By 90Min
July 30, 2019

Major League Soccer is a competition which has had a short lifespan thus far, but is growing at a meteoric rate. Its popularity in the United States of America has sky-rocketed in recent years, thanks in large to huge stars making the move to the MLS. 

A format which has developed parallel to the simple league system is the MLS All-Star game, an annual one-off match in which the best players from the American division take on foreign opposition to be crowned champions of the MLS All-Star tournament. 

Here is a look at how the competition works, and the stars who have played their part for the All-Stars: 


The Rules 

As stated above, the MLS All-Star game is a single match, between the best 11 players from the MLS and a club team outside of America, who are invited to compete for the trophy. The game is a typical 90 minute match, although if tied after normal time, the winner is decided immediately by a penalty shootout, with no extra-time being required. 

Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Players are selected for the All-Stars squad by three different bodies: the chosen manager of the MLS All-Stars side, fans' favourites and the league commissioner. 


History of the Game 

The first ever MLS All-Star game took place in 1996, after the league's creation in 1993. The original format consisted of a match between the best players from the East MLS division and the West. 

Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Over the following years, the game has evolved and the league has experimented with different levels of opposition, from the likes of Fulham and Everton to Europe's elite. The one-off game has gained some traction in the past few years, and has attracted top teams such as Real MadridBayern Munich and Manchester United.

The last two finals have seen the All-Stars lose on penalties to Real Madrid and Juventus after both games ended 1-1. The last time the All-Stars won the trophy was in 2015 against Tottenham Hotspur, clinching a 2-1 victory over the English side. 

This year, the MLS welcomes Spanish giants Atletico Madrid to the Orlando City Stadium on Wednesday 31 July. 

To learn more about Wednesday's big game, check out 90min's match preview here.


Current MLS All-Stars Squad 

As the MLS grows in popularity, the quality of the league continues to improve. This year's All-Star team contains the likes of Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Carlos Vela, Nani and Bastian Schweinsteiger. 

Katharine Lotze/GettyImages

Here is the full MLS All-Stars squad to face Atletico Madrid:

Goalkeepers: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union), Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls), Romain Métanire (Minnesota United FC), Leandro González Pírez (Atlanta United), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire), Walker Zimmerman (Los Angeles Football Club), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimović, Josef Martínez (Atlanta United),Wayne Rooney (D.C. United), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club)


Best MLS All-Star Players

There have been some great names that have played in the All-Star game before, notably the man who many believe is responsible for putting the MLS on the map in the UK, David Beckham. 

Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

He moved to LA Galaxy in 2007, and spent five years at the club, becoming a legend along the way, and is now the owner of new MLS side Inter Miami. 

Other famous players to have played for the All-Stars include Carlos Valderrama, Thierry Henry, David Villa, Kaka, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. 


It's a game which is becoming a must-watch fixture in the footballing calendar, and last year's final attracted a live audience of over 72000 spectators. As the MLS bandwagon gathers momentum, the All-Stars game will only get bigger and better every year. 

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