The rivalry between Major League Soccer and Liga MX will take centerstage once again when the best players from both North American leagues face off in the 2022 edition of the All-Star Game to be played in Minnesota on Wednesday.
It’s the second time that the All-Stars from both leagues will face off after last year’s entertaining affair saw the teams draw 1-1, with MLS claiming a penalty-kick victory. One year later, the squads that will lock horns in Minnesota look very different with only a handful of players on both sides making a return trip.
Adding some more spice to this year’s event is the fact that the MLS All-Star team will be captained by Mexican star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who started his career in Liga MX with Chivas Guadalajara before a lengthy career in Europe. The LA Galaxy forward missed last year’s showdown due to injury and is coming off a two-goal performance for the Galaxy over the weekend.
Chicharito will be on the same team with Mexican compatriot and fellow Chivas product Carlos Vela (LAFC), who also missed the 2021 event to injury. The two haven’t played together since the 2018 World Cup with the Mexican national team.
It’s remarkable that the most high-profile Mexican players on the field will be playing for the MLS team. The Liga MX side is replete with South American players and a sprinkling of up-and-coming Mexican national teamers who hope to be in the mix for the 2022 World Cup: Alexis Vega (24 years old), Jesus Angulo (24), Kevin Alvarez (23), Erik Lira (22), and Uriel Antuna (24), who spent time in MLS with the Galaxy.
MORE: FIFA World Cup schedule with all the matchups, dates and times
MLS vs. Liga MX All-Stars TV channel, live stream
|Date||Thur, Aug. 11||Wed, Aug. 10||Wed, Aug. 10|
|time||01:30 BST||20:30 ET||20:30 ET|
|TV channel||Sky Sports Football, Sky Main Event||ESPN, Univision, TUDN||TSN4, TVA Sports|
|Streaming||Sky GO, NOW TV||fuboTV||TSN app, TSN.ca|
USA: ESPN and Univision networks will air the match with those channels available to stream on fuboTV.
UK: The MLS All-Star Game will be televised and streamed in the UK on Sky Sports.
Canada: In Canada, the match will be carried on TSN platforms in English, and on TVA Sports in French.
MORE: Revisiting the first MLS vs. Liga MX All-Star matchup
MLS vs. Liga MX lineups and squads
Minnesota United manager Adrian Heath will guide the 26-man MLS All-Star team, which features two of his own players, and a handful of US and Canadian national team players.
LA Galaxy forward Javier Chicharito Hernandez was named captain, while two NYCFC players had to be replaced: Philadelphia center back Jakob Glesnes took the spot of the injured Alexander Callens, and FC Cincinnati’s Brandon Vazquez stepped in for Taty Castellanos, who was transferred to Girona in Spain.
As is customary at MLS All-Star Games, a whole new squad will likely start the second half in order that no team’s players are taxed too heavily with a full slate of MLS league matches coming up this weekend.
MLS All Star Roster
|GK||Andre Blake||Philadelphia Union|
|GK||Dayne St. Clair||Minnesota United|
|DF||Julian Araujo||LA Galaxy|
|DF||Jakob Glesnes||Philadelphia Union|
|DF||Aaron Long||NY Red Bulls|
|DF||Kamal Miller||CF Montreal|
|DF||Kai Wagner||Philadelphia Union|
|DF||DeAndre Yedlin||Inter Miami CF|
|DF||Walker Zimmerman||Nashville SC|
|MF||Luciano Acosta||FC Cincinnati|
|MF||Sebastian Driussia||Austin FC|
|MF||Carles Gil||New England Revolution|
|MF||Hany Mukhtar||Nashville SC|
|MF||Darlington Nagbe||Columbus Crew|
|MF||Emanuel Reynoso||Minnesota United|
|FW||Paul Arriola||FC Dallas|
|FW||Jesus Ferreira||FC Dallas|
|FW||Taxi Fountas||DC United|
|FW||Chicharito Hernandez||LA Galaxy|
|FW||Jordan Morris||Seattle Sounders|
|FW||Raul Ruidiaz||Seattle Sounders|
|FW||Brandon Vazquez||FC Cincinnati|
The 27 Liga MX All-Stars will be led by two-time defending Liga MX champion manager Diego Cocca of Atlas, who has six of his own players at his disposal, including All-Star captain and goalkeeper Camilo Vargas.
Before injury replacements wreaked havoc with the Liga MX roster over recent weeks, the original plan was for the squad to be made up of 14 players who were nominees for the Liga MX Balon de Oro awards, and 13 players selected by Cocca. Goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo was the last player added by Liga MX’s president, the equivalent of a Commissioner’s pick.
Among the players who at one point were named to the roster and will sit out due to injury are: Willian Tesillo (Leon), Angel Mena (Leon), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Diego Barbosa (Atlas), and Matheus Doria (Santos). Jordan Carrillo (Santos) would have also made the trip to Minnesota had it not been for a transfer to Sporting Gijon in Spain.
The biggest name among the absentees is Gignac, who suffered a recent injury in league play, though reports from Mexico indicate his vaccination status would have also prevented him from traveling to the USA.
Liga MX All-Star Roster
|GK||Carlos Acevedo||Santos Laguna|
|DF||Jesus Angulo||Tigres UANL|
|DF||Juan Escobar||Cruz Azul|
|DF||Lisandro Lopez||Club Tijuana|
|MF||Alvaro Fidalgo||Club America|
|MF||Erik Lira||Cruz Azul|
|MF||Guido Pizarro||Tigres UANL|
|FW||Uriel Antuna||Cruz Azul|
|FW||Juan Dinenno||Pumas UNAM|
|FW||Luis Quinones||Tigres UANL|
MLS vs. Liga MX odds and best bet
Not every sportsbook will have this match on offer because it’s a tough one to bet given the large squads, the many subs, and the unpredictable nature of the exhibition featuring players who have never played together. You could easily see a goal fest or a tight contest where the players take up a more conservative, mistake-free style.
The MLS All-Stars at +108 on the moneyline are an interesting play based purely on the superior scoring ability and playmakers on the team led by MLS top scorer Sebastian Driussi and leading assist man Lucho Acosta. Meanwhile, the 16 players listed as forwards and midfielders for the Liga MX side have combined for a meager nine goals in 95 combined appearances after seven matchdays of the current Apertura season.
For that reason the over 3.5 goals is not necessarily a lock even though it is an All-Star Game and the goals should theoretically be flowing. Diego Cocca likes to set up his Atlas team in a more conservative style, and the best guess is the Liga MX side takes up a defensive posture to absorb pressure and surprise on the counter with speedy wingers. It’s the Atlas formula.
- Best bet: MLS All Stars moneyline +108
- Prediction: MLS All Stars 3, Liga MX 1
|MLS All Stars||+108|
|Liga MX All Stars||+185|
to score Y / N
|-303 / +175|
|About / Under
|-110 / -120|
|League MX +0.5||-141|