On Tuesday, July 12 the 2022 MLS All-Star lineups were announced with Carlos Vela, Taty Castellanos, and Walker Zimmerman highlighting the roster. Two Philadelphia Union players were voted in and will represent the MLS team against the best of LIGA MX for the second consecutive season on August 10 at Allianz Field in Minnesota and nationally broadcasted on ESPN. The two players that will be showcasing the Union badge in the match are goalkeeper Andre Blake and defender Kai Wagner.
Blake, the best goalkeeper in the MLS, has been selected to his fourth MLS All-Star Game and he has continued to dominate while winning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year twice in his relatively young career. The Jamaican international was the only keeper voted in as he previously started in net during the 2016 MLS All-Star Game against Arsenal FC. Blake’s skills and guarding of the goal resemble the power and significance of the Great Wall of China, with nothing getting past him on a consistent basis.
Wagner is the first outfield player in Philadelphia history to be selected to two straight All-Star games after recording an appearance in 2021. The German defender leads Philly and ranks second among MLS defenders with 39 key passes this season as this is 16 more than his next-closest teammate. Wagner has served as a stalwart on the back line for his team, oftentimes ending any thought or threat of an opponent’s scoring chance and attack.
LAFC and New York City FC had the most selections among all of the MLS teams with three players each earning their way onto the All-Star roster. The Union, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United FC, Nashville SC, and Seattle Sounders FC each have two players representing their squad in the big midseason game.
Team MLS will be looking to win the match for the second consecutive year following their win in the penalty-kick shootout after it was a 1-1 draw in regulation. Similar to last year, this should be another closely contested match with Wagner and Blake arguably serving as the top defenders for the MLS squad.
"Featured Image: Philadelphia Union/@PhilaUnion on Twitter"