Commissioner Garber honors rising stars Tajon Buchanan and Cade Cowell
NEW YORK (August 4, 2021) – Concacaf Gold Cup heroes Miles Robinson (Atlanta United) and Matt Turner (New England Revolution), superstars Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (LA Galaxy) and Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club), and rising stars Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution) and Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes) were among the 28 players honored today as Major League Soccer unveiled the complete roster for the 2021 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.
The history-making match against the best of LIGA MX will take place on August 25 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on FS1, Univision, TSN and TVA Sports. Tickets are available at MLSsoccer.com/AllStar21. The announcement comes on the heels of the U.S. Men’s National Team defeating the Mexico National Team in the Concacaf Gold Cup Final 1-0 with the game-winning tally coming from Robinson in extra time in the 117th minute.
Western Conference-leading Seattle Sounders FC have the most players on the 2021 roster with six, including brothers Cristian Roldan of the U.S. Men’s National Team and Alex Roldan, who represents El Salvador on the international stage. Of the 28 players named, 24 are first-time MLS All-Stars.
The roster was determined through a combination of fan, player and media voting (13 players), designations by All-Star Head Coach Bob Bradley (13 players) and a pair of selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber. The Commissioner’s Picks for 2021 are Buchanan (age 22) and Cowell (age 17) – two of the fastest-rising stars in MLS. Buchanan has recorded three goals and three assists across 12 appearances for New England this season, while Cowell became the first player to tally four goals and four assists at the start of the 2021 season.
MLS clubs planned special moments to alert the stars of their All-Star honors by enlisting the help of the players’ closest friends and relatives to present them with a customized MLS x adidas All-Star Game jersey. In one example, Chicharito’s family surprised him with the news after travelling to Los Angeles from Mexico.
- Download images and videos of player reactions to their selection here.
Fifteen clubs are represented on this year’s All-Star Game roster: Atlanta United, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles Football Club, Minnesota United FC, Nashville SC, New England Revolution, New York City FC, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders FC and Sporting Kansas City. The players have ties to 14 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, El Salvador, Hungary, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Spain, United States, Uruguay.
Get To Know The 2021 MLS All-Star Team
Pedro Gallese | Goalkeeper | Orlando City SC | Nationality: Peru | Born: February 23, 1990 | Voted In
Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese has been selected to his first MLS All-Star Game since joining Orlando City SC from C.D. Veracruz in January 2020. In his first season with Orlando City, Gallese was nominated for the MLS is Back Tournament Best XI and Golden Glove as he led the Lions to a spot in the final match of the midseason tournament. The goalkeeper recorded 70 saves and four clean sheets in 24 appearances across all competitions in 2020. Gallese started the 2021 campaign with six unbeaten matches and four clean sheets in his first six matches for Orlando City. Gallese has 75 caps with Peru featuring 30 CONMEBOL Copa América appearances, 26 total clean sheets and two FIFA World Cups matches.
Matt Turner | Goalkeeper | New England Revolution | Nationality: United States | Born: June 24, 1994 | Bob Bradley Selection
Turner has backstopped the Revolution to a 7-2-3 record this season, helping entrench the team as a Supporters’ Shield contender at the campaign’s midway mark. After finishing second in Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting in 2020, Turner is again making a case that he is the league’s best shot stopper. Prior to departing for the Concacaf Gold Cup with the U.S. Men’s National Team in July, he was tied for the league lead in wins and earned Player of the Week honors for a seven-save effort – highlighted by a penalty kick save on Valentin Castellanos – at New York City FC on June 19. Turner thrived between the sticks during the United States’ Gold Cup title run, recording five shutouts in six games with a tournament-high 26 saves. Turner won the Gold Cup’s Best Goalkeeper Award as he allowed only one goal, fewest in the tournament, and none from open play.
