Chicago Fire Academy Midfielder Vitaliy Hlyut Named to MLS NEXT All-Star Team 

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CHICAGO (July 2, 2024) - Chicago Fire FC and Major League Soccer today announced that Chicago Fire Academy midfielder Vitaliy Hlyut has been selected to the third-annual MLS NEXT All-Star Game presented by Allstate.

The match will mark the second time that the Chicago Fire Academy will have a representative at the premier showcase event. Last year, forward Michael Nesci represented the Fire in the second installment of the MLS NEXT All-Star Game.

Like prior editions of the competition, the nation’s rising stars will compete in an East vs. West format game. Forty-four of the top MLS NEXT players, 22 per team, will showcase their talent on a national stage by competing on Tuesday, July 23 at Historic Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Kickoff for the MLS NEXT All-Star Game is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CT.

Hlyut, a member of the U-17 Chicago Fire Academy roster, has made appearances with Chicago Fire FC II, the MLS NEXT Pro side of the Club. Hlyut made his professional debut on March 17, coming in as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against FC Cincinnati 2. Three days later, Hlyut scored in the opening round of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against Chicago City SC. With his goal, Hlyut is believed to be the second-youngest player to ever score in the prestigious competition. In regular season play, Hlyut has made six appearances (two starts) with the MLS NEXT Pro side.

Among the 44 players who will compete in the match, more than half have played in MLS NEXT this season and progressed to sign Homegrown deals or appear in MLS NEXT Pro. Notable Homegrown players selected as 2024 MLS NEXT All-Stars include FC Cincinnati’s Stefan Chirila, the Philadelphia Union’s Cavan Sullivan, and St. Louis CITY SC’s Tyson Pearce. Of the previous MLS NEXT All-Stars, more than 70 percent have gone on to be called up by their respective Youth National Teams and three have already made Senior National Team appearances – Inter Miami’s Benjamin Cremaschi (United States), the New England Revolution’s Esmir Bajraktarevic (United States), and Olger Escobar (Guatemala).

“Throughout the season, these 44 players from both MLS and MLS NEXT Elite Academies have consistently stood out as the best young prospects in our program,” said MLS NEXT Technical Director Luis Robles. “The players and clubs should be proud of their accomplishments this year and we look forward to a highly competitive match in Columbus on July 23.”

MLS NEXT and Allstate will provide the players with unique opportunities during MLS All-Star Week, which will include a full slate of programming events and activities in advance of the match. The players will be fully immersed in MLS All-Star Week festivities, which include team training, the All-Star Skills Challenge presented by AT&T on July 23, and the MLS All-Star Game on July 24. Each MLS NEXT All-Star team will also conduct their own training sessions leading up to their match on Tuesday morning.

The 44 players were selected following the conclusion of the 2024 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs and Showcase. To be eligible for selection, players must have been born between 2007-2009, have competed in the MLS NEXT regular season, and played in at least one of the MLS NEXT premier events this season – MLS NEXT Fest, MLS NEXT Flex, Generation adidas Cup, or the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs and Showcase.