NEW YORK (Sunday, July 17, 2016) – Major League Soccer’s best is set to take on English club Arsenal FC in the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game as the MLS All-Star Gameday Roster including two Commissioner’s Picks were unveiled today. The standout collection of world-renowned talent, domestic stars and young up-and-comers will represent MLS in the summer showcase at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. on July 28 at 4:30 p.m. PT, live on ESPN, UniMás, UDN, TSN, and RDS.
All eleven players named to the All-Star Fan XI, nominated by media and selected by fans, were named to the Gameday Roster including: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union), Kaká (Orlando City SC), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Andrea Pirlo (New York City FC), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), and David Villa (New York City FC – AT&T/EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge).
Joining the Fan XI are 13 additional league standouts: goalkeeper David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), defenders Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire), Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Andrew Farrell (New England Revolution), midfielders Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), and forwards Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) and Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC).
Rounding out the roster are the two Commissioner’s Picks, midfielders Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas) and Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake).
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2016 MLS All-Star Game Roster by Position
Goalkeeper: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Andrew Farrell (New England Revolution), Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers), Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union), Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Kaká (Orlando City SC), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Andrea Pirlo (New York City FC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), David Villa (New York City FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
2016 MLS All-Star Gameday Roster by Team
Chicago Fire (1): Brandon Vincent
Colorado Rapids (1): Jermaine Jones
Columbus Crew SC (1): Wil Trapp
D.C. United (1): Steve Birnbaum
FC Dallas (1): Mauro Diaz
LA Galaxy (1): Giovani dos Santos
Montreal Impact (3): Laurent Ciman, Didier Drogba, Ignacio Piatti
New England Revolution (1): Andrew Farrell
New York City FC (2): Andrea Pirlo, David Villa
New York Red Bulls (1): Sacha Kljestan
Orlando City SC (2): Kaká, Cyle Larin
Philadelphia Union (2): Andre Blake, Keegan Rosenberry
Portland Timbers (2): Darlington Nagbe, Liam Ridgewell
Real Salt Lake (1): Kyle Beckerman
San Jose Earthquakes (2): David Bingham, Chris Wondolowski
Seattle Sounders FC (1): Clint Dempsey
Sporting Kansas City (1): Matt Besler
Toronto FC (1): Sebastian Giovinco
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1): Kendall Waston
Bios for 2016 MLS All-Star Gameday Roster:
(Listed by position)
David Bingham Goalkeeper San Jose Earthquakes Nationality: USA Born: October 19, 1989
Bingham started all 34 regular season games for the Quakes in the 2015 season, his first as a full-time starter. He finished fourth in the league with 105 saves, and earned a call up to the U.S. senior national team as a result where he received his first cap and shutout in a February friendly victory over Canada. This season, Bingham has twice won MLS Save of the Week honors in weeks six and eight of the season.
Andre Blake Goalkeeper Philadelphia Union Nationality: Jamaica Born: November 21, 1990
A Generation adidas signing, and the first goalkeeper ever to be taken with the top pick in the history of MLS' college draft, this is Blake’s first All-Star selection. Blake has starred for both club and country this year, starting all three Copa America Centenario matches for his native Jamaica with 18 career caps. With Blake in between the posts with 18 starts this season, Philadelphia currently sits second in the Eastern Conference standings.
Matt Besler Defender Sporting Kansas City Nationality: USA Born: February 11, 1987
The 2012 MLS Defender of the Year and two-time Best XI selection earns his fifth MLS All-Star selection (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). Besler was at the heart of the Sporting Kansas City defense that helped the team win MLS Cup 2013. He was first player from the state of Kansas to play in the FIFA World Cup, starting all four matches for the U.S. national team which advanced to the Round of 16. Besler has 12 appearances for SKC so far this season, 11 which are starts, recording one goal and one assist.
