NEW YORK (Monday, June 24, 2019) – A reflection of skill and star power resonates throughout Major League Soccer’s 26-man announced roster for the 2019 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target. Comprised of MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target, two Commissioner’s picks, and 13 selections by MLS All-Star head coach James O’Connor of Orlando City SC, this stacked roster will face 10-time La Liga champions Atlético de Madrid at Exploria Stadium in Orlando on Wednesday, July 31 (8 p.m. ET, live on FS1, UniMas, TSN and TVA Sports).
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has honored two players with his special selections in 19-year-old Paxton Pomykal, an FC Dallas academy product and U.S. U-20 National Team midfielder, along with Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who owns nearly every league record at his position ahead of his retirement at the end of this season.
Reaction soundbytes and b-roll from Pomykal learning he is a Commissioner’s pick will be available here.
All media assets for the 2019 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target are available here.
The roster featuring rising talents, dynamic competitors, and highly accomplished superstars includes 12 previous MLS All-Stars and 14 debutants. Among the newcomers are Spanish international midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto FC), with five goals and eight assists, and defender Romain Métanire (Minnesota United FC), whose outstanding play in his first MLS season has his club above the playoff line.
All-Star head coach O’Connor has named three additional forwards who all rank among the top 10 finishers in MLS this season, as added firepower to the already announced Fan XI front line of Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), Wayne Rooney (D.C. United), and leading scorer Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club). Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), the single-season scoring record-holder, comes with the prolific finishing of all-time career goals leader Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), and 21-year-old Diego Rossi (LAFC), who has eight goals and three assists in his 16 games this season.
On the international scene, 14 countries are represented by this roster – the second most in MLS All-Star history – with 11 World Cup participants and eight players currently on national team duty. Concacaf Gold Cup participants include Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union, Jamaica), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy, Mexico), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls, Jamaica), Mark-Anthony Kaye (LAFC, Canada) and Walker Zimmerman (LAFC, USMNT), while Josef Martínez (Atlanta United, Venezuela) and Nicolás Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders FC, Uruguay) are competing in Copa América 2019.
Among teams contributing multiple players, Atlanta United lead all MLS clubs with five All-Stars, while LAFC comes in a close second with four, and both the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas have two.
As announced on Friday, the forwards picked for the MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target are: Carlos Vela (LAFC), who received the most votes from fans online at MLSsoccer.com and through the MLS app; Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), the EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge winner; and Wayne Rooney (D.C. United). Brad Guzan was selected as the goalkeeper in the All-Star Fan XI, while the fans’ choices on defense were Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (Atlanta United), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC) and Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City). Midfielders in the Fan XI are Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Gonzalo “Pity” Martínez (Atlanta United), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), and Nani (Orlando City SC).
This impressive collection of MLS stars will face Atlético de Madrid, whose ten La Liga championships rank among the top three in Spain. The iconic club has won 30 trophies across all competitions, including Europa League in 2018, and finished second in La Liga in 2019.
Tickets to the 2019 MLS All-Star Game are now on sale by visiting Ticketmaster.com.
