CHICAGO (July 18, 2017) – Major League Soccer announced Tuesday the 11 selections by Chicago Fire and All-Star head coach Veljko Paunovic, including Fire defender Johan Kappelhof and midfielder Dax McCarty, to the 24-man roster for the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target. The MLS All-Stars will take on UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid at Soldier Field on Wednesday, Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m. CT (FS1/Univision).
With Tuesday's announcement, the Fire lead all MLS clubs with four All-Stars in the 2017 event, while three clubs (Atlanta United FC, FC Dallas, Toronto FC) will send three representatives. In all, 13 teams are represented on the 24-man roster.
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Signed as a Discovery Signing on Feb. 2, 2016, Kappelhof has appeared in 18 matches this season and tallied three assists, including the game-winner in a 2-1 win over FC Dallas on May 25.
McCarty joined the Fire in a trade prior to the start of the 2017 season. In 15 matches for the Men in Red, McCarty has three assists including the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over Columbus Crew SC on April 8. This is the second All-Star nod for the Winter Park, Fla. native, who took part in the 2015 All-Star Game in Denver. A U.S. international, McCarty is currently with the United States for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Joining Kappelhof and McCarty for the All-Star game are Fire teammates Nemanja Nikolic and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who on July 7 were named to the All-Star Fan XI. Currently unbeaten in their last 11 league matches, the Fire sit in first place in the Eastern Conference and the Supporters Shield race with 38 points. The Fire return to MLS action when they travel to face New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, July 22 at 1 p.m. CT (CSN+/Univision Chicago 1200AM).
The 2017 MLS All-Stars will face off against Real Madrid, the reigning La Liga and UEFA Champions League title holders. One of the most successful clubs in the world, Real Madrid have claimed a record 33 La Liga championships and 12 UEFA Champions League titles, as well as have captured the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup on multiple occasions. Under the direction of the legendary Zinedine Zidane, the club is home to international superstars such as four-time Ballon d’Or recipient Cristiano Ronaldo, 28-year-old star Gareth Bale, and four-time La Liga Best Defender Sergio Ramos.
For the ultimate fan experience visit MLSsoccer.com/allstar for VIP ticket package details.
Below are Paunovic’s 11 selections:
Goalkeeper (1): Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC)
Defenders (5): Hernán Grana (FC Dallas), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Johan Kappelhof (Chicago Fire), Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Jelle Van Damme (LA Galaxy)
Midfielders (4): Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
Forwards (1): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) Additionally, MLS Commissioner selected Kellyn Acosta of FC Dallas and Dom Dwyer of Sporting Kansas City.
Full Roster by Position
Goalkeepers: Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Greg Garza (Atlanta United), Hernán Grana (FC Dallas), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Johan Kappelhof (Chicago Fire), Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Jelle Van Damme (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City) Midfielders:Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Kaká (Orlando City SC), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire), David Villa (New York City FC)
Full Roster by Team
Atlanta United (3): Miguel Almirón, Greg Garza, Michael Parkhurst
Chicago Fire (4): Johan Kappelhof, Dax McCarty, Nemanja Nikolic, Bastian Schweinsteiger
Colorado Rapids (1): Tim Howard
FC Dallas (3): Kellyn Acosta, Hernán Grana, Matt Hedges
Houston Dynamo (1): DaMarcus Beasley
LA Galaxy (2): Giovani dos Santos, Jelle Van Damme
Montreal Impact (1): Ignacio Piatti
New York City FC (1): David Villa
Orlando City SC (1): Kaká
Portland Timbers (1): Diego Valeri
Seattle Sounders FC (1): Stefan Frei
Sporting Kansas City (2): Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi
Toronto FC (3): Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Sebastian Giovinco