The MLS All-Star game is nearly upon us. Sporting Kansas City have just one representative in the game, and despite him leading the league in goals plus assists, Daniel Salloi had to be a coaches selection by Bob Bradley. Shame voters (which are fans, players and media)!
Potential snub aside, the All-Star week is jammed full of activities (full schedule) but the two events I’m most excited for are today’s skill challenge (8:00 PM CST) and, of course, the game itself on Wednesday (8:30 PM CST). Both events will air on FS1. Daniel Salloi will not participate in the skills challenge, but it should still be fun.
Skills Challenge Participants
- Nani - Orlando City SC
- Ricardo Pepi - FC Dallas
- Rodolfo Pizarro - Inter Miami CF
- Diego Rossi - LAFC
- Raul Ruidiaz - Seattle Sounders FC
- Lucas Zelarayán - Columbus Crew
- Andre Blake - Philadelphia Union
- Matt Turner - New England Revolution
- Celebrity guest coaches: Cobi Jones and Noah Beck
LIGA MX Participants:
- Alexis Canelo - Toluca
- Rodrigo Funes Mori - C.F. Monterrey
- Orbelín Pineda - Cruz Azul
- Jonathan Rodríguez - Cruz Azul
- Rubens Sambueza - Deportivo Toluca F.C.
- Diego Valdés - Santos Laguna
- Alfredo Talavera - Pumas UNAM
- Nahuel Guzmán - Tigres UANL
- Celebrity guest coaches: Jorge Campos and Juanpa Zurita
All-Star Game Rosters
First, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Carlos Vela, Carles Gil and Tajon Buchanon are all out of the event. Injuries for most, and Buchanon is reportedly trying to finalize a transfer overseas. Two late additions were made in the suddenly surging Mexican Rodolfo Pizzaro and USMNT and Atlanta United left back George Bello.
Unfortunately, Sporting Kansas City’s opponent for this weekend, the Colorado Rapids, despite being third in the entire league on points per game, have no players in the event to wear them down before their trip to KC. Let’s get to the rosters.
- Pedro Gallese: Orlando City SC - voted by fans
- Matt Turner: New England Revolution - coach’s pick
- Julian Araujo: LA Galaxy - coach’s pick
- Jesus Murillo: LAFC - coach’s pick
- Nouhou: Seattle Sounders FC - voted by fans
- Miles Robinson: Atlanta United - coach’s pick
- Alex Roldan: Seattle Sounders FC - voted by fans
- James Sands: New York City FC - coach’s pick
- Kai Wagner: Philadelphia Union - coach’s pick
- Yeimar: Seattle Sounders FC - voted by fans
- Walker Zimmerman: Nashville SC - voted by fans
- George Bello: Atlanta United - replacement
- Eduard Atuesta: LAFC - coach’s pick
Carles Gil: New England Revolution - voted by fans
- Damir Kreilach: Real Salt Lake - coach’s pick
- João Paulo: Seattle Sounders FC - voted by fans
- Emanuel Reynoso: Minnesota United FC - voted by fans
- Cristian Roldan: Seattle Sounders FC - voted by fans
- Lucas Zelarayan: Columbus Crew - voted by fans
- Rodolfo Pizzaro: Inter Miami - replacement
Tajon Buchanan: New England Revolution - commissioner’s pick
- Gustavo Bou: New England Revolution - coach’s pick
Javier Hernandez: LA Galaxy - voted by fans
- Cade Cowell: San Jose Earthquakes - commissioner’s pick
- Nani: Orlando City SC - voted by fans
- Ricardo Pepi: FC Dallas - coach’s pick
- Diego Rossi: LAFC - coach’s pick
- Raul Ruidiaz: Seattle Sounders FC - voted by fans
- Daniel Salloi: Sporting Kansas City - coach’s pick
Carlos Vela: LAFC - voted by fans
- Nahuel Guzman: Tigres
- Guillermo Ochoa: Club America
- Alfredo Talavera: Pumas UNAM
- William Tesillo: Leon
- Cesar Montes: Monterrey
- Victor Guzman: Tijuana
- Matheus Doria: Santos Laguna
- Pablo Aguilar: Cruz Azul
- Jorge Sanchez: Club America
- Salvador Reyes: Puebla
- Juan Escobar: Cruz Azul
- Diego Valdes: Santos Laguna
- Rubens Sambueza: Toluca
- Javier Salas: Puebla
- Luis Romo: Cruz Azul
- Orbelin Pindeda: Cruz Azul
- Angel Mena: Leon
- Erik Lira: Pumas UNAM
- Fernando Gorriaran: Santos Laguna
- Pedro Aquino: America
- Alexis Vega: CD Guadalajara
- Jonathan Rodriguez: Cruz Azul
- Rogelio Funes Mori: Monterrey
- Santiago Gimenez: Cruz Azul
- Alexis Canelo: Toluca
As for the game itself, it’s a first. All-Star teams from both leagues haven’t played each other before, the the leagues are becoming increasingly intertwined. In the most recent years MLS All-Stars have played various clubs from around the world.
I think it’s safe to say, the best players in MLS can compete with the best players in Liga MX. Sure, the Mexican league is better overall, but the top of the rosters aren’t that far apart, as is evident by big named players like Alan Pulido leaving Chivas and heading to SKC (and you can name many others as well, many of whom are represented in this game).
Because of that, and the nature of an all-star game where players haven’t played together, the outcome is probably a bit of a coinflip. There is enough individual talent on either side that anyone could breakthrough and make a play. However, the team unity may or may not quite be there with limited time between the weekend MLS games and this outing.
There may be a little something on the line for the Mexican clubs as their National Team lost back-to-back finals to the United States. However, there are Mexican National Team players on both all-star teams.
As for Sporting Kansas City’s involvement, while I’m happy Daniel made the game (he absolutely deserves it), is it wrong to only want him to play for like 15 minutes at the end of the game to save him for the weekend? He’s already played 1,626 MLS minutes this year and it sounds like he has a Hungarian call-up in his future, so let’s save him for that stretch run.
Enjoy the events!