2019 MLS All-Star Game Roster by Position
Goalkeepers: Andre Blake* (Philadelphia Union), Brad Guzan^ (Atlanta United), Nick Rimando# (Real Salt Lake)
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)
Midfielders: Ezequiel Barco^ (Atlanta United), Diego Chara* (Portland Timbers), Jonathan dos Santos^ (LA Galaxy), Mark-Anthony Kaye* (Los Angeles Football Club), Nicolás Lodeiro* (Seattle Sounders FC), Gonzalo “Pity” Martínez^ (Atlanta United), Maxi Moralez* (NYCFC), Nani^ (Orlando City SC), Paxton Pomykal# (FC Dallas), Alejandro Pozuelo* (Toronto FC), Diego Rossi* (Los Angeles Football Club)
Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimović^ (LA Galaxy – EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge), Josef Martínez* (Atlanta United), Wayne Rooney^ (D.C. United), Chris Wondolowski* (San Jose Earthquakes), Carlos Vela^ (Los Angeles Football Club)
^Fan XI selection
*James O’Connor selection
#Commissioner Don Garber selection
2019 MLS All-Star Game Roster
(Players listed in alphabetical order)
Ezequiel Barco | Midfielder | Atlanta United | Nationality: Argentina | Born: March 29, 1999
Fresh off his second FIFA U-20 World Cup appearance with Argentina (2017, 2019) and a top-six selection in MLS’s annual ranking of 22 best players under age 22, Barco is among Atlanta United’s top two goalscorers this season as a young Designated Player. The 20-year-old has already matched his scoring total from last season, with four goals and three assists in 2019. Last season, he appeared in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and Atlanta’s United’s MLS Cup victory. This is the second MLS All-Star selection for Ezequiel Barco.
Andre Blake | Goalkeeper | Philadelphia Union | Nationality: Jamaica | Born: November 21, 1990
In the midst of his sixth campaign with Philadelphia, the Jamaican international is coming off a career-best season in 2018 with 10 shutouts, 33 starts and 14 victories to carry the Union into last year’s Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. The 2016 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year has helped push Philadelphia into first place in the Eastern Conference through Week 15 of 2019, posting a pair of clean sheets and five victories. For Jamaica, Blake won the golden glove award at the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup to lead the Reggae Boyz to a runner-up finish in the tournament. This is Blake’s second MLS All-Star Game selection.
Diego Chara | Midfielder | Portland Timbers | Nationality: Colombia | Born: April 5, 1986
A hard-nosed fixture since the Portland Timbers’ debut MLS season in 2011, the Colombian midfielder led the Timbers to an MLS Cup crown in 2015 and another MLS Cup appearance in 2018. Now in his ninth season with the Timbers, Chara is the club’s all-time leader in career appearances (244), starts (242) and minutes (21,412), leading all MLS players in tackles (853) and tackles won (677) since his debut in 2011. His 242 starts is the most of any MLS player with a single club since Chara’s debut with the Timbers on April 23, 2011. This is Chara’s first MLS All-Star Game selection.
Jonathan dos Santos | Midfielder | LA Galaxy | Nationality: Mexico | Born: April 26, 1990
A member of the Mexico National Team, dos Santos has most recently represented his country at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup along with the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, as well as the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Dos Santos signed with the LA Galaxy in 2017 as a Designated Player after playing for Barcelona and Villarreal. This is his second MLS All-Star Game selection (2018, 2019).
Leandro González Pírez | Defender | Atlanta United | Nationality: Argentina | Born: February 26, 1992
The anchor of the reigning champions’ backline, González Pírez is a mainstay on Atlanta United’s defensive unit. A starter in every MLS game in which he has appeared over his three seasons, González Pírez started all five Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs matches, helping Atlanta United to three postseason shutouts, including a 2-0 victory at the 2018 MLS Cup. He was among the nominees for both the 2017 and 2018 MLS Defender of the Year awards after leading Atlanta in touches and tackles won. He wore the captain’s armband during Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches last season and has youth national team experience with Argentina’s U-17s, U-20s and U-22s. This is the first MLS All-Star selection for González Pírez.
Brad Guzan | Goalkeeper | Atlanta United | Nationality: USA | Born: September 9, 1984
A member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Guzan has been named to two FIFA World Cup rosters (2010, 2014), two Concacaf Gold Cup rosters (2007, 2015), two Copa America rosters (2007, 2016), and was the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. U-23 team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In 2017, Guzan was among the top three goalkeepers in lowest goals against average (0.71), and he held opponents scoreless for 300 minutes during the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs en route to shutout victories in both the Eastern Conference Championship and in the MLS Cup. Guzan was previously named to the MLS Best XI in 2007. This is Guzan’s third MLS All-Star selection.
