Star studded MLS All-Star squad to take on Arsenal in pre-season friendly
Arsenal play the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Stars in a pre-season friendly in the United States and it could be a star-studded side taking the field against the Gunners. Arsene Wenger’s side kick off their pre-season against Racing Club de Lens on 22 July before flying to the United States to take on the MLS All-Stars on 29 July at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California.
The squad that will take on the north London side was announced on Sunday and a few familiar foes will line up against a second string side with most of the Arsenal stars resting after their campaigns in the Copa America and Euro 2016.
The All-Star team will be managed by Dominic Kinnear and the team was selected by him and players from a Fan XI that was selected last week. In all, 16 players will be making their first appearance as an All-Star.
Among the names are Arsenal’s former nemesis Didier Drogba who currently plays for Montreal Impact. The Ivorian striker, now 38, was a constant thorn in the flesh of Wenger's side in the last decade and has scored 15 goals against the London rivals when he was at Chelsea.
Drogba’s strike partner could be David Villa who plays for New York City FC. Between the two, they have scored 18 goals so far with Villa scoring 15. The MLS’ Most Valuable Player Sebastian Giovinco will also be in the side and he has scored 8 goals so far.
They will be joined by Kaka, who plays for Orlando City, and New York City FC’s Andrea Pirlo in midfield. Clint Dempsey and Liam Ridgewell, who last played in the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion respectively, have also been picked in the squad.
MLS All-Stars Squad to take on Arsenal
Goalkeepers: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
Defenders: Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (DC United), Andrew Farrell (New England Revolution), Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union), Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers), Kendall Watson (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo (New York City FC), Kaka (Orlando City SC), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Will Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
Forwards: David Villa (New York City FC), Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)