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MLS to let fans pick an XI for All-Star Game

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Major League Soccer will let fans pick an XI, this time for players for seven specific positions, for the 2021 All-Star Game on Aug. 25 as the league announced the player selection process on Wednesday.

The match, which will see the MLS All-Stars square off against their counterparts from LIGA MX, is set to take place at Banc of California Stadium, home of LAFC.

Of the 26 MLS players that will be chosen, 12 will be determined by a vote of MLS players, fans and media with each group representing one-third of the vote. An additional 12 will be selected by MLS All-Star and LAFC manager Bob Bradley, while the final two will be chosen by MLS commissioner Don Garber.

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In a change from previous ASG’s, players can be selected in seven specific positions: right back, center back, left back, defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder, and forward/winger. As part of the voting process, MLS has reviewed performance metrics from the current 2021 season to categorize players in the positions where they are most used.

Players, fans and reporters will cast their votes for 11 players: one goalkeeper, one right back, two center backs, one left back, one defensive midfielder, two attacking midfielders, three forwards/wingers.

The top player in each position from the combined vote will be named an All-Star.

The 12th player honored will be the one with the next-highest amount of votes overall. Every player in MLS will be provided a special link to vote for the peers they believe are most deserving of All-Star recognition this season.

Approximately 300 members of the media who regularly cover MLS will also make their picks for the league’s top players.

Liga Mx also unveiled its selection process for their 26-player squad. The core of the team will be made up of the 14 players nominated to the 2020-2021 Balon de Oro Awards in different positions: goalkeeper, defender, fullback, defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder, and forward, including the top two rookies.

The team’s coach will be the winner of the Balon de Oro’s Best Head Coach and will select 11 additional players to complete the roster to face the MLS All-Stars.

To round out the team, the 26th player will be determined through a selection process led by Liga Mx executive president Mikel Arriola.

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