Steve Birnbaum Defender D.C. United Nationality: USA Born: January 23, 1991
The No. 2 pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, Birnbaum makes his first appearance in the MLS All-Star game this season. A member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Birnbaum notched the equalizing assist and scored the game-winning goal in a January 2016 friendly victory over Iceland and most recently appeared in Copa America Centenario. In 2016, Birnbaum has played a full 90 minutes in all 13 of his appearances.
Laurent Ciman Defender Montreal Impact Nationality: Belgium Born: August 5, 1985
The 2015 MLS Defender of the Year, Ciman has made the All-Star team in both his seasons playing for Montreal (2015, 2016). Last season Ciman started 27 matches while scoring two goals and adding two assists in leading the Impact to an Eastern Conference Semifinals appearance. Ciman has appeared in several major tournaments for his native Belgium national team including the 2008 Olympics, 2014 World Cup and 2016 UEFA European Championship. In 2016, Ciman has started all 14 matches he has appeared in, leading Montreal to fourth in the Eastern Conference standings.
Andrew Farrell Defender New England Revolution Nationality: USA Born: April 2, 1992
Farrell makes his first appearance in the AT&T MLS All-Star Game after starting in 19 of his 20 appearances this season, with New England sitting sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Farrell has proven extremely durable for the Revolution, making 32 starts in each of his first three seasons, and currently has appeared in 34 consecutive matches. A three-year starter at Louisville University, Farrell led the Cardinals to the 2010 championship game in his junior season en route to First Team All-American honors.
Liam Ridgewell Defender Portland Timbers Nationality: England Born: July 21, 1984
Making his second appearance in the AT&T MLS All-Star Game, the Timbers captain has made 60 starts in 60 appearances for Portland in his three-year career, logging 5,388 minutes with three goals and two assists. During that 60-game stretch, the Timbers have recorded 20 shutouts, producing a 1.23 goals against average. Ridgewell captained Portland to a 2015 MLS Cup championship, the team’s first ever title, scoring a goal in the semifinals to lead the Timbers to the title match.
Keegan Rosenberry Defender Philadelphia Union Nationality: USA Born: December 11, 1993
The No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, Rosenberry has quickly established himself as a lockdown defender and one of the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year. In leading the Union to second place in the Eastern Conference standings, Rosenberry has started and played a full 90 minutes in all 19 of Philadelphia’s matches this season, ranking among the top 10 league wide in minutes played.
Brandon Vincent Defender Chicago Fire Nationality: USA Born: May 1, 1994
Chosen No. 4 overall in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, the Stanford product and NSCAA First Team All-American has become a defensive staple for the Fire. The rookie has appeared in 12 games for Chicago, 11 of which were starts, logging one assist. The young defender caught the eye of U.S. Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann earlier this year, joining the USMNT in January camp and earning his first international cap on Feb. 5, coming on at halftime in a 1-0 win over Canada.
Kendall Waston Defender Vancouver Whitecaps FC Nationality: Costa Rica Born: January 1, 1988
Joining Whitecaps FC in 2014, the Costa Rican international has proven a reliable fortress at center back. The 6-foot-5 defender has started in 15 matches and has two goals this year for Vancouver, while also juggling international duty during Copa America Centenario, starting two matches for Costa Rica. The 28-year-old played a large role in helping Whitecaps FC to its first Amway Canadian Championship title in 2015.
Kyle Beckerman Midfielder Real Salt Lake Nationality: USA Born: April 23, 1982
This is Beckerman’s ninth MLS All-Star selection (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016) with RSL compiling a 5-4-4 record in his 13 starts this season and sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference standings. Beckerman ranks third in MLS history with 392 matches played and was a leader for RSL’s run to the 2009 MLS Cup title. Internationally, Beckerman has a decorated career playing for the U.S. Men’s National Team including appearances in two Gold Cups (2009, 2013), two Copa Americas (2007, 2016) and one World Cup (2014).
