Coinciding with Tuesday's announcement that Chicago will play host to the 2017 Target MLS All-Star Game was the revelation that Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic will lead the star-laden squad against their as-yet-undetermined opponents on Wednesday, Aug. 2.
"Obviously it's a great honor for me," Paunovic told Chicago-Fire.com. "I can't believe that in just my second year I'm going to have this opportunity. I really appreciate it, and I'll do everything to prepare myself and the team the best I can in order to be competitive, play well and represent our league and our city in the best possible way."
Paunovic will have the distinct honor of helping select the team that takes Soldier Field in early August as the culmination of several days of festivities in downtown Chicago.
In 2016, San Jose's Dominic Kinnear was in Paunovic's shoes and selected 13 of the players that would go on to challenge Premier League powerhouse Arsenal at Avaya Stadium. Two players were additionally selected by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, while the 11 remaining fan vote selections rounded out the 26-man roster.
It will be a busy week for Paunovic, who's All-Star duties will coincide with Chicago Fire league matches both the Saturday prior to the mid-week event (at Sporting KC, July 29) as well as the Saturday following (vs. New England Revolution, Aug. 5).