Sporting Kansas City defender Graham Zusi has been named to the 2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target, Major League Soccer announced on Monday.
Zusi and the MLS All-Star Team will face Italian powerhouse Juventus in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, set for 6:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The summer showcase will air nationally on ESPN and UniMas, pitting Major League Soccer’s best players against Italy’s most decorated club.
2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target
- Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC)
- Defenders: Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United FC), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles Football Club), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
- Midfielders: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United FC), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United FC), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United FC), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
- Forwards: Josef Martinez (Atlanta United FC), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club)
Zusi, 31, receives MLS All-Star accolades for the sixth time in his career, tied with former defender Jimmy Conrad for second-most in club history behind Preki’s seven. The right back previously earned All-Star honors from 2012-2015 and again in 2017.
Zusi has played every minute of all 16 MLS matches this season for a Sporting KC side that has occupied first place in the Western Conference for 14 consecutive weeks. He has helped Sporting KC to an MLS-best seven shutouts and a 1.00 goals against average that ranks the lowest in the league. Zusi has also recorded two goals, one assist and leads MLS in touches (1,439) while placing first among league defenders with 29 chances created.
Since joining Sporting KC in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Maryland, Zusi has helped the club to three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles (2012, 2015, 2017) and the 2013 MLS Cup. The Longwood, Florida, native has amassed 31 goals and 72 assists in 272 competitive appearances, ranking second on the team’s all-time assist chart and fifth in games played. The six-time All-Star was selected to the MLS Best XI in 2012 and 2013 after being named the 2011 MLS Breakout Player of the Year.
Zusi, one of the five World Cup veterans on the Fan XI, has collected 55 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team since making his international debut in 2012. He has logged five goals and seven assists for the U.S. MNT, including two assists at the 2014 FIFA World Cup where he featured in all four games and helped the Americans reach the Round of 16. Zusi has also represented his country at the 2016 Copa America Centenario and the 2015 and 2017 Concacaf Gold Cups, helping the U.S. win the continental championship last summer alongside Sporting KC teammate Matt Besler.
The 2018 MLS All-Star gameday roster, consisting of 24 players, will be announced at a later date and will include the 2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target, two Commissioner’s Picks and 11 players selected by All-Star head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who will pick the starting 11 from the 24-man MLS All-Star roster.
The 2018 MLS All-Stars will square off against Juventus, the Italian giants who won their seventh consecutive Serie A title earlier this year. The Turin-based outfit has won more Serie A and Coppa Italia titles than any other club and has reached the UEFA Champions League final in two of the past four years (2015, 2017). The team is led by manager Massimiliano Allegri, who just completed his fourth season at the helm.
Ten of the 11 players on the Fan XI were determined via fan voting online at MLSsoccer.com and through the MLS app. The final spot was determined through the EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge, going to Los Angeles Football Club forward Carlos Vela as fans scored more than 2 million goals with the LAFC star in EA SPORTS FIFA 18.
MLS All-Stars in Sporting KC History
Mo Johnston (2)
Vitalis Takawira (2)
Mo Johnston (3)
Tony Meola (2)
Chris Klein (2)
|2004||Chris Klein (3)
|2005||Chris Klein (4)
Jimmy Conrad (2)
|2006||Jimmy Conrad (3)
Jose Burciaga, Jr.
|2007||Jimmy Conrad (4)
|2008||Jimmy Conrad (5)|
|2009||Jimmy Conrad (6)
|2012||Jimmy Nielsen (2)
|2013||Matt Besler (2)
Aurelien Collin (2)
Graham Zusi (2)
|2014||Matt Besler (3)
Aurelien Collin (3)
Graham Zusi (3)
|2015||Matt Besler (4)
Graham Zusi (4)
|2016||Matt Besler (5)|
|2017||Graham Zusi (5)|
|2018||Graham Zusi (6)|