Arsenal squad to take on MLS All-Stars announced
Arsenal continue their pre-season preparations with a match against the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Stars in a match that is set to take place at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California on 29 July and a preliminary squad has been announced. While most of their regulars in the starting lineup are still being rested after their travails in Euro 2016 and the 2016 Copa America, some more players have joined up with the squad.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger explained that those who reached the latter stages of Euro will not be back until much later.
“The players who won’t make it are the players who went very far in the European Championship,” Wenger said. “Such as [Aaron] Ramsey, [Mesut] Ozil, [Olivier] Giroud and [Laurent] Koscielny.”
Players who took part in Euro 2016 such as Petr Cech, Jack Wilshere, Hector Bellerin and new signing Granit Xhaka were named in the squad along with senior players such as Per Mertesacker and Santi Cazorla. New defensive signing Rob Holding was also named in the squad.
Among the South American players who took part for their respective countries in the Copa America, only Alexis Sanchez will not be available. The Chilean forward is nursing an ankle injury he sustained in the final and is still not fully fit to return.
However, the 27-year-old has earned some rest after having played non-stop football since the start of the 2013/14 season thanks to the 2014 World Cup and the last two Copa America tournaments keeping him busy every summer.
Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina is back in training and was included in the squad. However, centre-back Gabriel Paulista did not make the trip due to tonsillitis.
“I left Gabriel behind today because he has tonsillitis and is infected,” Wenger explained. “He cannot travel.
“Alexis will not go either because he had an ankle injury,” the French boss continued. “That is not too bad but I will leave him behind as well.”
The north London side have their work cut out for them as they face a side with legends such as Didier Drogba, David Villa, Kaka and Andrea Pirlo named in the squad.
Arsenal squad to face MLS All-Stars
Goalkeepers: Petr Cech, David Ospina, Emiliano Martinez
Defenders: Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin, Krystian Bielik, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Rob Holding
Midfielders: Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Chris Willock, Gedion Zelalem
Forwards: Theo Walcott, Chuba Akpom, Joel Campbell, Alex Iwobi