MLS Players who deserve place on All-Star Game roster

By Dylan Butler | Posted 1 year ago

Its the favorite practice of fans and pundits alike anytime an All-Star game roster is announced. It’s not so much about who made it, but rather, who didn’t. 


The same is true of the MLS All-Star Game where, for a second straight year, the best players from Major League Soccer take on a star-studded squad from Mexico’s Liga MX. The game, from Minnesota United’s Allianz Field, is set for August 10. MLS announced a 26-man roster for the game earlier this month, highlighted by ChicharitoCarlos Vela and Carlos Gil, among others. 


Who are some of the players who didn’t make the cut, but perhaps should have? We’ll take a look at arguably the six biggest snubs of the 2022 game. 


Djordje MihailovicCF Monreal 


Remember Djordje Mihailovic? The midfielder who was an MLS MVP favorite and the smart choice to break into the US Men’s National Team? Apparentlythe voters didn’t. 


The 23-year-old has been sidelined since late May with an ankle injury, one that forced him to withdraw from his call-up to the USMNT in June. Mihailovic missed six CF Montreal matches — five in the league and a Canadian Championship semifinal defeat to rival Toronto FC before coming off the bench Saturday night in a 1-0 win over Toronto. 


Before his absence, Mihailovic was among the league leaders with seven goals and four assists in 14 matches, form that had CF Montreal leading the Eastern Conference a month ago. 


Shouldn’t his first 14 games count for more than the last five in the league he’s missed? 


Lewis MorganNew York Red Bulls 


Lewis Morgan has been one of the best signings of the offseason, acquired by the New York Red Bulls from Inter Miami CF for #1.2 million in general allocation money. The 25-year-old had seven goals and 12 assists in 57 games for Miami and already has nine goals — two from outside the 18-yard box and a perfect 4-for-4 on penalty conversions — to go along with three assists in 20 matches for the Red Bulls. Morgan’s shooting percentage is at 16.1%, well up from 4.3% last year with Miami. 


While it’s painfully clear to see the Red Bulls are desperate for a forward during the Secondary Transfer Window, Morgan has carried the attacking load largely on his shoulders, a big reason for the club’s vast improvement year over year as the Red Bulls are third in the Eastern Conference after batting for a playoff spot late last season. 


Jack ElliottPhiladelphia Union 


We’ve dubbed Jack Elliott a strong contender for the MLS Defender of the Year, which makes it stunning the towering center back has been left off this squad. 


The 26-year-old is arguably having his best season in MLS since joining the squad via the MLS SuperDraft in 2017 after playing for West Virginia University. Elliott, who signed a contract extension in January, anchors a defense that has conceded a league-low 15 goals in 21 matches and the Union are atop the Eastern Conference standings. 


Brandon VazquezFC Cincinnati 


FC Cincinnati are enjoying their best season since joining MLS as an expansion side in 2019. After three straight years finishing at the bottom of the league standings, FC Cincinnati are seventh in the Eastern Conference after 21 matches, above the playoff line. 


A consistent striker has a lot to do with their unprecedented success and that’s what Brandon Vazquez has been in his best MLS season to date. The 23-year-old was left unprotected by Atlanta United and selected by Nashville SC in the 2019 expansion draft before being acquired by Cincinnati in a trade. 


He scored nine goals in his first 82 MLS regular season games and 10 in 20 appearances this year, to go along with a career-high four assists. Vazquez is seventh in MLS with those 10 goals, more than a few attacking players who were selected, and leads the league with five headed goals. 


Jose CifuentesLAFC


The midfield selections are separated into two categories — attacking and defending. Essentially that’s No. 10s and No. 6s, but there’s no No. 8s, no box-to-box midfielders on the team and there aren’t many better in the league this season than Jose Cifuentes. 


The 23-year-old Ecuadorian international has six goals and four assists and completes 81.1%t of his passes, while winning 88.9% of his duels. Per American Soccer Analysis, Cifuentes is first in the league in goals added per 96 minutes among players with at least 1,000 minutes this year and he’s arguably the MVP of an LAFC squad that is the Supporters’ Shield leaders after 20 matches. 


DeJuan JonesNew England Revolution 


It’s been a struggle for New England a year after a league-record point total to capture a first Supporters’ Shield title. It’s been a first half of a season in flux for the Revs, who have seen three instrumental players from that run — Adam BuksaTajon Buchanan and Matt Turner — complete transfers to Europe. 


DeJuan Jones, though, has been a shining star in Foxborough. The 25-year-old has been one of the best fullbacks in MLS this season. Jones has one goal and five assists in 19 appearances — all starts — and has completed a career-high 87 percent of his passes. Defensively, Jones has won 93.8% of his duels and has 18 interceptions. 


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