Voices: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Players you might overlook in 2024 MLS All-Star voting


Voting is open for the 2024 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, held July 24 at Columbus Crew’s Lower.com Field (8 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

We could easily rattle off MLS superstars who will likely meet Liga MX’s best – Lionel Messi, Cristian Arango, Denis Bouanga, Luciano Acosta, Riqui Puig and more.

Instead, let’s spotlight players who might not get as much recognition or jump off the page at first. They’ve all caught my eye and are playing their way into a selection.

Going from front to back, consider these names when casting your ballot.


Lewis Morgan - New York Red Bulls

Lewis Morgan isn’t a natural No. 9, but his mindset to sniff out goals is second to none. His finishing with both feet is also up there with anyone in the league. He brings clever movement to find space and get in behind. He's played deeper a few times and even as a winger, but his 9g/3a production says it all.

Rafael Navarro - Colorado Rapids

You might quickly respond: “But he's got five penalties!” The thing is, you have to score them and Navarro’s bringing more than goals. Colorado are a team that values playing against the ball, then breaking on the attack with pace and aggression. Navarro’s work-rate off the ball is great. He fights for every little scrap and deserves the goals he's getting.


Jared Stroud - D.C. United

Stroud doesn't complicate his game – he isn't trying four or five stepovers or anything too difficult. But he’s capable of a difficult pass (often the right one) and his service into the box is a striker's dream. For a few seasons now, we've overlooked Stroud’s work off the ball and value to a team. Look at St. Louis; they're struggling to create chances after trading him to D.C. United. He was a big provider for them.

Andrés Gómez- Real Salt Lake

I love how direct and positive Gómez’s runs are. He's always looking to get in behind. He's maybe not as strong coming to feet and making something happen, but he's great as the last piece of the puzzle. If he can time his run perfectly, he's devastating. Not many defenders can keep up with him and he's added goals this year.


Robin Lod – Minnesota United FC

Lod can play anywhere and is a way better footballer than we give him credit for. I'd put him as a 10 in the All-Star team and he'll make a play, score a goal, play a clever ball, have a say. Everything positive Minnesota do going forward goes through him. He was almost looked at as a worker for Emanuel Reynoso in years past, but he's so much more.

Evander – Portland Timbers

Evander is on a struggling Timbers team, but I’m routinely amazed at how his technical ability makes everything look easy. He’s breezing by players. His assists are smooth. He scores world-class goals. He’s making deft, creative touches. As a fan, he's somebody you want to watch in an All-Star Game.


Cole Bassett - Colorado Rapids

This year, there's been no better No. 8 in MLS than Cole Bassett. He’s making plays box-to-box, scoring goals, connecting plays, creating chances. I call him the MLS Frank Lampard because his timing of getting into the box is really good. He’s such an important piece of Colorado’s resurgence.

Timothy Tillman - LAFC

When it comes to LAFC, we always talk about Denis Bouanga. But when they weren't playing well at the start of the season and Bouanga couldn't score, Tillman was providing goals. He was doing the defensive work, playing between lines and adding quality in the final third. He almost gets overlooked in a team that's expected to compete for trophies.

Mark Delgado - LA Galaxy

I'm a big fan of Delgado’s. Dribbling through lines, carrying the ball out of midfield, finding Joseph Paintsil on the run, that connection with Gastón Brugman and Riqui Puig – there’s so much to like. Delgado helps link that Galaxy team and is a really tidy, effective player.


Emeka Eneli - Real Salt Lake

The ground Eneli covers, his understanding of the game – it’s all so impressive, especially stepping in for the injured Pablo Ruiz. With the ball and against the ball, Eneli makes RSL hard to play against. He’s got a great engine, wins the ball back and is so important to a team that wants to attack.

Deybi Flores - Toronto FC

The great Toronto teams of old could always rely on Michael Bradley in the No. 6 role. I’m not saying Flores is at the same level, but he’s flown under the radar this season and has been a nightmare for attackers to play against. It’s no wonder he’s such an established Honduran international. Now, I want to see him be less casual in possession and keep finding the right pass after winning back the ball.


Yaw Yeboah - Columbus Crew

So many teams nowadays play with wingbacks instead of traditional fullbacks. Yeboah is a prime example of that. If Cucho Hernández can't get it done or Diego Rossi is being held up, Yeboah often makes a game-breaking play for Columbus. He brings the final product, is good 1-v-1 and doesn't duck his responsibility defending.

Miki Yamane - LA Galaxy

So much of the Galaxy’s offseason centered around bringing in Gabriel Pec and Paintsil. Let’s not forget about Yamane, though. He was a three-time Best XI selection in the Japanese league and brings calmness on both sides of the ball. He’s a great signing and among the best right backs in MLS.


Moise Bombito - Colorado Rapids

Bombito has probably been the league's best center back this season. His recovery speed is elite; he’s very hard to get away from and puts out fires. He’s strong on set pieces, aggressive in the air and dangerous in the box. He’s got a bright, bright future for club and country.

Michael Boxall - Minnesota United FC

This season, it speaks volumes how Boxall has led Minnesota through some drama off the field with Reynoso. What he lacks in pace, he organizes the group and brings a steady, veteran presence. As a striker, you have to earn everything against the longtime New Zealand international.

Justen Glad - Real Salt Lake

I've always been a fan of Glad’s. RSL are top of the West and don't concede much. He's really good in the air, has a good football IQ, solid playing out of the back. I remember playing against Glad and while he wasn’t the biggest defender, it was always tough.


Kristijan Kahlina - Charlotte FC

Charlotte have five clean sheets in a row and while it's not all because of Kahlina, his quality is shining through. He's their foundation behind two young center backs.

Matt Freese - New York City FC

Every time I see NYCFC highlights, Freese makes strong saves and keeps the ball out of the danger area. He's really come of age this year.


There’s a handful of players I want to shout out as well. Here goes:

  • Nathan Harriel - Philadelphia Union
  • Marcelo Weigandt - Inter Miami CF
  • Dani Pereira - Austin FC
  • Yuya Kubo - FC Cincinnati
  • Tani Oluwaseyi - Minnesota United FC