Matt Hedges | Defender | FC Dallas | Nationality: USA | Born: April 1, 1990
Hedges was named the youngest captain in FC Dallas history in 2014 and has continued to solidify his status as an elite defender, being named to the MLS Best XI in 2015 and 2016 and MLS Defender of the Year in 2016. The 29-year-old has represented the United States Men’s National Team with five caps. Hedges has started 16 of Dallas 17 matches this season, helping the club to a current fourth place standing in the Western Conference. This is Hedges’ third All-Star selection (2017, 2018, 2019).
Zlatan Ibrahimović | Forward | LA Galaxy | Nationality: Sweden | Born: October 3, 1981
Joining the Galaxy last year, Ibrahimović is one of just three players in the world to score a combined 500 goals for club and country (Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo). In 2018, Ibrahimović also became the third player in MLS history to record 20-plus goals and 10-plus assists in a season, on his way to a Best XI selection. The former Paris Saint-Germain player is Sweden’s all-time leading goal scorer with 62 goals in 116 games. Ibrahimović has played in two FIFA World Cups (2002, 2006). This is Ibrahimović’s second MLS All-Star Game selection.
Mark-Anthony Kaye | Midfielder | Los Angeles Football Club | Nationality: Canada | Born: December 2, 1994
After his breakthrough season with LAFC last year was cut short due to injury, Kaye has bounced back with three goals and five assists in 15 appearances for the club in 2019. Originally developed in Toronto FC’s academy, Kaye has developed into a key playmaker in LAFC’s midfield after arriving from USL side Louisville City SC. The 24-year-old has represented Canada at two Concacaf Gold Cups (2017, 2019) and is a regular starter for the national team with two starts in the first two matches of this year’s Gold Cup. This is Kaye’s first All-Star selection.
Kemar Lawrence | Defender | New York Red Bulls | Nationality: Jamaica | Born: September 17, 1992
A mainstay on the backline for the reigning Supporters’ Shield champions, Lawrence paced a New York defense that allowed a league low 33 goals season en route to posting the best season in MLS history with a record 71 points. With seven starts in eight appearances his fifth MLS season, the left back originally discovered via the inaugural MLS Caribbean Combine in 2014, recorded a career-high 28 games played in 2018 with the Red Bulls. With more than 40 caps for the Jamaica Men’s National Team, Lawrence has starred in the Copa America Centenario and in Concacaf Gold Cups, being named to the 2017 Gold Cup Best XI. Named to his first MLS Best XI last season, this is Lawrence’s first MLS All-Star team selection.
Nicolás Lodeiro | Midfielder | Seattle Sounders FC | Nationality: Uruguay | Born: March 21, 1989
A member of the Uruguay National Team, Lodeiro has represented his country at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup along with the 2011 and 2016 Copa América. This season, the midfielder has eight assists, tied for third-most in the league. Lodeiro was named the 2016 MLS Newcomer of the Year following his transfer from Argentine power Boca Juniors. This is his first MLS All-Star Game selection.
Gonzalo “Pity” Martínez | Midfielder | Atlanta United | Nationality: Argentina | Born: June 13, 1993
The reigning South American Player of the Year, Martínez has 10 starts in his first 14 Atlanta United appearances this season. The 25-year-old, with a goal and two assists in his opening MLS campaign, has three caps with the Argentina National Team, including a goal during his national team debut in September 2018 and a start in a March 2019 friendly. This is the first MLS All-Star selection for Martínez.
Josef Martínez | Forward | Atlanta United | Nationality: Venezuela | Born: May 19, 1993
The most prolific single-season scorer in MLS history, reigning Golden Boot winner Martinez has again reached double-digit scoring totals with 10 goals in his first 15 games of 2019. During his impressive 2018 campaign, the 26-year-old became the only player ever to win three Most Valuable Player honors in a single season (MLS regular season, MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, MLS Cup). He broke the MLS career hat trick record by scoring three goals on six different occasions, and his clutch performances produced pivotal goals during the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target and in Atlanta United’s 2018 MLS Cup victory. Martinez netted 31 goals last year to shatter the single season scoring record, and his 37 combined goals and assists are the second most in MLS history. A member of the Venezuela Men’s National Team, this is Martinez’s second MLS All-Star selection.
