CHICAGO(July 7, 2017) – Major League Soccer announced Friday that the Chicago Fire forward Nemanja Nikolic and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger have been named to the 2017 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target. The entire MLS All-Star Team will take on Spanish giants Real Madrid in the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target at Soldier Field on Wednesday, Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m. CT(FS1/UniMás).
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Nikolic currently leads the MLS Golden Boot race with 16 goals, four ahead of his closest competitor. The Serbian-born Designated Player additionally leads the league with four multi-goal games. A Hungarian international, Nikolic was named MLS Player of the Week for weeks seven and 18, and Player of the Month in May.
Signed on March 21, Schweinsteiger has scored two goals and added five assists in 15 matches thus far this season. The German World Cup champion took part in the 2014 MLS All-Star game while with Bayern Munich.
“In a short period of time, Bastian and Nemanja have endeared themselves to Fire fans through their play and commitment to the club,” said Fire General Manager Nelson Rodríguez. “Their excellence has been justly rewarded with First XI honors and we look forward to the two representing our club and city at the All-Star Game next month.”
Currently unbeaten in 11 league matches, the Fire sit in first place in the Eastern Conference and the Supporters Shield race with 38 points.
While 10 of the 11 players on the Fan XI are determined by fan voting online at MLSsoccer.com, the 11th player is determined through the EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge. In a closely contested tournament, Giovinco, the 2015 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, took the top prize as fans scored more than 1.1 million goals for the Toronto FC star in EA SPORTS FIFA 17. Other players who finished in the top five of the ‘More Than a Vote’ Challenge were Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Nikolic, and David Villa (New York City FC).
The 2017 MLS All-Star gameday roster, consisting of 24 players, will be announced in mid-July and will include the 2017 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target, two Commissioner’s Picks, and 11 players selected by Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic, who will serve as head coach of the MLS All-Star team.
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 capturing 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, 27-year-old star Gareth Bale, and four-time La Liga Best Defender Sergio Ramos.
2017 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target
Goalkeeper: Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
Defenders: Greg Garza (Atlanta United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo)
Midfielders:Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire), Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Kaká (Orlando City SC), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)
Forwards: David Villa (New York City FC), Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC – EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge)