The U.S. Men’s National Team has strong representation on the Fan XI with World Cup heroes in goalkeeper Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), defender DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo) and defender Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City) forming the core of the defense. Joining them is U.S. captain and midfielder Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) and U.S. defender Greg Garza (Atlanta United). Collectively, the group has starred for the United States in each of last four World Cups, including four representatives in 2014, three in 2010, two in 2006 and one in 2002.
In addition to Schweinsteiger and Garza, Chicago Fire forward and league-leading goalscorer Nemanja Nikolić and Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almirón are among a quartet of MLS newcomers voted to the Fan XI. Nikolić has torched defenses all season, ranking first in the Golden Boot race with 16 goals in 19 starts for Eastern Conference-leading Chicago. Almirón, meanwhile, has paced the league’s most dangerous offense for expansion club Atlanta, with eight goals and eight assists on the season, his 16 combined tallies fourth-most in MLS.
While 10 of the 11 players on the Fan XI are determined by fan voting online at MLSsoccer.com and through the MLS app, the 11th player is determined through the EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge. In a closely contested tournament, Giovinco, the 2015 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, took the top prize as fans scored more than 1.1 million goals for the Toronto FC star in EA SPORTS FIFA 17 . Other players who finished in the top five of the ‘More Than a Vote’ Challenge were Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire), and David Villa (New York City FC).
The 2017 MLS All-Star gameday roster, consisting of 24 players, will be announced in mid-July and will include the 2017 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target, two Commissioner’s Picks, and 11 players selected by All-Star Head Coach Veljko Paunović, whose Chicago Fire have the most points in MLS.
The 2017 MLS All-Stars will face off against Real Madrid, the reigning La Liga and UEFA Champions League title holders. One of the most successful clubs in the world, Real Madrid have claimed a record 33 La Liga championships and 12 UEFA Champions League titles, as well as capturing the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup on multiple occasions. Under the direction of the legendary Zinedine Zidane, the club is home to international superstars such as four-time Ballon d’Or recipient Cristiano Ronaldo, 27-year-old star Gareth Bale, and four-time La Liga Best Defender Sergio Ramos.
The best way to guarantee your ticket to the 2017 MLS All-Star Game against Real Madrid is to contact the Chicago Fire at 888-MLS-Fire or firstname.lastname@example.org. For the ultimate fan experience visit MLSsoccer.com/allstar for VIP ticket package details.
Video soundbytes from members of the 2017 MLS All-Star Game Fan XI may be downloaded by CLICKING HERE.
CLICK HERE for 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target logos. Media planning to cover the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target may apply for credentials by CLICKING HERE. Without exception, credential applications must be received by Friday, July 21.
2017 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target
Goalkeeper:Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
Defenders:Greg Garza (Atlanta United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City),DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo)
Midfielders:Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire), Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Kaká (Orlando City SC), Michael Bradley(Toronto FC)
Forwards: David Villa (New York City FC), Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC – EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge)
Bios for 2017 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target
(Listed by position in a 3-4-3 formation)
Tim Howard Goalkeeper Colorado Rapids Nationality: USA Born: March 6, 1979
Howard makes his third appearance as an MLS All-Star (2001, 2002), also earning MLS All-Star MVP honors in 2009 while with Everton FC. A member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Howard has been in the U.S. squad for three World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014), one Olympic Games (2000) and the 2009 Confederations Cup. Howard’s 115 caps rank eighth in U.S. history, while his 16 saves in the 2014 World Cup round-of-16 match vs. Belgium are a tournament record. Howard was previously named to the MLS Best XI in 2001 and 2002 and captured the FA Cup title in 2004 with Manchester United.
Greg Garza Defender Atlanta United Nationality: USA Born: August 16, 1991
A member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Garza appeared in the CONCACAF 2015 Gold Cup. In his first season in MLS, Garza has helped Atlanta United to an impressive debut season, as the team currently ranks fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, in line to become only the fourth expansion team to make the MLS Cup Playoffs. The 25-year-old Garza, who is making his MLS All-Star debut, has one goal and two assists in 18 games started for Atlanta.