Julian Araujo | Right Back | LA Galaxy | Nationality: United States | Born: August 13, 2001 | Bob Bradley Selection
In three seasons with LA since signing from the club’s academy in 2019, Araujo has registered one goal and eight assists in 52 games played (44 starts) across all competitions for the Galaxy including three assists in the last three matches. At the international level, Araujo made his first appearance for the U.S. Men’s National Team, starting and tallying an assist in 74 minutes played in a 6-0 friendly win over El Salvador on Dec. 9, 2020.
Jesus Murillo | Center Back | Los Angeles Football Club | Nationality: Colombia | Born: February 18, 1994 | Bob Bradley Selection
After agreeing to a permanent deal with LAFC in January 2021, Jesús David Murillo has been named to his first MLS All-Star Game. Murillo made an instant impact in his first stint with LAFC as the Colombian defender joined the Western Conference side on a short-term loan deal from Deportivo Independiente Medellín at the end of 2020. In nine matches across all competitions in 2020, Murillo averaged over 83 minutes in each and played a crucial role in leading LAFC to the Concacaf Champions League Final. Murillo has started 15 of 16 matches for LAFC to kick off the 2021 season.
Nouhou Tolo | Left Back | Seattle Sounders FC | Nationality: Cameroon | Born: June 23, 1997 | Voted In
Veteran Seattle Sounders FC defender and 2019 MLS Cup champion Nouhou has been selected to his first MLS All-Star Game after working his way through the Sounders system since April 2016. Since converting primarily to center back, Nouhou has made his presence felt as the Cameroonian has blossomed along Seattle’s new three-man defensive backline. While hampered by an adductor injury early in the year, Nouhou aided the Sounders to a MLS-record 8-0-5 unbeaten run to start the 2021 campaign. Nouhou played in every minute of Seattle’s first eight matches, leading the Western Conference leaders to five clean sheets to start the year. After representing Cameroon in 2017 for CAF World Cup qualifiers, Nouhou recently returned to the lineup for Les Lions Indomptables.
Miles Robinson | Center Back | Atlanta United | Nationality: United States | Born: March 14, 1997 | Bob Bradley Selection
Miles Robinson was selected No. 2 overall at the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by Atlanta United as the club’s first-ever draft pick ahead of their inaugural MLS season. He made his MLS debut on April 7, 2018, then added the 2019 Campeones Cup and 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to his growing list of accolades as well as an MLS Best XI honor after starting 33 of his 34 regular season appearances for Atlanta. Robinson was called up to the USMNT for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, where he was ever-present in a back line that conceded just one goal in five games. Robinson also scored his second goal for the national team in just his fifth cap in their 6-1 win over Martinique during the group stage before heading home the game-winning tally in the 117th minute of the Gold Cup Final in the 1-0 victory over Mexico on August 1.
Alex Roldan | Right Back | Seattle Sounders FC | Nationality: El Salvador & United States | Born: July 28, 1996 | Voted In
Seattle Sounders defender Alex Roldan had a standout career at Seattle University before he was drafted by the club with the 22nd overall pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft and reunited with his brother and fellow All-Star Cristian Roldan. The simultaneous All-Star Game selection of both Alex and Cristian marks the first time a pair of brothers have been named to an MLS All-Star Game in the same year. Roldan participated in all but three minutes of Seattle’s first 13 matches, leading the club to an MLS-record 8-0-5 start to the 2021 campaign. Roldan has proven his efficiency not only along the defensive backline but also on the attacking front as the 25-year-old defender is tied for third in the club with a combined goals and assists total of four. Roldan recently made his international debut with El Salvador with four appearances and a goal in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.
James Sands | Center Back | NYCFC | Nationality: United States | Born: July 6, 2000 | Bob Bradley Selection
The Rye, N.Y. native became NYCFC's first Homegrown signing in 2017. He made his debut against the Colorado Rapids on September 16, 2017, coming on for Andrea Pirlo. He made his debut for the USMNT at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup during their tournament winning campaign and became an ever-present part of Gregg Berhalter’s defense during the tournament. Since signing his first professional contract, Sands has represented the United States at the U-17 World Cup, scored the winning penalty kick in the club’s first U-19 U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship and became the first NYCFC player to be selected to the MLS Homegrown Game. Sands was named No. 6 on the League’s “22 Under-22" list towards the end of the 2020 season.
