Voices: Greg Seltzer

2021 MLS All-Star Game: Four mouth-watering potential matchups between MLS & Liga MX


There's sure to be no shortage of inviting angles to explore now that we know the MLS All-Stars will finally tackle their Liga MX counterparts for the first time. But the first one that came to mind both literally and figuratively encapsulates what the game will be about when the opening whistle blows on next month: a clash between each league's best players.

It's too early to tell exactly who'll fill each team sheet, but we've already made some educated guesses in order to dream up some tasty individual match-ups we'd love to see.

Andre Blake vs. Pierre-Andre Gignac

In one corner, you've got a Philly Union netminder who has been playing as well as anyone in the region since the start of 2020. In the other, a wandering Frenchman who's only the all-time Tigres top goal scorer by, ohhh, 44 and counting. It's a heavyweight bout we need to see. Gignac can hurt you in so many ways, but he'll have met his match with big-stop Blake tracking his every move.

Javier Hernandez vs. Guillermo Ochoa

While Chicharito and the Club America backstop have been teammates dozens upon dozens of times in all sorts of El Tri battles, they only faced off as opponents on a few occasions. The results were evenly split at 1-1-1, but Hernandez has yet to get one past his Mexico buddy in 120 minutes. We could talk about how hot the LA Galaxy star is, but then Ochoa is fresh off the big shootout-winning save against Costa Rica.

Alejandro Pozuelo vs. Luis Montes

How about a good old fashioned battle of the veteran midfield generals? These two control proceedings, even if they go about it in different manners. Pozuelo is the final third magician, whereas Montes generally orchestrates from a little deeper. What they have in common is status as someone opposing teams must shackle if they aim to net a positive result.

Walker Zimmerman vs. Rogelio Funes Mori

We could call it an FC Dallas alum reunion, but just know there won't be cake and punch. Probably the odd gamely shove, though, if the reigning MLS shutdown man gets his first ever look at the wily Monterrey forward. Funes Mori has made it big since leaving the Frisco side's academy as a youth player, hitting for just over 20 goals per calendar year since hopping over to Liga MX. It would be a telling test for Zimmerman, who has only faced south-of-the-border teams twice before.