It may be close to the business end of the regular season, but later this month, six Seattle Sounders will be taking a little field trip to Los Angeles.
Major League Soccer today announced the 28 participants in its annual All-Star game, and the Sounders will be well represented when the league’s All Stars take on a similarly comprised team from Liga MX. Raúl Ruidíaz, João Paulo, Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Nouhou, Alex Roldan and Cristian Roldan were all named to the team, the league announced. The roster was determined through a combination of fan, player and media voting (13 players), designations by All-Star Head Coach Bob Bradley (13 players) and a pair of selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber. The game is set for Wednesday, August 25 at 6:00 PM PT at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.
This will be the first All-Star appearance for all six Sounders, and the simultaneous All-Star Game selection of both Alex and Cristian Roldan marks the first time a pair of brothers have been named to an MLS All-Star Game in the same year, according to a release from the team.
The match comes during a congested part of the schedule for the Sounders, who will be coming off a three-game, seven-day road trip four days earlier. The following Sunday, the Sounders will take on the Portland Timbers in a much-hyped doubleheader with the OL Reign. In years past, attendance at the All-Star Game has been mandatory insofar as those who are not injured and do not attend were banned from playing in the following game. It is expected that rule is still in effect, though the current Collective Bargaining Agreement has not been released.
According to the team, Seattle’s six selections are tied for the second-most in league history behind D.C. United’s eight selections in 2006, back when the league had only 12 teams. The San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas also had six in 2002 and 2005, respectively. The Sounders’ previous high was five selections in 2014, and the club has seen at least one player named to all but one MLS All-Star Game (2018) since Sounders FC joined the league in 2009.
2021 MLS ALL-STAR GAME ROSTER BY POSITION
DEFENDERS (9): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy)*, Yeimar Gómez Andrade (Sounders FC)^, Jesus Murillo (LAFC)*, Nouhou (Sounders FC)^, Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC)*, Alex Roldan (Sounders FC)^, James Sands (NYCFC)*, Kai Wagner (Philadelphia Union)*, Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)^
MIDFIELDERS (7): Eduard Atuesta (LAFC)*, Carles Gil (New England Revolution)^, João Paulo (Sounders FC)^, Damir Kreilach (Real Salt Lake)*, Emanuel Reynoso (Minnesota United FC)*, Cristian Roldan (Sounders FC)^, Lucas Zelarayan (Columbus Crew SC)^
FORWARDS / WINGERS (10): Gustavo Bou (New England Revolution)*, Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution)#, Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes)#, Javier Hernández (LA Galaxy)^, Nani (Orlando City SC)^, Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas)*, Diego Rossi (LAFC)*, Raúl Ruidíaz (Sounders FC)^, Daniel Sallói (Sporting Kansas City)*, Carlos Vela (LAFC)^
^Fan / player / media vote
*Bob Bradley selection
#Commissioner Don Garber selection
SOUNDERS FC ALL-STAR SELECTIONS BY SEASON
2009: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Kasey Keller, Freddie Ljungberg, Fredy Montero
2010: Kasey Keller, Freddie Ljungberg, Fredy Montero
2011: Osvaldo Alonso, Kasey Keller
2012: Osvaldo Alonso, Eddie Johnson
2013: Osvaldo Alonso, DeAndre Yedlin
2014: Osvaldo Alonso, Clint Dempsey, Chad Marshall, Obafemi Martins, DeAndre Yedlin
2015: Clint Dempsey, Chad Marshall, Obafemi Martins
2016: Clint Dempsey
2017: Stefan Frei
2019: Nicolás Lodeiro
2020: N/A (match cancelled due to COVID-19)
2021: Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Nouhou, João Paulo, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Raúl Ruidíaz