SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC forward Raúl Ruidíaz has been selected to compete in the 2021 MLS All-Star Skills Challenge presented by AT&T 5G, taking place on Tuesday, August 24 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles (6:00 p.m. PT/ FS1, TUDN, TSN, TVA Sports). Major League Soccer and Liga MX today announced each of their eight player selections who will compete head-to-head in five events the night before the 2021 MLS All-Star Game. Additional information on the 2021 MLS All-Star Skills Challenge is available at MLSsoccer.com/All-Star.
2021 MLS ALL-STAR SKILLS CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY AT&T 5G ROSTERS
Pedro Gallese (Orlando City SC, Goalkeeper), Javier Hernández (LA Galaxy, Forward), Nani (Orlando City SC, Forward), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas, Forward), Raúl Ruidíaz (Seattle Sounders FC, Forward), Matt Turner (New England Revolution, Goalkeeper), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club, Forward), Lucas Zelarayán (Columbus Crew SC, Forward)
LIGA MX COMPETITORS
Rogelio Funes Mori (C.F. Monterrey, Forward), Jonathan Rodríguez (Cruz Azul, Forward), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres UANL, Forward), Rubens Sambueza (Deportivo Toluca F.C., Midfielder), Diego Valdés (Santos Laguna, Midfielder), Orbelín Pineda (Cruz Azul, Midfielder), Alfredo Talavera (Pumas UNAM, Goalkeeper), Nahuel Guzmán (Tigres UANL, Goalkeeper)
Currently tied for the lead in the MLS Golden Boot race with 11 goals, Ruidíaz earned his first All-Star selection in 2021. Signed by Seattle as a Designated Player in the 2018 summer transfer window, Ruidíaz has been the league’s most prolific goal-scorer in his three-and-a-half seasons in MLS. His 53 MLS goals (including postseason) are the most in the league since making his debut in July of 2018, in addition to ranking third in club history in goals across all competitions behind Fredy Montero and Clint Dempsey. His nine postseason goals rank first in club history, helping lead the club to two MLS Cup Final appearances and the 2019 title. He burst onto the scene in 2018 with 10 goals in just 14 regular season appearances before coming to life in the postseason with three goals in two games. The Peruvian international helped guide his national team to the 2019 Copa America Final before finishing the 2019 MLS regular season with a team-leading 11 goals. Ruidíaz scored four goals and provided four assists in the postseason, including a goal in the MLS Cup Final, as Sounders FC claimed the 2019 MLS Cup title on home soil. He earned MLS Best XI honors at the end of the 2020 regular season with 11 goals in 14 regular season appearances.
Major League Soccer previously announced its roster for the 2021 MLS All-Star Game on August 25 in Los Angeles (6:00 p.m. PT / FS1, TUDN, TSN, TVA Sports), with Sounders FC seeing a club-record six selections. Ruidíaz, João Paulo, Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Nouhou, Alex Roldan and Cristian Roldan were among the 28-man roster that will face the Liga MX All-Stars. This marks the first MLS All-Star appearance for each of the six Seattle players, who were all selected via the fan, player and media vote. Notably, the simultaneous All-Star Game selection of both Alex and Cristian Roldan marks the first time a pair of brothers have been named to an MLS All-Star Game in the same year.
Following Tuesday night’s memorable 3-0 victory over Tigres in the Leagues Cup quarterfinals, Sounders FC hits the road this weekend to face archrival Portland on Sunday, August 15 at Providence Park (7:00 p.m. PT / FS1, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).