2023 MLS All-Star Game: Arsenal confirmed as opponents with Skills Challenge & Wayne Rooney also set to feature at Audi Field in Washington D.C.
- Gunners heading to the United States
- Man Utd legend to coach MLS team
- Rematch of the same contest from 2016
WHAT HAPPENED? The Premier League leaders will pay a visit to the capital of the United States during their pre-season preparations ahead of the 2023-24 campaign. They will take on the cream of MLS while in America, with the hosts set to be managed by Manchester United legend and current D.C. United coach Wayne Rooney, while it has also been revealed that 10 Arsenal players will face off against MLS-based opponents in the annual Skills Challenge.
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WHAT HAS BEEN SAID? MLS Deputy Commissioner and President, Gary Stevenson has said of the event: “Major League Soccer is pleased to welcome Arsenal FC as the opponent for the 2023 MLS All-Star Game and All-Star Skills Challenge. Arsenal FC is one of the most storied and popular clubs in the world and they are giving their fans a memorable season as they sit at the top of the Premier League table. Fans at Audi Field and watching on MLS Season Pass, will be treated to back-to-back fun and thrilling nights featuring skill, style, and intense competition as top global stars meet in our nation’s capital. As our league, clubs, partners, and fans converge in D.C. for a week of events, a matchup between Arsenal and the best of MLS is the perfect way to celebrate the sport and culture of soccer in North America.”
Rooney, who represented the All-Stars against Atletico Madrid in 2019 and lined up against them for Manchester United in 2011, has said of taking charge of the class of 2023: “I’ve had a front row seat to watch the growth and development of Major League Soccer, first as a player and now as a manager. The opportunity to lead the best our league has to offer against a top Premier League club like Arsenal will be a highlight for me personally and an unforgettable experience for our passionate fanbase here in DC.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 2023 All-Star Game will be a rematch of the same event from 2016, when a late goal from Chuba Akpom earned Arsenal a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Avaya Stadium in a game that also saw Chelsea legend Didier Drogba find the target.
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WHAT NEXT? Arsenal will be hoping to head to the States as Premier League champions, but they still have 10 games left to navigate in the 2022-23 campaign before they can claim to be kings of the English top-flight – with an eight-point lead currently held over title holders Manchester City, who boast a game in hand.