Kai Wagner | Left Back | Philadelpia Union | Nationality: United States | Born: February 15, 1997 | Bob Bradley Selection
Kai Wagner is in his third season with the Philadelphia Union where he has started 60 of his 61 appearances for the club. Since joining the club in 2019 in a transfer from the German club Wurzburger Kickers, he has tallied two goals and added 13 assists. In his first season, Wagner tallied eight assists in 30 games played, ranking him first among MLS defenders. His eight assists as a defender also tied Sheanon Williams’ all-time single-season club record for the Union. As a key piece to one of the best defensive teams in the league, Wagner has contributed to 14 clean sheets. His presence on the left side of the field proved to be vital in the Union’s 9-0-0 record at home in 2020, securing the club’s first-ever Supporters’ Shield that same season.
Yeimar Gómez Andrade | Center Back | Seattle Sounders FC | Nationality: Colombia | Born: June 30, 1992 | Voted In
Yeimar has been selected to his first MLS All-Star Game since joining the Seattle Sounders FC in February 2020 from C.A. Unión. Thriving in Seattle’s new 3-5-2 system, Yeimar has been a standout center back so far this season having played in all 16 of Seattle’s matches and leading the league in interceptions. Yeimar and the rest of the Seattle backline led the club to an MLS-record best start to the season with an 8-0-5 record in which the defense allowed an average of less than one goal per match during the run. Yeimar played an important role in the Sounders’ MLS Cup run a year ago as the Colombian’s ability to win the ball and utilize his 6-foot-2, 203-pound frame shone as the club claimed the Western Conference crown.
Walker Zimmerman | Center Back| Nashville SC | Nationality: United States | Born: May 19, 1993 | Voted In
Walker Zimmerman has been selected to his second career MLS All-Star Game, his first as a Nashville SC player. The center back has anchored Nashville SC’s defense to become one of the most successful backlines for an expansion side in league history. Thus far in 2021, Zimmerman has earned five shutouts in 10 appearances as the club has improved its goals-against average from 0.96 in 2020, the best ever for an expansion club, to 0.94 in 2021. In the club’s inaugural MLS campaign, Zimmerman’s stellar performance, both in defense and offensively with three goals including the club’s first ever goal in MLS history, earned him the 2020 MLS Defender of the Year and MLS Best XI honors as well as the club’s Most Valuable Player. As an active member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Zimmerman was most recently called up to participate in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup where he wore the captain’s armband for the first time in his international career in a 6-1 victory over Martinique.
Eduard Atuesta | Defensive Midfielder | Los Angeles Football Club | Nationality: Colombia | Born: June 18, 1997 | Bob Bradley Selection
Since the 24-year-old Colombian joined LAFC in 2018, Eduard Atuesta has helped his side earn the MLS Supporters’ Shield (2019) while adding a trio of individual accolades: MLS 22 Under 22 (2018), an MLS Best XI Selection (2020) and now an MLS All-Star Game roster spot. Playing in 17 MLS games in the 2019 season, Atuesta added four goals and 10 assists, including starting and playing 90 minutes at midfield to help his team during the club’s first-ever MLS Cup Playoffs victory against LA Galaxy on Oct. 24. Atuesta made appearances with the Colombian U-20 and U-23 National teams, captaining the U-20 team to the South American Championship in 2017.
Carles Gil | Attacking Midfielder | New England Revolution | Nationality: Spain | Born: November 22, 1992 | Voted In
The most productive player in Major League Soccer this season, Carles Gil’s 15 assists are more than double that of any other player in the league, while his 17 combined goals and assists also pace MLS. The captain of the current Supporters’ Shield leaders, Gil leads the league in an expansive list of statistical categories, including chances created, big chances created, dribbles completed, shot-creating actions, goal-creating actions, progressive passes, and successful corners and crosses. At the season’s halfway point, Gil, who signed a new multi-year contract with the Revolution in May, is currently on pace to set single-season MLS records for assists, game-winning assists, and chances created. Dating back to his arrival in 2019, when he captured MLS Newcomer of the Year and Best XI honors, the Revolution have never lost when Gil registers an assist – posting a 21-0-5 record.
