Major League Soccer All-Star Game

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MLS All-Star Game
Founded1996
RegionMajor League Soccer (CONCACAF)
Number of teams2
Current championsSpain Atlético Madrid (1st title)
Most successful club(s)United StatesCanada MLS All-Stars (9 titles)
Television broadcastersESPN, FS1, UniMás, Univision, TSN, TVA Sports
2021 MLS All-Star Game

The Major League Soccer All-Star Game is an annual soccer game held by Major League Soccer featuring selected players from the league against an international club. MLS initially adopted a traditional all-star game format used by other North American sports leagues where the Eastern Conference squared off against the Western Conference. This eventually evolved into the current system where the league annually invites a club from abroad to play against a league all-star team in a friendly match. The MLS All-Stars hold a 9–7 record in the competition marking the season's midpoint. Players are awarded rosters spots through a combination of fan voting and selections by the appointed manager and league commissioner.

In case of a tie after full-time, the game does not use a 30-minute extra time period; instead it goes straight to a penalty shoot-out. The match is preceded by a skills challenge tournament, which was introduced in 2018 and features three-player teams competing in various events. The All-Star Game also runs parallel to the Major League Soccer Homegrown Game, which debuted in 2014.[1]

History[edit]

Major League Soccer's first all-star game was played at Giants Stadium in the summer of 1996. The game, using an East–West format with players handpicked by the coaching staffs to emulate other American leagues, was the first game of a doubleheader with the Brazilian national team defeating a team of FIFA World All-Stars.[2][3] The matchup between divisions would only be used for six seasons as MLS tried experimenting with different formats. The 1998 All-Star Game placed a team of American MLS players against MLS players from abroad. The 2002 game, the first to use a league-wide all-star team is the only game to feature a national team opponent.[citation needed]

Since then (except in 2004), every opponent has been a foreign club invited by the league. The MLS All-Stars won their first six games before falling to Everton in penalties in 2009. All games from 2005 to 2019 have been against teams from Europe, the majority of which have been from England's Premier League. The European league schedule runs from fall to spring, allowing for a fixture against the MLS All-Stars during the preseasons of teams.[4] The 2020 All-Star Game was to be the first to feature the all-star team from another league, Liga MX; however, that game was cancelled.[5]

The roster is chosen using a mix of fan votes, nominations from the coach, and commissioner's pick. Some players, including English midfielders Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in 2015, have been picked to participate in the All-Star Game despite not playing in club matches.[6] Players who are picked to play in the All-Star Game but refuse to join the team are suspended from one league match.[7]

Roster[edit]

For 2014, ten players were chosen by All-Star Game coach Caleb Porter, eleven players were chosen by fan voting (subject to Porter's approval), and two were selected by MLS commissioner Don Garber.[8]

Skills Challenge[edit]

The modern incarnation of the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge, introduced in 2018, is a freestyle soccer event that features three-player teams competing against each other in minigames, including a touch-and-volley goal showcase, a shooting accuracy competition, and a passing-and-shooting challenge.[9] The older version of the skills challenge was retired in 2001 and featured other events, including "goalie wars" and soccer tennis.[10]

Results by team[edit]

Team Winner Runner-up Total
United StatesCanada MLS All-Stars 9 8 17
United States MLS East 5[a] 1 6
United States MLS West 2[a] 4 6
England Manchester United 2 2
England Arsenal 1 1
England Everton 1 1
Italy Juventus 1 1
Italy Roma 1 1
Spain Atlético Madrid 1 1
Spain Real Madrid 1 1
United States MLS USA 1 1
England Chelsea 2 2
England Fulham 1 1
England Tottenham Hotspur 1 1
England West Ham United 1 1
Germany Bayern Munich 1 1
Mexico Guadalajara 1 1
Scotland Celtic 1 1
United Nations MLS World 1 1
United States United States 1 1
Notes
  1. ^ a b One tie that is counted as a shared win.

Results by nation[edit]

Team Winner Runner-up Total
United States USA 17 14 31
England England 4 5 9
Italy Italy 2 2
Spain Spain 2 2
Germany Germany 1 1
Mexico Mexico 1 1
Scotland Scotland 1 1
United Nations World 1 1

Results by year[edit]

"East vs. West" (1996–1997)[edit]

"MLS USA vs. MLS World" (1998)[edit]

August 2, 1998 1998 MLS All-Star Game MLS USA United States 6–1 United Nations MLS World Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida
T. Ramos Goal 5'
Lalas Goal 15'
McBride Goal 16'
Preki Goal 40'
Lassiter Goal 78'
Jones Goal 83'
Report M. Ramos Goal 89' Attendance: 34,416
Referee: Esse Baharmast
MVP: Brian McBride

"East vs. West" (1999–2001)[edit]

