NEW YORK (AP) — Arsenal will play Major League Soccer’s All-Stars at Audi Field in Washington, D.C., on July 19, the first European opponent in the game since before the coronavirus pandemic.
The Gunners, pursuing their first Premier League title since 2004, also were the All-Star opponent in 2016. They won 2-1 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California, on goals by Joel Campbell and Chuba Akpom. Didier Drogba, then playing for Montreal, scored for MLS.
MLS announced Tuesday it was returning to its most-used All-Star format.
The league began having its top players face a European opponent in 2005, then announced in November 2019 that it was changing to its All-Stars against those of Liga MX. The 2020 match in Los Angeles was canceled because of the pandemic, but the format was used the following two years, with MLS winning on penalty kicks in Los Angeles in 2021 and 2-1 last year at St. Paul, Minnesota.
Arsenal will become the third European club to appear in two MLS All-Star Games after Manchester United (2010 and ‘11) and Chelsea (2006 and ’12). The previous European opponent was Atlético Madrid, which won 3-0 in 2019 at Orlando, Florida.
The Gunners have an eight-point lead over defending champion Manchester City in the Premier League. Arsenal has nine games remaining and City has 10.
MLS’s All-Star Game had an East vs. West format in 1996 and ‘97, from 1999-2001 and in 2004. Its American players met its international players in 1998, and MLS All-Stars played the U.S. national team in 2002 and Mexico’s Chivas in 2003.
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