Damir Kreilach | Center Midfielder | Real Salt Lake | Nationality: Croatia | Born: April 16, 1989 | Bob Bradley Selection
Since arriving at RSL prior to the 2018 season, Damir Kreilach has become one of the most decorated midfielders in Major League Soccer where he has scored 37 goals and provided 20 assists across the league’s regular and post seasons. The versatile midfielder has played a number of roles on the field for RSL across nearly 9,000 minutes played and 101 regular season appearances. Prior to his time with RSL, Kreilach spent five season with Union Berlin in Germany following the beginning of his career which started in his native Croatia with Rijeka, serving as captain for both of his previous clubs. This is Kreilach’s first-ever MLS All-Star selection.
João Paulo | Defensive Midfielder | Seattle Sounders FC | Nationality: Brazil | Born: March 8, 1991 | Voted InIn January 2021, the Seattle Sounders exercised their option to buy João Paulo, completing his transfer from Brazilian club Botafogo. João Paulo made 25 appearances across all competitions on loan from Botafogo in 2020, tallying four goals and six assists to help the Rave Green advance to the 2020 MLS Cup Final. In 2021, João Paulo is tied for fifth in the League with five assists and has been a game-changing presence for his team in the center of the pitch.
Emanuel Reynoso | Attacking Midfielder | Minnesota United FC| Nationality: Argentine | Born: November 16, 1995 | Bob Bradley Selection
The 24-year-old Reynoso joined Minnesota United in September of 2020 as a Designated Player from legendary club Boca Juniors after spending his entire career playing in Argentina. Reynoso was immediately invaluable to Minnesota, providing creativity in the offense and a willingness to defend. Having only played 13 regular season games, Reynoso provided seven assists and one goal, then made MLS history in the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, providing three assists in back-to-back playoff games for the first time in MLS Cup history. Reynoso played a role in all eight goals the Loons scored in the postseason, assisting in seven and scoring one off a free kick against Seattle in the Western Conference Final.
Cristian Roldan | Center Midfielder | Seattle Sounders FC | Nationality: United States | Born: June 3, 1995 | Voted InSeattle Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan began his MLS career after being selected in the first round (16th overall) in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Washington. In 2016, Roldan emerged as mainstay in Seattle’s starting XI and in 2017 he won Sounders FC MVP honors for the first time after a breakout season as one of the top players at his position in Major League Soccer. Roldan also earned his first cap with the senior U.S. Men’s National Team in 2017. Most recently, the attacking midfielder helped the United States earn the Concacaf Gold Cup title.
Lucas Zelarayán | Attacking Midfielder | Columbus Crew | Nationality: Argentine | Born: June 20, 1992 | Voted In
Lucas Zelarayán was acquired as a Designated Player on December 19, 2019, and since joining the Crew, the Argentine midfielder is a key player for the Black and Gold attack. After making 16 regular-season appearances for the Crew in 2020 – then capping his season by being named MLS Cup 2020 MVP with two goals (including the game-winner) and an assist – he has totaled 11 goals and six assists including five goals (two game-winning) and one game-winning assist in 2021. Zelarayán has also made a name as a free kick wizard, scoring four goals directly from free kicks this season, including two in the same game against New York City FC on May 22.
Gustavo Bou | Winger | New England Revolution | Nationality: Argentine | Born: February 18, 1990 | Bob Bradley Selection
Gustavo Bou earns his first career All-Star selection amid an explosive run of form, having scored nine goals in his last 10 appearances. With 10 tallies on the year, the Argentinian striker trails only Seattle’s Raúl Ruidíaz in the MLS Golden Boot race, while his 13 combined goals and assists are tied for second most in MLS, trailing only his teammate Carles Gil. Additionally, Bou’s 10 goals from open play are tied with Chicharito for the MLS lead. One of the league’s most lethal and efficient scorers, ‘La Pantera’ has found the back of the net 27 times in the regular season and playoffs since he debuted with the Revolution on July 17, 2019. Only Ruidíaz (33) has converted more times over that time span, while Bou’s 25 MLS goals from open play are level with the Seattle forward for the league lead. A constant threat from distance, Bou has delivered 10 goals from outside the box in his career, most since he entered the league. New England is 16-1-7 across all competitions when Bou scores.
