Major League Soccer (MLS) is holding its All Star game in Orlando this year. Disney is capitalizing on its long history sponsoring Orlando’s MLS franchise and of welcoming MLS teams to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to host the All-Star Skills Challenge and other MLS All-Star Week Events.
Things kick off tomorrow night at 5pm with the 2019 Major League Soccer Homegrown Game. This friendly will pit 22 of the games brightest young stars from the United States and Canada against the Chivas de Guadalajara’s Under 20 roster. The USA/Canada team will be coached by Orlando City SC academy director Marcelo Neveleff.
Following the Homegrown Game, MLS fans can also experience the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge at 8 pm ET at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Watch MLS icons Wayne Rooney, Carlos Vela, and Jonathan dos Santos join Orlando City Soccer Club favorites and stars from Atlético Madrid in competitions to test their accuracy, goal-scoring creativity, and passing ability in thrilling showdowns.
Tickets for the combined experiences can be purchased online.
Additionally, both domestic and global audiences experiencing the action via interactive streams on Twitch and Twitter can join the action and impact the eventual champion through a fan vote.
“Skills are a core part of soccer culture and they are influencing a shift in the way fans around the world are consuming and playing our sport,” said Camilo Durana, Senior Vice President of Properties and Events, MLS. “MLS is committed to delivering innovative content to fans everywhere. Through this event, both fans in Orlando for the All-Star Game presented by Target and fans globally will be able to enjoy additional experiences with our world-class athletes beyond matchday.”
Hosted by the F2 Freestylers, Jeremy Lynch and Billy Wingrove, who have worked with top professional players from around the world, amassing a social following of more than 20 million fans, the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge will be a 90-minute event that features three teams – MLS All-Stars, Orlando City SC, and Atlético de Madrid- competing in three skills authentically rooted in the sport.
The three teams will be comprised of three players each. The MLS All-Stars will be represented by Wayne Rooney, Carlos Vela, and Jonathan dos Santos. For Orlando City SC, international superstar Nani has invited teammates Chris Mueller and Jhegson Sebastián Méndez to represent the host club, while All-Star opponent Atlético de Madrid will be represented by Spain National Team and Atlético de Madrid midfielder Koke and two players to be named at a later date. The team with the most points across the three skills – Shooting, Touch and Volley, and Passing – will be crowned the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge Champions and a donation will be made to the charity of its choice.
Points in each of the competitive skills will be earned based on accuracy, as well as style.
Touch and Volley
Technique and creativity will be on display as each player showcases his ability to score dynamic goals. Players will receive a series of crosses served in by their teammates and attempt to score on goal. Different points will be awarded based on the whether the shot is a full volley, bicycle kick, etc.
The pressure is on and accuracy is key as each team takes shots on goal, attempting to hit targets with varying point values based on degree of difficulty.
Each team is on the clock to score as many points as possible in two minutes by hitting static and moving targets that range in points based on degree of difficulty.
If you’re planning on attending the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge or Hometown Game, make sure you visit ESPNWWOS.com to learn about parking and guest rules. Tickets are required for both events.
There is one MLS All Star event at ESPN WWOS that is free and open to the public — the Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star Soccer Match. On Wednesday morning, the Special Olympics partners with Major League Soccer to host in in conjunction with the MLS All-Star Week. Athletes and partners from all across North America representing MLS clubs will come together to compete in an 11 v. 11 match.
The 2019 MLS All-Star Game will be played Wednesday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m., at Exploria Stadium – home of the Orlando City MLS franchise.