NEW YORK — Reigning league MVP Hany Mukhtar and teammate Walker Zimmerman from Nashville, LAFC scoring leader Dénis Bouanga and top newcomer Giorgos Giakoumakis highlight the 26-player roster for the Major League Soccer All-Star Game.
The MLS All-Stars announced Tuesday will face Premier League powerhouse Arsenal on July 19 in Washington.
The 26-player roster consists of 12 players voted into the game by a combination of fans, players and media, 12 selected by D.C. United and All-Star head coach Wayne Rooney and two commissioners’ selections.
FC Cincinnati, currently leading the Supporters’ Shield standings with 43 points, has the most selections of any club with three — midfielder Luciano Acosta and defenders Álvaro Barreal and Matt Miazga.
A total of 17 different clubs will be represented in the All-Star Game and 19 of the 26 players are first-time selections.
After winning his first MVP last season, Mukhtar leads the league with 13 goals in 20 matches played for Nashville. He’ll be joined by Zimmerman, who was selected to the All-Star team for the fourth time in his career.
Not far behind in the race for the league’s top goal scorer is Bouanga, who has picked up his scoring in his second season with LAFC with 11 goals in 16 matches. LAFC defender Ryan Hollingshead was also selected to the team.
Giakoumakis has scored 10 times in his first season with Atlanta United and will be joined by teammate Thiago Almada, who is tied for the league lead in assists with nine.
Other teams with two players in the game include Columbus (midfielders Aidan Morris and Lucas Zelarayán); D.C. United (goalkeeper Tyler Miller and forward Christian Benteke); and expansion club St. Louis CITY (goalkeeper Roman Bürki and defender Tim Parker).
Chicago’s Kei Kamara and CF Montréal’s Mathieu Choinière were added as the selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber. Kamara is one goal shy of tying Landon Donovan for second-most in MLS history.
2023 MLS All-Star Game Roster
Goalkeepers: Roman Bürki (St. Louis CITY/voted in), Tyler Miller (D.C. United/coach’s selection), Djordje Petrovic (New England Revolution/coach’s selection).
Defenders: Álvaro Barreal (FC Cincinnati/voted in), Jon Gallagher (Austin FC/voted in), Ryan Hollingshead (LAFC/coach’s selection), Matt Miazga (FC Cincinnati/voted in), Tim Parker (St. Louis CITY/coach’s selection), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls/coach’s selection), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville/voted in).
Midfielders: Luciano Acosta (FC Cincinnati/voted in), Thiago Almada (Atlanta United /voted in), Mathieu Choinière (CF Montréal/commissioner’s selection), Héctor Herrera (Houston Dynamo/coach’s selection), José Martinez (Philadelphia Union/coach’s selection), Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew/voted in), Hany Mukhtar (Nashville/voted in), Riqui Puig (LA Galaxy/coach’s selection), Lucas Zelarayán (Columbus Crew/coach’s selection).
Forwards: Christian Benteke (D.C. United/coach’s selection), Dénis Bouanga (LAFC/voted in), Cristian Espinoza (San Jose Earthquakes/coach’s selection), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas/voted in), Giorgos Giakoumakis (Atlanta United/coach’s selection), Kei Kamara (Chicago Fire/commissioner’s selection), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders/voted in).