Major League Soccer All-Star foes Real Madrid has already arrived for the game and has started practicing for the MLS All Star game. The most decorated club in European history will face off against the best of MLS at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The MLS All-Stars have previously faced clubs from the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, Mexico’s Liga MX and Scottish Premier League, posting a 9-4-1 record against some of the world’s most renowned clubs.
Here are some facts which all the MLS fans should know before the game starts on 3rd August.
A brief history of Real Madrid
Quite possibly the most successful club in soccer history, Real Madrid is 11-time European champion and the reigning holder in the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s top competition. Known the world over for their all-white kits and cavalcade of superstars, “Los Merengues” are 32-time Spanish league champions and have also won the Copa del Rey, Spain’s cup competition, 19 times. They’re also the official reigning club world champions, having won last year’s FIFA Club World Cup, their second such triumph.
Founded in 1902, Madrid is both a history-rich institution and a modern superclub, adored by millions across Spain and around the world. Their current roster is packed with hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of elite talent like Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale, and Karim Benzema. But the brightest star in the firmament is Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese attacker who has won the Ballon d’Or, awarded to the world’s best player, four times.
Why is the All-Star Game in Chicago?
The game rotates every year to a new city with an MLS team. This year the match will be played at Soldier Field, former home of the Chicago Fire and a perennial host to big games from the 1994 World Cup to last year’s Copa America Centenario.
The venerable Chicago landmark also has a rich MLS legacy, as it was home to the Chicago Fire for the club’s first four seasons, from 1998-2001, and then again from 2003-2005. The Fire owned a 62-23-10 record (.705 winning percentage) in their home games played at Soldier Field, a span which also includes the club’s three appearances in MLS Cup.
While this is the first MLS All-Star Game to be played at Soldier Field, it’s the second time the MLS summer showcase has been played in the Chicago area. In 2006, the MLS All-Stars defeated Chelsea FC 1-0 in a match played at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, with Dwayne De Rosario scoring the game’s only goal.
Who all are playing in the All Star Team?
The All-Star Team features the biggest names and most talented players in MLS. This year, hometown heroes Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nemanja Nikolic will be hanging around Chicago for the 2017 MLS All-Star Game.
10 of the 11 players on the Fan XI are determined by fan voting online at MLSsoccer.com, the 11th player was determined through the EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge. In a closely contested tournament, Giovinco, the 2015 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, took the top prize as fans scored more than 1.1 million goals for the Toronto FC star in EA SPORTS FIFA 17.
The MLS All-Stars will be managed by Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic, who spent over a decade playing in Spain and made 87 appearances for Real Madrid’s crosstown rivals, Atletico Madrid.
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