July 17, 1999 1999 MLS All-Star Game MLS East United States 4–6 United States MLS West Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
Lassiter Goal 1'
Moore Goal 62' (pen.)
Valderrama Goal 73'
John Goal 83'
Report Preki Goal 13'38'
Kosecki Goal 32'
Jones Goal 36'
Wright Goal 84'
Cerritos Goal 89'
Attendance: 23,227
Referee: Sandra Hunt
MVP: Preki
July 29, 2000 2000 MLS All-Star Game MLS West United States 4–9 United States MLS East Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Razov Goal 17'22'
Cienfuegos Goal 19'
Nowak Goal 44'
Report Mathis Goal 2'
Moreno Goal 36'
Valencia Goal 39'
Chung Goal 51'
Diallo Goal 59'61'
Heaps Goal 65'
Washington Goal 67'
McBride Goal 76'
Attendance: 23,495
Referee: Paul Tamberino
MVP: Mamadou Diallo
July 28, 2001 2001 MLS All-Star Game MLS West United States 6–6 United States MLS East Spartan Stadium, San Jose, California
Donovan Goal 3'7'19'90+2'
Graziani Goal 26'
Kovalenko Goal 69'
Report Chacón Goal 28'
McBride Goal 34'39'
Diallo Goal 53'
Rooney Goal 84'
Catê Goal 87'
Attendance: 23,512
Referee: Noel Kenney
MVP: Landon Donovan

"All-Stars vs. Guest" (2002–2003)[edit]

August 3, 2002 2002 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United States 3–2  United States RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Kreis Goal 59'
Etcheverry Goal 72'
Ralston Goal 81'
Report Donovan Goal 58'
Jones Goal 76'
Attendance: 31,096
Referee: Brian Hall
MVP: Marco Etcheverry
August 2, 2003 2003 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United States 3–1 Mexico Guadalajara Home Depot Center, Carson, California
Razov Goal 57'
Ruiz Goal 68'
Beasley Goal 83'
Report Garcia Goal 66' Attendance: 27,000
Referee: Kevin Terry
MVP: Carlos Ruiz

"East vs. West" (2004)[edit]

July 31, 2004 2004 MLS All-Star Game MLS East United States 3–2 United States MLS West Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Guevara Goal 20'22' (pen.)
Eskandarian Goal 74'
Report Ching Goal 43'
Kreis Goal 89'
Attendance: 21,378
Referee: Michael Kennedy
MVP: Amado Guevara

"All-Stars vs. Europe" (2005–2019)[edit]

July 30, 2005 2005 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United States 4–1 England Fulham Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Twellman Goal 23'
O’Brien Goal 56'
Cunningham Goal 85'89'
Report Jensen Goal 66' (pen.) Attendance: 23,309
Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela
MVP: Taylor Twellman
August 5, 2006 2006 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United States 1–0 England Chelsea Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois
De Rosario Goal 70' Report Attendance: 21,210
Referee: Abbey Okulaja
MVP: Dwayne De Rosario
July 19, 2007 2007 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 2–0 Scotland Celtic Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colorado
Ángel Goal 36'
Toja Goal 44'
Report Attendance: 18,661
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
MVP: Juan Pablo Ángel
July 24, 2008 2008 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 3–2 England West Ham United BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario
Gómez Goal 27'
Blanco Goal 45'
De Rosario Goal 70' (pen.)
Report Ashton Goal 26'67' Attendance: 20,844
Referee: Mauricio Navarro
MVP: Cuauhtémoc Blanco
July 28, 2010 2010 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 2–5 England Manchester United Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
Ching Goal 64'
De Rosario Goal 90'
Report Macheda Goal 1'13'
Gibson Goal 70'
Cleverley Goal 73'
Hernández Goal 84'
Attendance: 70,728
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
MVP: Federico Macheda
July 27, 2011 2011 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 0–4 England Manchester United Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey
Report Anderson Goal 20'
Park Ji-sung Goal 45'
Berbatov Goal 52'
Welbeck Goal 68'
Attendance: 26,760
Referee: Jair Marrufo
MVP: Park Ji-sung
July 25, 2012 2012 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 3–2 England Chelsea PPL Park, Chester, Pennsylvania
Wondolowski Goal 21'
Pontius Goal 73'
Johnson Goal 90+1'
Report Terry Goal 32'
Lampard Goal 58'
Attendance: 19,236
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
MVP: Chris Pontius
July 31, 2013 2013 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 1–3 Italy Roma Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas
20:30 Gonzalez Goal 90+1' Report Strootman Goal 4'
Florenzi Goal 47'
Tallo Goal 68'
Attendance: 21,175
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
MVP: Alessandro Florenzi
August 6, 2014 2014 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 2–1 Germany Bayern Munich Providence Park, Portland, Oregon
Wright-Phillips Goal 51'
Donovan Goal 70'
Report Lewandowski Goal 8' Attendance: 21,733
Referee: Jair Marrufo
MVP: Landon Donovan
July 29, 2015 2015 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 2–1 England Tottenham Hotspur Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colorado
Kaká Goal 20' (pen.)
Villa Goal 23'
Report Kane Goal 37' Attendance: 18,671
Referee: Ismail Elfath
MVP: Kaká
July 28, 2016 2016 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 1–2 England Arsenal Avaya Stadium, San Jose, California
Drogba Goal 45+2' Report Campbell Goal 10' (pen.)
Akpom Goal 87'
Attendance: 18,000
Referee: Chris Penso
MVP: Chuba Akpom
August 2, 2017 2017 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 1–1
(2–4 p)
Spain Real Madrid Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
Dwyer Goal 87' Report Mayoral Goal 59' Attendance: 61,428
Referee: Allen Chapman
MVP: Borja Mayoral
Penalties
Dwyer Penalty missed
Dos Santos Penalty missed
Valeri Penalty scored
Almirón Penalty scored
Penalty scored Benzema
Penalty scored Bale
Penalty scored Kovačić
Penalty scored Marcelo
August 1, 2018 2018 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 1–1
(3–5 p)
Italy Juventus Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Martínez Goal 26' Report Favilli Goal 21' Attendance: 72,317
Referee: Robert Sibiga
MVP: Josef Martínez
Penalties
Zusi Penalty scored
Yotún Penalty scored
Valeri Penalty scored
Wright-Phillips Penalty missed
Penalty scored Fagioli
Penalty scored Beltrame
Penalty scored Kastanos
Penalty scored Fernandes
Penalty scored De Sciglio
July 31, 2019 2019 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada 0–3 Spain Atlético Madrid Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Report Llorente Goal 43'
Félix Goal 85'
Costa Goal 90+3'
Attendance: 25,527
Referee: Drew Fischer
MVP: Marcos Llorente

