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The MLS All-Star Game will be played on July 19, with the league’s stars taking on English Premier League giant Arsenal.
MLS fans, media members and players will determine 12 of the players on the roster, while MLS All-Star head coach Wayne Rooney will select another 12 and league commissioner Don Garber will select the final two.
Alongside voting for the starting 11, fans can also participate in the MLS All-Star Captain Fan Vote presented by Captain Morgan. Supporters will have the opportunity to select which player will wear the armband for the match.
In total, fans will vote for one goalkeeper, four defensive positions (one right-back, one left-back, two center-backs), three midfield positions (one defensive mid, two attacking mids) and three forwards.
The MLS All-Star Captain Fan Vote presented by Captain Morgan begins June 21 and ends on June 29. The results will be announced on July 5.
Below, we’ll offer some predictions for the starting 11 and analyze some of the top potential choices.
GK: Roman Bürki, St. Louis City SC
LB: Álvaro Barreal, FC Cincinnati
CB: Miles Robinson, Atlanta United
CB: Matt Miazga, FC Cincinnati
RB: Juan Mosquera, Portland Timbers
DM: Aidan Morris, Columbus Crew
AM: Thiago Almada, Atlanta United
AM: Hany Mukhtar, Nashville SC
FWD: Cristian Espinoza, San Jose Earthquakes
FWD: Dénis Bouanga, Los Angeles FC
FWD: Christian Benteke, D.C. United
Many of the players listed in the predictions section are obviously up for debate. There is a ton of talent in the league.
The one player who isn’t really debatable, however, is Nashville’s Mukhtar, who has posted 10 goals and seven assists on the season.
Only Atlanta’s Thiago Almada (seven goals, eight assists) and Philadelphia’s Dániel Gazdag (seven goals, eight assists)—who was one of the hardest players to leave off the starting 11—come close to Mukhtar’s combined goals and assists tally (17).
The player who shares the lead in goals with Mukhtar this season, LAFC’s Bouanga, was another no-brainer selection. It got tricky from there, though, with players like FC Dallas’ Jesús Ferreira, Philadelphia’s Julián Carranza, Seattle’s Jordan Morris and Atlanta’s Giorgios Giakoumakis all making strong cases to be considered at the forward position.
However, Espinoza’s eight goals and four assists and Benteke’s aerial threat made them strong choices to join Bouanga in the attacking third.
Given the roster spots to be filled by Rooney and Garber, it’s possible all of them will make the final cut.