Sunday, October 24 2021

The 2021 Major League Soccer All-Star Game, set to pit MLS’ best against Liga MX, will feature some changes in the voting process.

For the first time ever, a combined vote from fans, players and media will help select 12 of the 26 players. In past years it has been a ballot crafted by media members where fans and players have been able to cast their selections, but this season MLS is moving toward a system more akin to filling out a fantasy soccer lineup. 

Instead of choosing generically between defenders, midfielders and forwards, this new method will categorize players in seven specific positions (goalkeeper, right back, center back, left back, defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder, and forward/winger).

The top player in each starting position from the combined votes will be named an All-Star, and the 12th honoree will be the one with the next-highest amount of votes overall.

MLS head coach Bob Bradley will be responsible for choosing 12 other players himself, and MLS commissioner Don Garber will round out the roster with two selections.

Liga MX’s team and coach will be composed of the 2021 Balón de Oro Award winners, and then an additional selection of players. The festivities, which also feature a skills competition, will take place on August 24 and 25 at Banc of California Stadium.

“On the MLS side, Mexican players like Chicharito, [Carlos] Vela and Jonathan [dos Santos] will probably play, but Cruz Azul just won the championship and we’re bringing some great talent,” said Liga MX Executive President Mikel Arriola in Los Angeles during the official announcement of the ASG. “The players that play in Mexico will want to tell some of the opposition, ‘Listen, why did you guys leave if we’re better?’ and vice versa. We need to make sure to instill that element of rivalry.”

Fan voting is now open through the MLS app and at MLSsoccer.com.

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