Graham Zusi Defender Sporting Kansas City Nationality: USA Born: August 18, 1986
A member of the MLS Best XI in 2012 and 2013, Zusi has spent the entirety of his nine-year career with Sporting Kansas City. Zusi has made the transition from midfielder to defender, helping Sporting Kansas City to the current top spot in the Western Conference standings behind a stout defense that has allowed a league-low 14 goals this season. A member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Zusi tallied two assists in four appearances at the 2014 World Cup. This is Zusi’s fifth MLS All-Star appearance (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).
DaMarcus Beasley Defender Houston Dynamo Nationality: USA Born: May 24, 1982
The national team defender is one of only three U.S. players to appear in four World Cups (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). Beasley has also captured four Gold Cup titles (2002, 2005, 2007, 2013), serving as captain for the U.S. team in 2013. Beasley’s 125 caps rank seventh in United States history, while his 17 goals rank ninth. In his fourth season with the Dynamo, Beasley has helped the team to a solid start to the season, as it currently ranks third in the Western Conference standings. This is Beasley’s fifth appearance in the MLS All-Star Game (2001, 2002, 2003, 2015).
Bastian Schweinsteiger Midfielder Chicago Fire Nationality: Germany Born: August 1, 1984
The German star has experienced tremendous success in his international career highlighted by a 2014 World Cup title. The former Bayern Munich man has also captured a UEFA Champions League title (2013) and FIFA Club World Cup (2013) in addition to eight Bundesliga titles. In his first season in MLS, Schweinsteiger has helped the Chicago Fire secure the most points in the league behind his two goals and five assists.
Miguel Almirón Midfielder Atlanta United Nationality: Paraguay Born: February 10, 1994
A member of the Paraguay National Team, Almirón starred for his country in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup before breaking out in last year’s Copa America Centenario. The 23-year-old has led Atlanta to an impressive first season, as the club has scored 39 goals, tops in MLS. Almirón currently has eight goals and eight assists this season, with his combined 16 tallies ranking tied for fourth in MLS. In his debut season in the league, this is Almirón’s first MLS All-Star appearance.
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 third MLS All-Star selection in his third season with Orlando City SC, previously winning MLS All-Star MVP honors in 2015. Kaká is one of the most decorated soccer players 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 City captain has three goals and four assists this season, with the club sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference as it looks to make its first postseason appearance in team history,
Michael Bradley Midfielder Toronto FC Nationality: USA Born: July 31, 1987
The captain for the U.S. Men’s National Team, Bradley has starred in two World Cups (2010, 2014) along with capturing the 2007 Gold Cup title. Bradley’s 133 career caps for the United States rank fifth in national history, while his 17 goals are the ninth-most ever. On the heels of last season’s MLS Cup appearance, Toronto FC’s best-ever finish, Bradley has helped the club capture the most points in MLS to this point in the season. This will be Bradley’s third MLS All-Star appearance (2014, 2015).
David Villa Forward New York City FC Nationality: Spain Born: December 3, 1981
Villa is making his third consecutive appearance as an MLS All-Star after scoring 23 goals last season, en route to earning MLS MVP honors. 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 ranks tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot race with 12 goals.
Nemanja Nikolić Forward Chicago Fire Nationality: Hungary/Serbia Born: December 31, 1987
In his first season in Chicago, Nikolić has impressed to the tune of a league-leading 16 goals while adding three assists in 19 games played. A member of the Hungary National Team, Nikolić has suited up in major tournaments including Euro 2016, in addition to 2014 and 2018 World Cup Qualifying play. In each of his previous three full professional seasons, Nikolić has ended the season as the league’s top scorer, twice in Hungary followed by last season’s run with Legia Warsaw in Poland.
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, posting a league record for most combined goals and assists while leading Toronto FC to its first-ever postseason appearance. In his second season with TFC, the skilled Italian led the club to its first MLS Cup appearance. Already Toronto’s all-time leading goalscorer, this is Giovinco’s third MLS All-Star nomination (2015, 2016), currently leading the club with nine goals to go with four assists this season.