Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer and defender Graham Zusi were named to the MLS All-Star Gameday Roster on Tuesday.
The duo will join a 24-man squad as Major League Soccer’s best players square off with Spanish giant Real Madrid in the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target. The summer showcase at Soldier Field in Chicago will kick off on Wednesday, Aug. 2, at 7:30 p.m. CT on FS1 and UniMas.
The MLS All-Star Gameday Roster consists of the All-Star Fan XI, announced on July 7, as well as two Commissioner’s Picks and 11 additional players selected by All-Star head coach Veljko Paunovic of the Chicago Fire. Zusi was one of three defenders voted to the Fan XI, while Dwyer joined FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta as one of MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s two selections.
The full roster is a mix of 16 All-Star veterans as well as eight All-Star newcomers, representing 13 MLS clubs and hailing from 13 different countries, the most diverse group in All-Star history. Additionally, 20 of the 24 players named to the roster have represented their countries at the senior national team level.
Dwyer lands MLS All-Star honors for the second time, having previously done so in 2014. He has recorded six goals and one assist in all competitions this season for Major League Soccer’s Western Conference leaders. Dwyer broke into the U.S. Men’s National Team earlier this month at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, becoming one of 10 American players to score in each of his first two international appearances. The England-born striker became an American citizen in March, thus gaining U.S. MNT eligibility.
Dwyer, 26, has been one of the most prolific strikers in MLS since 2014. His 55 regular season goals over the last four seasons are second-most across the league, while his 67 career goals in all competitions rank second on Sporting KC’s all-time charts. By the end of the 2016 campaign, he had become the first player in club history to net 12 or more goals in three straight regular seasons.
Zusi, 30, earns MLS All-Star recognition for the fifth time in his career, tied with current teammate Matt Besler for third-most in club history. The right back previously received All-Star accolades every year from 2012-2015, a period that saw Sporting Kansas City win an MLS Cup and two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups.
A veteran of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Zusi has started 15 of 16 MLS appearances this season for a Sporting Kansas City side that has kept nine clean sheets and boasts a league-low 0.70 goals against average. In addition to contributing to a stout backline, Zusi has assisted four goals in all competitions and leads MLS defenders with 31 chances created.
Zusi has collected 51 caps for the U.S. MNT since debuting in 2012. He tallied two assists at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil before competing at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2016 Copa America Centenario. Zusi is currently representing the United States at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup alongside Besler.
Under the guidance of the legendary Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid claimed its 33rd La Liga championship and 12th UEFA Champions League title last season. The club’s star-studded roster currently includes the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
Aug. 2 will mark the first time a club from Spain's La Liga will appear in the MLS All-Star Game. The MLS All-Stars have previously faced teams from the England’s Premier League, Germany's Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A, Mexico's Liga MX and the Scottish Premier League, owning an 8-4-1 record against some of the world’s most decorated outfits.
The best way to guarantee a ticket to the 2017 MLS All-Star Game is to contact the Chicago Fire at 888-MLS-Fire or email@example.com. For the ultimate fan experience, visit MLSsoccer.com/allstar for VIP ticket package details.
2017 MLS All-Star Game Roster by Position
Goalkeepers: Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC), Hernán Grana (FC Dallas), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Johan Kappelhof (Chicago Fire), Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United FC), Jelle Van Damme (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United FC), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Kaká (Orlando City SC), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire), David Villa (New York City FC)