Any roster for the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target inevitably leads to debate regarding who missed the cut. The 2021 MLS All-Star Team, which will compete Aug. 25 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, is no exception.
The Extratime crew took stock of the 28-player squad that will face the Liga MX All-Stars, with co-hosts Andrew Wiebe, Charlie Davies and David Gass each picking one name they believe is the biggest snub for this year's side.
Wiebe began with Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver, who's enjoying a standout campaign between the posts for the expansion side, saving multiple points for his team with a steady stream of highlight-reel saves.
"On the underlying numbers and the eye test this year, Brad Stuver has been absolutely incredible," said Wiebe. "I think it should have been him and Matt Turner. I understand why Pedro Gallese of Orlando City made it in there. He is a big name, he makes spectacular saves and he has a huge profile. And maybe this has not been his best year because he's been sort of in and out with international duty and otherwise, but I would have gone Brad Stuver there."
For Davies, the biggest snub was Nashville SC playmaker Hany Mukhtar, who has helped the second-year side take a pronounced leap in the attack this season. After gaining a reputation as a defense-first team in their expansion season of 2020, Mukhtar has helped the club become an upper-tier offensive group in the Eastern Conference. The Designated Player has seven goals and four assists in 16 games (13 starts) this year.
"Hany Mukhtar is my snub," Davies said. "Nashville this season have surprised me, last night especially. Hany Mukhtar has really taken his game to the next level. I think he's understood how to have success in Major League Soccer, the tendencies of his teammates. I think he's slowed the game down for himself, so he doesn't feel like he's out of sorts. He has 13 starts, three goals, four assists in the last six matches. I think for me that's probably one of the snubs."
Gass went with a player from another Eastern Conference playoff contender, citing Orlando City center back Antonio Carlos. The 28-year-old has been nothing short of a rock at the back for the Lions in 2021, starting 14 of his 15 appearances and making a Defender of the Year case during the first half of the season.
"I think he's been the most important player for Orlando so far this season," Gass said of the Brazilian defender. "I think he is naturally the best center back in MLS, although physically I might put Eddie Segura up there, but he's injured and won't be available for this. So I'd put Antonio Carlos.
"I think Orlando's an MLS Cup contender, he has been solid, he's played a ton of minutes. I have him right now as my Defender of the Year, so I think he deserves a spot on this."
For more from Extratime, check out Thursday's episode here.