Romain Métanire | Defender | Minnesota United FC | Nationality: Madagascar/France | Born: March 28, 1990
In his first season with Minnesota, Métanire has amassed one goal and six assists, the most assists of any defender in the league this year. A member of the Madagascar National Team, the 29-year-old is currently representing the squad at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Before arriving to Minnesota, Métanire played for Metz and Reims in France, helping the latter gain promotion to Ligue 1 last season. This is his Métanire’s first All-Star selection.
Maxi Moralez I Forward l New York City FC l Nationality: Argentina l Born: February 27, 1987
In his third MLS season, Moralez is orchestrating the midfield for New York City FC. His nine assists rank among the top three in MLS for 2019, with NYCFC earning a win or a tie from every Moralez goal or assist dating back to July 2018. Moralez has scored or assisted in seven of the last eight league matches and has been a key part of NYCFC’s 12 match unbeaten run across all competitions. Named NYCFC’s Player of the Season after his 16 assists finished top four among MLS players last year, this is the first MLS All-Star team selection for Moralez.
Nani | Midfielder | Orlando City SC | Nationality: Portugal | Born: November 17, 1986
The Portugal winger, known for his acrobatic post-goal backflips and successful club and international career in Europe, has found his groove in Orlando during the 2019 MLS season. Since the start of April, Nani has posted eight goals over a 10-game stretch, putting Orlando near the fringe of a postseason spot heading toward the midway point of the season. Nani won four Premier League titles with Manchester United, playing alongside D.C. United’s Wayne Rooney. Nani will now spearhead the MLS All-Star team as his new Orlando side plays host to Atlético de Madrid. This is Nani’s first MLS All-Star Game selection.
Paxton Pomykal | Midfielder | FC Dallas | Nationality: USA | Born: December 17, 1999
Pomykal has had a breakout 2019 season, serving as a key cog in the FC Dallas midfield. First signed to a Homegrown Player contract at the age of 15, the academy product has two goals and one assist this season in eight starts. The 19-year-old starred for the United States at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, serving as captain and helping the team advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament. This is Pomykal’s first All-Star selection.
Alejandro Pozuelo l Midfielder l Toronto FC l Nationality: Spain l Born: September 20, 1991
Making a resounding entrance with two goals and an assist in his first-ever MLS game, Pozuelo has already had a hand in 13 goals in the first 13 games of his opening MLS season. Over the span of only his first four games, the Spanish international netted four goals and dished out an astounding six assists. With experience in the English Premier League with Swansea and in Spain’s La Liga with Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, this is Pozuelo’s first MLS All-Star team selection.
Nick Rimando l Goalkeeper l Real Salt Lake l Nationality: USA l Born: June 17, 1979
One of the most decorated goalkeepers in MLS history, Rimando last season became the first at his position to reach 200 wins. Now in his 20th MLS season after being selected in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft, the MLS all-time leader in saves (1,662), shutouts (146), and games played (497), announced that 2019 would be his final campaign. He retired from the U.S. Men’s National Team with 22 caps, including 10 callups in 2013 Concacaf Hexagonal Qualifiers, starts in five of six matches during the 2013 Concacaf Gold Cup, and a spot on the 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This is Rimando’s ninth MLS All-Star selection.