Tajon Buchanan | Winger | New England Revolution | Nationality: Canada | Born: February 8, 1999 | Commissioner Selection
Tajon Buchanan earns his first MLS All-Star selection as the 22-year-old continues to shine on the MLS and international stages. The Canadian midfielder has recorded three goals and three assists across 12 appearances for New England this season. The Brampton, Ontario native recently returned from the Concacaf Gold Cup, where he was named the continental tournament’s Best Young Player after leading the Canada Men’s National Team to the semifinal. The reigning Canada Men’s Youth International Player of the Year recorded one goal and two assists in his first major international tournament, raising his total to nine career caps – all in 2021. After appearing in all 23 games during the 2020 regular season, Buchanan emerged as a breakout star of last year’s MLS Cup Playoffs, when he started all four of the team’s games scored the game-winning goal against Philadelphia in the quarterfinals.
Cade Cowell | Forward | San Jose Earthquakes | Nationality: United States | Born: October 14, 2003 | Commissioner Selection
Cade Cowell is one of the fastest rising players in Major League Soccer. Now in his third professional season, the 17-year-old attacker became the first player to tally four goals and four assists in 2021. Cowell has represented the United States at the U-16, U-17, and U-23 levels, while also training with the senior national team as a potential injury replacement during the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. He scored in his professional debut, his USL Championship debut, his international debut, and his first MLS start. Lauded for his world-class speed and strength, Cowell was named MLS Player of the Week for Week 3, the third-youngest player in league history to win the honor.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernández | Forward | LA Galaxy Nationality: Mexico | Born: June 1, 1988 | Voted In
In his second season with LA, Javier “Chicharito” Hernández has notched 10 goals and one assist in 10 games played (all starts), sitting in second place in the race for the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi. Chicharito got his season off to a flying start, opening the season with a two-goal performance vs. Inter Miami CF in the season opener, then scoring a hat trick the next week vs. the New York Red Bulls. It tied an MLS record for the most goals in the opening two games of a season, and he became the sixth Mexican-born player in league annals with a hat trick. Across two seasons with the Galaxy, Chicharito has posted 12 goals and one assist in 22 games played (17 starts). Internationally, Hernández is Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer (52) in 109 games played (83 starts).
Nani | Winger | Orlando City SC | Nationality: Portugal | Born: November 17, 1986 | Voted In
Portuguese legend and Orlando City midfielder Nani has been selected to his second MLS All-Star Game since joining Orlando from Sporting CP in February 2019. Leading the Lions to a strong start to the 2021 campaign, Nani is tied for fifth in the league with eight goals and fifth in the league with five assists. Now with 71 appearances across all competitions for Orlando City, Nani has knocked in 29 goals and dished out 16 assists in a career that recently featured a scintillating performance at the MLS is Back Tournament that saw the midfielder record a combined total of six goals and assists en route to a spot in the final. Outside of domestic play, the former Portuguese international has tallied an impressive 112 appearances for A Seleção and claimed a European championship in 2016.
Ricardo Pepi | Forward | FC Dallas | Nationality: United States | Born: January 9, 2003 | Bob Bradley Selection
Ricardo Pepi signed with FC Dallas as their 26th Homegrown at 16 years and 163 days old on June 21, 2019. He is the first true pathway player to start his youth soccer career in the FC Dallas-El Paso affiliate before joining the FC Dallas Academy in 2016, signing with FC Dallas’ USL League One affiliate North Texas SC as their first-ever player signing in 2018, and lastly the senior team. Pepi made his FC Dallas debut in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against OKC Energy FC on June 12, 2019, and his MLS debut on June 22, 2019, as a substitute against Toronto FC. Pepi became the youngest player in MLS and FC Dallas history to score a hat trick at 18 years and 196 days old, surpassing the MLS record previously set in 2013 by Kekuta Manneh at 18 years and 283 days.
