July 12th, 2024

Choiniere, Bernardeschi and Gauld all chosen to play in MLS all-star game

By Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press on July 1, 2024.

CF Montreal midfielder Mathieu Choiniere (left) and D.C. United defender Aaron Herrera battle for the ball during first half MLS soccer action in Montreal, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. Choiniere, Toronto FC's Federico Bernardeschi, Vancouver's Ryan Gauld are joining Inter Miami's Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets at the MLS all-star game later this month.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christinne Muschi

CF Montreal’s Mathieu Choinière, Toronto FC’s Federico Bernardeschi and Vancouver’s Ryan Gauld are joining Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets at the MLS all-star game later this month.

The 30-man all-star roster will face a team of Liga MX all-stars on July 24 at Lower.com Field, home of the defending champion Columbus Crew.

Twelve MLS players were selected through a combination of fan, player, and media voting with Columbus coach Wilfried Nancy choosing 16 other players and MLS commissioner Don Garber adding two more.

Choinière, Bernardeschi and Gauld were coach’s picks, marking the first time that all three Canadian MLS clubsare featured on the all-star roster since 2018.

Choinière is making his second straight all-star appearance, having been a commissioner’s selection last year. He has been with Montréal for more than a decade since joining the club’s academy in 2011.

In his seventh MLS season, the midfielder has appeared in more than 115 games and helped the club secure Canadian Championship titles in 2019 and 2021.

The 25-year-old Choinière is currently with Canada at Copa America.

Bernardeschi, a forward turned wingback, has been Toronto’s best player this season with 13 goal contributions (eight goals, five assists) in his last nine MLS games.

Gauld has 13 goal contributions (nine goals, four assists) in 19 matches with the Whitecaps this season. The Scottish attacking midfielder has 32 goals and 31 assists in his Whitecaps career and leads the club in goal contributions across all competitions.

This year, Garber chose veteran Columbus midfielder Darlington Nagbe and Houston Dynamo midfielder Hector Herrera as his picks.

Nagbe, the Columbus captain who has played more than 400 career games, is just the 10th player in MLS history to win four MLS Cups. Herrera, the Dynamo captain and former Mexico skipper, has 25 goal contributions in 53 career matches for Houston.

The MLS all-stars include reigning MLS MVP Luciano Acosta (FC Cincinnati) and Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga (Los Angeles FC).

Columbus leads the way with five all-stars, the most since the Seattle Sounders had six in 2021, in Nagbe, Steven Moreira, Rudy Camacho, Cucho Hernández and Diego Rossi.

In all, 18 MLS clubs are represented on the all-star roster with players born in 17 different countries, from Argentina to Uruguay (two).

Eighteen players aremaking their MLS All-Star Game debut. Acosta, Nagbe, Rossi and former league MVP Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC) will be making their third all-star appearance, the most of any players on the 2024 roster.

Gauld, Messi, Herrera and Acosta are four of the 10 club captains on the all-star roster, along with fellow skippers Chicho Arango (Real Salt Lake), Roman Bürki (St. Louis City SC), Thiago Martins (New York City FC), Mukhtar (Nashville), Nagbe (Columbus) and Keegan Rosenberry (Colorado Rapids).

The roster features three World Cup champions in Argentina’s Messi, France’s Hugo Lloris (LAFC) and Spain’s Sergio Busquets (Miami).

MLS All-Star Roster (x- denotes players voted in, y- denotes commissioner’s picks. The rest are coach’s choice).

GOALKEEPERS: Roman Bürki, St. Louis City SC; Hugo Lloris, Los Angeles FC; x-Maarten Paes, FC Dallas.

DEFENDERS: x-Jordi Alba, Inter Miami CF;Rudy Camacho, Columbus Crew; x-Justen Glad, Real Salt Lake; x-Aaron Herrera,D.C. United; Thiago Martins,New York City FC; Steven Moreira,Columbus Crew; Luca Orellano, FC Cincinnati; x-Miles Robinson,FC Cincinnati; Keegan Rosenberry, Colorado Rapids.

MIDFIELDERS): x-Luciano Acosta, FC Cincinnati; x-Sergio Busqets, Inter Miami CF; Mathieu Choinière, CF Montreal; Evander, Portland Timbers; Ryan Gauld,Vancouver Whitecaps; y-Hector Herrera,Houston Dynamo; Robin Lod, Minnesota United; Hany Mukhtar,Nashville SC; y-Darlington Nagbe,Columbus Crew; x-Riqui Puig, Los Angeles Galaxy.

FORWARDS/WINGERS: x-Cristian (Chicho) Arango, Real Salt Lake; x-Christian Benteke, D.C. United; Federico Bernardeschi, Toronto FC; Denis Bouanga, Los Angeles FC; Juan (Cucho) Hernandez,Columbus Crew; x-Lionel Messi,Inter Miami CF; x-Luis Suarez,Inter Miami CF; Diego Rossi, Columbus Crew.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2024.

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