Wayne Rooney | Forward | D.C. United | Nationality: England | Born: October 24, 1985
The three-time FIFA World Cup participant (2006, 2010, 2014), who became England’s all-time leading goalscorer with 53 tallies, helped lead a last-place D.C. United team into the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, in conjunction with the opening of Audi Field. Rooney scored 12 goals and recorded seven assists in 20 matches last season, earning 2018 MLS Best XI honors. Rooney’s 2019 campaign ranks among the league’s leaders with eight goals (tied for fourth in MLS) and five assists. Before joining D.C. midseason last year, Rooney had a famed club career in England with Manchester United and Everton, scoring 208 combined goals between the two sides. This is Rooney’s first MLS All-Star Game selection.
Diego Rossi | Forward | Los Angeles Football Club | Nationality: Uruguay | Born: March 5, 1998
In his second season with LAFC, Rossi has helped the club to first place in the Western Conference behind eight goals, tied for fourth in the league. Last season, Rossi helped LAFC finish with the most points ever for an expansion club behind 12 goals and nine assists. The 21-year-old has represented Uruguay at multiple levels, helping the U-20 team win the South American championship. This is Rossi’s first All-Star selection.
Bastian Schweinsteiger | Defender | Chicago Fire | Nationality: Germany | Born: August 1, 1984
The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner and three-time World Cup participant is one of the most decorated international players today. Schweinsteiger spent most of his club career with the Bundesliga’s Bayern Munich and a two-season stretch with the Premier League’s Manchester United before joining Chicago for the 2017 MLS season. Predominantly a central midfielder, Schweinsteiger has showcased his versatility with the Fire as a center back, and over two and a half seasons he has contributed 14 assists in 71 matches. This year, Schweinsteiger has a pair of assists in 16 starts as the Fire are hovering around the playoff line in the Eastern Conference. Schweinsteiger captained the 2017 MLS All-Star Team during that year’s match against Real Madrid at Soldier Field. This is Schweinsteiger’s second MLS All-Star Game selection.
Carlos Vela | Forward | Los Angeles Football Club | Nationality: Mexico | Born: March 1, 1989
In his debut MLS season, Vela helped LAFC to the most points ever by an expansion club behind his 14 goals and 13 assists, leading to an MLS Best XI selection. A crucial member of the Mexico National Team, Vela has played in two FIFA World Cups (2010, 2018) and has won the Concacaf Gold Cup on two occasions (2009, 2015). This season, Vela leads MLS in both goals scored (16) and assists (10). This is Vela’s second MLS All-Star Game selection.
Chris Wondolowski | Forward | San Jose Earthquakes | Nationality: USA | Born: January 29, 1983
Wondolowski etched his name into MLS goalscoring lure earlier this year, setting the league record for career goals in remarkable fashion with a four-goal performance on May 18 to break Landon Donovan’s previous record of 145 career goals. Wondolowski now has 152 career MLS goals, having posted eight goals in 14 games in 2019. The 2012 MLS MVP and two-time MLS Cup winner (2006, 2007) is also the only MLS player to record nine consecutive double-digit goalscoring seasons (2010-2018). This is Wondolowski’s fifth MLS All-Star Game selection (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2019).
Walker Zimmerman | Defender | Los Angeles Football Club | Nationality: USA | Born: May 19, 1993
After five seasons with FC Dallas, Zimmerman was brought in as a main piece on LAFC’s back line during the club’s 2018 debut season. A danger in set-piece attacking situations, Zimmerman tallied four goals in 26 regular-season games last year as LAFC set a single-season MLS points record for an expansion club. Zimmerman has also gained playing time for the U.S. Men’s National Team since debuting in 2017, earning a spot on the USA’s 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup roster. This is Zimmerman’s first MLS All-Star Game selection.
Graham Zusi | Defender | Sporting Kansas City | Nationality: USA | Born: August 18, 1986
The U.S. National Team defender has made 55 international appearances and was an integral player for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Zusi has excelled for Sporting Kansas City, spending the entirety of his 11-year career with the team and ranking second in club history with 263 games played and 65 assists. Zusi was also previously named to the MLS Best XI in 2012 and 2013. This is Zusi’s seventh MLS All-Star selection.