Sporting Kansas City winger Daniel Salloi helped the MLS All-Stars usher in a new era against the LIGA MX All-Stars on Wednesday night, playing the entire second half and converting his penalty in a 3-2 shootout victory following a 1-1 draw in the 2021 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.
Salloi logged 45 minutes of action at Banc of California Stadium and hammered home an inch-perfect penalty kick in the second round of a dramatic shootout that decided an exciting spectacle between the rival leagues.
The Liga MX All-Stars surged ahead in the 20th minute through Cruz Azul forward Jonathan Rodriguez, who was on the receiving end of a curling cross from right back Jorge Sanchez. Jesus Murillo restored parity for the MLS All-Stars in the 53rd minute, as the LAFC center back scored at his home stadium with a header off teammate Eduard Atuesta's corner kick.
Salloi made a strong impression in the second half, contributing to a series of flowing buildups as the MLS All-Stars put their LIGA MX counterparts on the back foot. The 25-year-old winger went close to finding the back of the net in the 52nd minute, latching onto a Cade Cowell cross, but the shot was blocked near the goal mouth.
Salloi's debut appearance in the MLS All-Star Game punctuated what has been an exciting week for the Sporting KC Academy product. Earlier on Wednesday, he was selected to the Hungary Men’s National Team for three upcoming matches in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
The talented forward will join Hungary’s senior national team for the first time since 2018 as the Magyars prepare for World Cup qualifiers against England on Sept. 2, Albania on Sept. 5 and Andorra on Sept. 8. He will depart for Europe following Sporting Kansas City’s pivotal home match against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park (tickets).
Salloi leads MLS with 18 combined goals (12) and assists (six) this season for a Sporting side that occupies second place in the Western Conference, three points behind leaders Seattle Sounders FC. The forward is tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot race and is tied for first in MLS with 12 non-penalty goals.
Now in his sixth season with Sporting, Salloi has started 17 of 20 MLS matches in 2021 and scored or assisted in 11 of his last 15 league appearances. With five game-winning goals and three game-winning assists, he has scored or assisted the match winner in eight of Sporting’s 11 victories this year. Among MLS forwards, he also ranks third with 29 chances created and fourth with 107 touches in the opponent’s box.