"All-Stars vs. Liga MX All-Stars" (2021–present)[edit]

August 25, 2021 2021 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars United StatesCanada v Mexico Liga MX All-Stars Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, California
Report
Note: Originally scheduled for July 29, 2020; postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[11]

Television coverage[edit]

Since 2015,[12][13][14] English-language rights for the MLS All-Star Game have alternated between ESPN[15][16] and Fox.[17][18] In even numbered years, ESPN has broadcast the All-Star Game[19] while Fox would broadcast the MLS Cup. Likewise, in odd numbered years, Fox would be slated to broadcast the All-Star Game[20][21] while ESPN or its sister network, ABC beginning in 2019, would broadcast the MLS Cup. This arrangement[22][23] will stay in place until at least, the 2022 season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tansey, Joe (July 30, 2019). "MLS rallies from behind to win Homegrown Game". Pro Soccer USA. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  2. ^ Stephenson, Colinwas (July 14, 1996). "Soccer Fans Get Their Kicks With 2 All-star Games Today". NY Daily News. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  3. ^ Yannis, Alex (July 16, 1996). "SOCCER REPORT". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  4. ^ Tansey, Joe (August 1, 2019). "MLS All-Stars ponder adjustments to All-Star Game format". Pro Soccer USA. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  5. ^ Baxter, Kevin (November 18, 2019). "MLS All-Stars will play top Liga MX players next summer at Banc of California Stadium". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  6. ^ Williams, Bob (July 14, 2015). "Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard selections for MLS All-Star Game 2015 make perfect sense". The Telegraph. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  7. ^ Mendola, Nicholas (July 30, 2018). "Zlatan suspended one match for skipping MLS All Star Game". NBC Sports. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "MLS announces 2014 MLS All-Star Game roster". US Soccer Players. July 21, 2014. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "New MLS All-Star Skills Challenge presented by Target" (Press release). Major League Soccer. July 1, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  10. ^ "MLS brings back the skills challenge". US Soccer Players. July 30, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  11. ^ "MLS All-Star Game, Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup canceled for 2020" (Press release). Major League Soccer. May 19, 2020. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  12. ^ "FOX Sports Sets Announcers for 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game". Fox Sports. July 24, 2015.
  13. ^ Yoder, Matt (July 31, 2015). "MLS All-Star Game takes a big hit on Fox Sports 1". Awful Announcing.
  14. ^ "EPL club Tottenham Hotspur announced as opponents for 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game" (Press release). Major League Soccer. April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  15. ^ Nwulu, Mac (July 25, 2016). "ESPN Presents the 2016 MLS All-Star Game". ESPN Press Room.
  16. ^ "San Jose's Avaya Stadium to host 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game" (Press release). Major League Soccer. May 28, 2015.
  17. ^ "Global Soccer Icons Ronaldo, Villa, Bale & Kaka Collide at 2017 MLS All-Star Game on FS1". Fox Sports. July 20, 2017.
  18. ^ Zeitlin, Dave (February 1, 2017). "Chicago's Soldier Field unveiled as location for 2017 MLS All-Star Game". Major League Soccer. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  19. ^ Nwulu, Mac (July 26, 2018). "ESPN Presents 2018 MLS All-Star Game from Atlanta". ESPN Press Room.
  20. ^ "MLS All-Stars Mic'd Up for Live In-Game Broadcast". Fox Sports. July 31, 2019.
  21. ^ "MLS announces Atletico Madrid as opponent for 2019 MLS All-Star Game". www.mlssoccer.com.
  22. ^ "MLS, U.S. Soccer sign landmark TV and media rights partnerships with ESPN, FOX & Univision Deportes". MLSSoccer.com. Major League Soccer. May 13, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  23. ^ "MLS's big play". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved March 8, 2015.