The All-Star Game is heading to the Windy City. MLS announced Tuesday afternoon the 2017 MLS ASG will be held August 2 in Chicago. Chicago Fire manager Veljko Paunovic will coach the MLS team. The game will be played at Soldier Field, the home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears and a venue that has hosted plenty of big-time soccer games.
Surprisingly, no opponent was announced during the news conference. Real Madrid are reportedly in negotiations to be the opponent for MLS. MLS Commissioner Don Garber addressed calls for a MLS-only all-star format (i.e. East vs. West). He said playing a top international opponent helps make the game more serious as opposed to an “exhibition.”
As several people have pointed out, this will be the first time in six years the ASG is not held at a soccer-specific stadium. MLS last played in an NFL venue in 2010 when the all-stars lost a seven-goal game to Manchester United at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. MLS also played the 2006 ASG in Chicago, defeating Chelsea 1-0 at Toyota Park.