Mauro Diaz Midfielder FC Dallas Nationality: Argentina Born: March 10, 1991
One of the most creative playmakers in the league, Diaz has flourished with Dallas, notching 17 goals and 24 assists in four seasons with the Texas club. The midfield maestro has helped FCD to a first-place finish in the Western Conference in 2015, and currently has Dallas leading the Supporters’ Shield standings with three goals and nine assists in 16 games this year.
Giovani dos Santos Midfielder LA Galaxy Nationality: Mexico Born: May 11, 1989
An Olympic gold medalist with Mexico in 2012, dos Santos has numerous international accolades including two World Cup appearances (2010, 2014), three Gold Cup titles (2009, 2011, 2015) and the 2009 Gold Cup MVP. Now in his second season with the Galaxy, dos Santos ranks tied for fourth in combined goals and assists. His seven goals and five assists this season surpass his total from 2015 resulting in his first MLS All-Star appearance.
Jermaine Jones Midfielder Colorado Rapids Nationality: USA/Germany Born: November 3, 1981
The U.S. Men’s National Team veteran made a splash this offseason after being traded from the New England Revolution to Colorado. Excelling in a new attacking midfield role, Jones has made an immediate impact for the Rapids, notching three goals and two assists in eight starts. The Germany native was indispensable for the U.S. in Copa America Centenario this past June, appearing in five matches to lead the U.S. to the semifinals and a fourth place finish in the historic tournament.
Kaká Midfielder Orlando City SC Nationality: Brazil Born: April 22, 1982
The winner of the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or earns his second MLS All-Star selection in his second season with Orlando City SC. Kaká is one of the most decorated footballers in the world, having won the 2002 FIFA World Cup with Brazil and the 2006-07 Champions League with AC Milan, along with a host of other awards. The Orlando captain has been invaluable this year as he is ranks in the top 12 league wide with five assists while ranking third for Orlando with three goals scored.
Sacha Kljestan Midfielder New York Red Bulls Nationality: USA Born: September 9, 1985
Named an All-Star for the second time (2008, 2016) after a tremendous start to the season with two goals and a league best 10 assists. Last season, his first with the Red Bulls, Kljestan recorded career highs with eight goals scored and 14 assists en route to a 2015 Supporters’ Shield title for NYRB. Internationally, Kljestan has 46 caps for the United States national team and scored two goals at the 2008 Olympics. Kljestan starred for Belgian super power Anderlecht, winning three league titles and four Belgian Cups in his five seasons with the club.
Darlington Nagbe Midfielder Portland Timbers Nationality: USA/Liberia Born: July 19, 1990
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Nagbe played a pivotal role in helping Portland to its first MLS Cup last season. Nagbe’s creative ability on the pitch saw him breakout with the U.S. Men’s National Team with 10 caps since receiving his U.S. citizenship in September 2015. This is Nagbe’s first All-Star game appearance after tallying one goal and three assists with the midfielder missing MLS play to participate in Copa America Centenario.
Andrea Pirlo Midfielder New York City FC Nationality: Italy Born: May 19, 1979
“Il Maestro” earns his first MLS All-Star selection adding to an accolade filled career including three World Cup appearances (2006, 2010, 2014) and the fourth-most caps ever for the Italian national team. Hailed as one of the best passing players in the world, Pirlo previously won the UEFA Champions League with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007, along with a World Cup title in 2006. In his second season with NYCFC, Pirlo has one goal and seven assists this year, tied for fourth best in the league.
Wil Trapp Midfielder Columbus Crew SC Nationality: USA Born: January 15, 1993
Signed as a Homegrown Player in 2012, Trapp has evolved into one of the brightest homegrown talents in the league. The central midfielder has started in all 19 matches for Columbus this year, logging a total of 1,693 minutes. The Ohio native started all five of Crew SC’s playoff matches last year, including MLS Cup 2015. Trapp has also featured prominently for the U.S. Under-23 Team, captaining the squad in two Olympic qualifying matches. This is Trapp’s first All-Star nomination.
