Major League Soccer announced on Thursday that Spanish La Liga side Atlético de Madrid will play MLS’ best at the 2019 MLS All-Star Game on July 31 in Orlando, Fla.
“The atmosphere in Orlando will be intense and memorable when Atletico de Madrid take on the MLS All-Stars,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a league release. “Atletico de Madrid joins the list of the many prominent clubs in global soccer to play in our midseason showcase, and we know the passionate supporters that make up The Wall and the rest of Orlando City Stadium will provide a distinctive home-field advantage for the MLS All-Stars.”
Atlético is led by French forward Antoine Griezmann, who won the Silver Boot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and was a finalist for 2016 FIFA Men’s Player of the Year. Atlético also features forwards Diego Costa and Álvaro Morata, midfielder Koke, defenders Lucas Hernandez and Diego Godín and goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
“Atletico de Madrid are proud to participate in our first Major League Soccer All-Star Game and battle the many great players of MLS,” said club president Enrique Cerezo. “The US and Canada have always been important markets for our club and competing in the MLS All-Star Game is an excellent opportunity to connect with our fans in North America and reach out to new ones.”
The 2019 All-Star Game will mark the 16th time that an elite international club has played the MLS All-Stars; Atletico becomes just the second team from La Liga to appear in the event, after crosstown rivals Real Madrid played in the 2017 edition in Chicago. The All-Stars have also faced top clubs from the English Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, Germany's Bundesliga, Mexico's Liga MX and the Scottish Premiership, accruing an 8-4-3 record against some of the world’s most decorated clubs.