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2023 MLS All-Star Game: Wayne Rooney names squad ahead of Arsenal clash

It is that time of year again folks! The MLS All-Star game is back and their squad has been named ahead of their upcoming encounter with Premier League giants Arsenal. Here, we’ll reveal all the information you need to know about the match, as well as who have been chosen to represent Major League Soccer in this prestigious fixture.

Whilst it will disappoint some, Lionel Messi has not been selected in the team. This will come as no real surprise considering he is yet to even make an appearances for his new team, Inter Miami. Nevertheless, the MLS All-Star team has been chosen on merit, and they’ll be eager to avoid a repeat of the 2016 All-Star match, when Arsenal were 2-1 winners.

(230615) — BEIJING, June 15, 2023 (Xinhua) — Lionel Messi of Argentina reacts ahead of an international football invitational between Argentina and Australia in Beijing, capital of China, June 15, 2023. (Xinhua/Peng Ziyang) – Photo by Icon sport

The 2023 MLS All-Star Game is the 27th annual MLS All-Star fixture that takes place annual between the best of MLS and an invited opponent. The last two editions has seen a Liga MX All-Star team, from Mexico, takes on their American counterparts, with MLS emerging as winners on each occasion.

The 2023 version sees a return to an All-Stars versus Europe encounter, as was the case between 2005 and 2019, when MLS All-Stars faced the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Juventus and Atlético Madrid. With the days counting down to kick-off, let us reveal everything you need to know about the 2023 MLS All-Star Game.

2023 MLS All-Star Game: When and where is it?

The 2023 MLS All-Star Game will take place on Wednesday 19th July 2023, with an 8:30pm kick-off local time, which translates to 1:30am UK time.

The 2023 MLS All-Star Game will be staged in the capital city of the United States of America, Washington, D.C. It shall be hosted by MLS team D.C. United at the Audi Field, which has a capacity of 20,000.

2023 MLS All-Star Game: Who is the manager?

As is the case for all things MLS All-Star, the coach of the MLS All-Star team is whoever is managed the team that is hosting the match at the time. With this being staged at the home of D.C. United, the MLS All-Star squad shall be managed by Wayne Rooney, who has been Head Coach with the MLS side since his appointment in July 2022.

2023 MLS All-Star Game: How are the players chosen?

It is quite a unique system in place for determining who indeed are the lucky MLS players selected to play in the MLS All-Star game. You would assume that the Head Coach, Wayne Rooney on this occasion, would simple pick the 26-man squad himself, however that is not the case.

As Head Coach, Rooney is solely responsible for selecting 12 of the 26-man squad, whilst a further two players are chosen by Don Garber, who is the MLS Commissioner. The final 12 squad players is selected by a vote taken by a mixture of fans, media and players.

Riqui Puig
Jun 24, 2023; Commerce City, Colorado, USA; LA Galaxy midfielder Riqui Puig (6) looks on during the first half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

2023 MLS All-Star Game: Who has made the squad?

Goalkeepers: Roman Bürki (St. Louis City FC), Tyler Miller (D.C. United), Djordje Petrovic (New England Revolution)

Defenders: Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls), Tim Parker (St. Louis City FC), Matt Miazga (FC Cincinnati), Ryan Hollingshead (Los Angeles Football Club), Jon Gallagher (Austin FC), Álvaro Barreal (FC Cincinnati)

Midfielders: Lucas Zelarayán (Columbus Crew), Riqui Puig (LA Galaxy), Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC), Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew), José Martínez (Philadelphia Union), Héctor Herrera (Houston Dynamo FC), Mathieu Choinière (CF Montréal), Thiago Almada (Atlanta United), Luciano Acosta (FC Cincinnati)

Jun 3, 2023; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA; D.C. United forward Christian Benteke (20) controls the ball during the second half at DRV PNK Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

Forwards: Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Kei Kamara (Chicago Fire FC), Giorgos Giakoumakis (Atlanta United), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Cristian Espinoza (San Jose Earthquakes), Dénis Bouanga (Los Angeles Football Club), Christian Benteke (D.C. United)

These are the selected players that shall play in the 2023 MLS All-Star Game, with FC Cincinnati, who currently sits top of the Eastern Conference, having the most players represented from one club with three. As for Arsenal, this games form part of their pre-season tour of USA, with matches against Manchester United and Barcelona to follow.

This game will serve as part of Arsenal’s preparations for the upcoming Premier League campaign, and you can check out all of their key fixtures by clicking here. Furthermore, check out who Gunners boss Mikel Arteta could select in the MLS All-Star game should come of his transfer targets sign in time for the big game.

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