goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis.
"Obviously, Roma is a crème de la crème team in world soccer," Wondolowski said. "In All-Star games, you're not always playing a defensive game. They pushed forward and punched us."
Wondolowski got off one shot that was blocked by a Roma defender and had a pass to teammate Jack McInerny that nearly connected, but was just headed away by another Roma defender.
MLS coach Peter Vermes subbed in Wondolowski and Los Angeles Galaxy and U.S. Soccer superstar Landon Donovan, the two hottest players coming out of the Americans' recent Gold Cup victory, in hopes of sparking an offense that didn't get a single shot on goal in the first 45 minutes.
"I thought both guys did well," said Vermes, who coaches and is technical director of the host team, Sporting Kansas City. "Wondo, we had to play out of position. He likes playing up top, and we had to pull him out wide. Still, I thought he worked hard and played well."
The All-Stars had yet to settle in when Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman split defenders Aurelien Collin and Matt Besler, took a pass from Miralem Pjanic and slotted a shot past keeper Raul Fernandez for the opening goal.
Alessandro Florenzi added the second goal in the 47th minute, while Junior Tallo put away any hopes of an MLS comeback with a goal in the 69th.
MLS avoided the shutout when Omar Gonzalez headed in a free kick from Camilo Da Silva Sanvezzo in the 91st minute.
"It was still a great experience," Wondolowski said. "These are all great opportunities. Obviously, we want to win, but at least we didn't lose 4-0 like we did to Manchester United a couple years ago."