MLS All-Star Game Set For Tonight at Banc of California Stadium


Photo: AFP

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Major League Soccer's All-Star Game will be played tonight at Banc of California Stadium with the MLS All Stars facing their counterparts from Mexico's Liga MX.

This is the first time this format has been used in the MLS All-Star Game, which was played annually from the league's inaugural 1996 season through 2019. The format had planned to be used in 2020, but the game planned for Banc of California Stadium was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The game is the latest example of the partnership and rivalry between the leagues. The winners of the previous MLS Cup and Campeon de Campeones have met in the Campeones Cup since 2018 while four teams from each league play in the Leagues Cup, held annually since 2019.

Two players from the Los Angeles Galaxy and three from the Los Angeles Football Club are eligible to play for the MLS all-star team – Galaxy defender Julian Araujo and midfielder Sebastian Lletget and LAFC forward Diego Rossi, midfielder Eduard Atuesta and defender Jesus David Murillo.

Galaxy forward Javier “Chicharito'' Hernandez and LAFC forward Carlos Vela were also selected to play for the MLS all-star team but are unable to play because of injuries.

Under MLS rules, a player who misses the All-Star Game because of injury or another reason is not allowed to play in his team's next game. The Galaxy and LAFC are scheduled to play Saturday at Banc of California Stadium.

MLS announced the addition of Lletget to its all-star roster Tuesday night as a replacement for one of the five players unable to play because of injury.

LAFC coach Bob Bradley will coach the MLS all stars.

The game will be played with unlimited substitutions. Teams are able to make five normal substitutions during MLS regular-season games plus two substitutions to replace players with concussions or suspected concussions. If a team elects to use a concussion substitution, its opponent will receive an additional substitution.

The MLS All-Star Game matched teams from the league's Eastern and Western Conferences in 1996-1997, 1999-2001 and 2004. The 1998 game matched MLS all stars from the U.S. against those from the rest of the world. The MLS all stars faced the U.S. national team in 2002 and the Mexican club team Chivas in 2003.

From 2005 through 2019 the MLS all stars faced a European club team.

This will be the second time the MLS All-Star game will be played in the Los Angeles area. The 2003 game was played at what was then known as Home Depot Center in Carson, the Galaxy's home field.

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