Clint Dempsey Forward Seattle Sounders FC Nationality: USA Born: March 9, 1983
Dempsey makes his sixth MLS All-Star appearance (2004, 2005, 2006, 2014, 2015, 2016) after scoring three goals and notching one assist this season for Seattle Sounders FC. Internationally, Dempsey has scored 52 goals, second most ever in U.S. national team history, while his 130 caps rank fourth best. Dempsey has played in three World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014), four Gold Cups (2005, 2007, 2011, 2015), a Confederations Cup (2009) and the Copa America Centenario (2016). Other stops in his career include successful stints with English clubs Fulham (50 goals in 184 league matches) and Tottenham Hotspur (seven goals in 29 league matches).
Didier Drogba Forward Montreal Impact Nationality: Ivory Coast Born: March 11, 1978
One of the most accomplished players to hit MLS, Drogba has appeared in three World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014) for his native Ivory Coast. Before arriving to Montreal, Drogba spent an illustrious career at Chelsea where he is the fourth leading scorer all-time, leading The Blues to four Premier League title and its first ever UEFA Champions League in 2012. In his first season with Montreal, Drogba scored 11 goals in an efficient 11 games, and already has five goals and five assists this season in nine starts on his way to his first MLS All-Star game selection.
Sebastian Giovinco Forward Toronto FC Nationality: Italy Born: January 26, 1987
The 2015 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, Giovinco had a wondrous first season in MLS leading Toronto FC to its first ever postseason appearance while posting a league record for most combined goals and assists. Now in his second season with Toronto, the skilled Italian ranks among the top 10 players league wide with eight goals scored and seven assists. Already Toronto’s all-time leading goal scorer, this is Giovinco’s second MLS All-Star appearance (2015).
Cyle Larin Forward Orlando City SC Nationality: Canada Born: April 17, 1995
The No.1 pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Larin had a historic debut season in MLS scoring a rookie record 17 goals en route to the 2015 MLS Rookie of the Year award. Larin is off to a strong sophomore campaign with a career-high three assists and nine goals scored, tied for third best in the league. Internationally, Larin stars for his native Canada where he has four goals scored in 17 career caps, including appearances in the 2015 Gold Cup and 2018 World Cup qualifying play.
Ignacio Piatti Midfielder/Forward Montreal Impact Nationality: Argentina Born: February 4, 1985
Named the Impact Most Valuable Player in 2015 after registering 12 goals and 12 assists across all competitions, Piatti looks set for a repeat performance in 2016. The Argentine playmaker has 11 goals – second best league-wide – and three assists in 17 starts this year, his third season with Montreal. The third Designated Player signing in club history, Piatti has become a crucial element for Montreal after leading the Impact to the CONCACAF Champions League final in 2015, just the second time an MLS club has reached the final. This is Piatti’s first All-Star nomination.
David Villa Forward New York City FC Nationality: Spain Born: March 12, 1981
Villa is making his second consecutive appearance as an MLS All-Star after scoring 18 goals last season, his first with New York City FC. Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer, Villa has played in three World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014), leading Spain to the 2010 title while receiving the Silver Shoe for scoring the second most goals in the tournament. This season, Villa currently paces the MLS Golden Boot race with 13 goals scored.
Chris Wondolowski Forward San Jose Earthquakes Nationality: USA Born: January 28, 1983
The fourth leading goal scorer in MLS history with 116 goals is making his fourth career MLS All-Star appearance (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016), tying him for most in Quakes history with Landon Donovan and Jeff Agoos. Wondolowski has become a regular on the U.S. national team with 34 caps, including appearances in three Gold Cups (2011, 2013, 2015), one World Cup (2014) and the Copa America Centenario (2016). Perhaps his best season came in 2012 when he scored a MLS record-tying 27 goals en route to the MLS MVP award and a Supporters’ Shield for San Jose. This season, Wondolowski ranks top 10 league wide with seven goals scored.