Fan voting for the 2021 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target is about to end. Supporters have until the end of Wednesday, July 21, to cast their picks for the annual summer showcase as the MLS All-Stars duel the LIGA MX All-Stars at Banc of California Stadium on Aug. 25.
With the voting deadline just around the corner, MLSsoccer.com's Joseph Lowery has crafted a starting lineup fully guided by the numbers. From goalkeeper to striker and everywhere in between, only the players with the best stats in MLS have made it onto his ballot.
That ballot just so happens to include Sporting Kansas City center back Andreu Fontas and winger Daniel Salloi. Here's what Lowery had to say about each.
This year’s Sporting Kansas City side is MLS’ token possession team. They average the third-most possessions, spend the most time in the buildup and attacking phases, and have the most xG in MLS. The foundation of Peter Vermes’ ball-dominant juggernaut? None other than center back Andreu Fontas.
In 2021, Fontas has completed more passes than any other player in MLS (908) and has more shot assists than any other central defender. He regularly starts attacks for Sporting, provides his teammates a safe outlet in the buildup and can find his more advanced teammates with well-weighted forward passes.
Fontas isn’t incredibly mobile at the back, but he’s in the 80th percentile among center backs in terms of pressing efficiency. Between his passing numbers and his ability to win the ball, Fontas belongs on this team.
If Fontas is the foundation of Sporting’s possession-based system, Daniel Salloi is the beautifully decorated house on top of the foundation. His seven goals and 5.1 xG are both fifth in MLS, and his 413 off-ball runs lead the league by more than 50 runs.
Typically starting on the left wing in Vermes’ 4-3-3, Salloi is a real threat to opposing defenses when he cuts inside onto his right foot and drives into the box. Salloi has been the most goal-dangerous wide player in the league, and while MLS’ wingers (in a collective sense) haven’t shined too bright, he still deserves the nod.