Diego Rossi | Winger | Los Angeles Football Club | Nationality: Uruguay | Born: March 5, 1998 | Bob Bradley Selection
This is Diego Rossi’s second inclusion in an MLS All-Star team after being named an MLS All-Star in 2019. Rossi started 33 of his 34 appearances that season, scoring 16 goals and adding seven assists as the club won a historic Supporters Shield with an MLS-record 71 points. He signed with LAFC on December 14, 2017, as a Young Designated Player from Club Atlético Peñarol in Uruguay. He started 30 of his 32 appearances during LAFC’s inaugural MLS season in 2018, scoring the club’s first-ever goal against the Seattle Sounders in a 1-0 win on March 4, 2018, and contributing 17 goals and 10 assists across all competitions. The 23-year-old collected a slew of awards in 2020, becoming the youngest-ever MLS Golden Boot winner as well as earning MLS and MLS is Back Best XI, MLS and MLS is Back Best Young Player, and MLS is Back Golden Boot honors. Rossi has scored five goals and added an assist in 2021.
Raúl Ruidíaz | Forward | Seattle Sounders SC | Nationality: Peru | Born: July 25, 1990 | Voted InSigned by Seattle Sounders FC as a Designated Player on June 29, 2018, Raúl Ruidíaz has been a prolific goalscorer in his 3-1/2 seasons in MLS. He scored 10 goals in just 14 regular season appearances in 2018 and came to life in the postseason with three goals in two games. The Peruvian international helped guide his national team to the 2019 Copa America final before finishing the 2019 MLS regular season with a team-leading 11 goals. Ruidíaz scored four goals and provided four assists in the postseason, including a goal in the MLS Cup Final, as the Sounders claimed the 2019 MLS Cup title. He earned MLS Best XI honors at the end of the 2020 regular season with 11 goals in 14 regular season appearances. Ruidíaz leads the race for the MLS Golden Boot Presented by Audi with 11 goals on the season.
Daniel Salloi | Winger | Sporting Kansas City | Nationality: Hungary | Born: July 19, 1996 | Bob Bradley Selection
Daniel Salloi signed with Sporting Kansas City in 2016 from the Sporting KC academy. Salloi made his Sporting KC debut as a second-half substitute on April 9, 2017, in a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids, becoming the fourth Homegrown Player to appear for the club. He scored the game-winning goal in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup Final and enjoyed a breakout year in 2018 as he led all MLS Homegrown Players with 23 combined goals (16) and assists (7) in all competitions. In 2021, the 25-year-old leads all MLS players with 13 combined goals (9) and primary assists (4), including a league-high five game-winning goals to date. A native of Hungary and a fourth-generation professional soccer player in his family, Salloi now has 32 goals and 14 assists in 122 career appearances for Sporting KC across all competitions over the past five seasons.
Carlos Vela | Winger | Los Angeles Football Club | Nationality: Mexico | Born: March 1, 1989 | Voted In
This is Carlos Vela’s third inclusion in an MLS All-Star team after previously earning the honor during the 2018 and 2019 regular seasons. Vela signed with LAFC as the club’s first-ever Designated Player in August 2017, scoring 64 goals and providing 37 assists across all competitions to date. The Mexican international set a record for goals scored and assists provided by a single player during the MLS regular season with 34 goals and 15 assists in 2019. His goal-scoring exploits led LAFC to the Supporters Shield title as well as Landon Donovan MLS MVP and MLS Best XI honors in 2019. Vela also became the fastest player to reach 20 goals and became the highest scoring Mexican player in MLS history when he scored his 48th career regular season goal in 2019. In his two MLS All-Star Game appearances, Vela captained the side against 2017-18 Serie A champions Juventus and Atletico Madrid in 2019.