NEW YORK — The MLS all-star game is coming to Orlando, Fla. in 2019, Major League Soccer announced Thursday.
The game will be broadcast on FOX, Univision, TSN and TVA family of networks, as well as in more than 170 other countries worldwide.
The annual midsummer event will include nearly a week of festivities celebrating the sport and culture of soccer, culminating in a match between the league’s top players and an international club. In recent years, the MLS All-Star opponents have included international clubs Juventus (2018), Real Madrid (2017), Arsenal (2016) and Bayern Munich (2014).
Additional details including the opponent will be announced at a later date.
“Orlando City SC has played an important role in the rise and advancement of Major League Soccer during the past few years, and we are pleased to bring the 2019 MLS all-star game presented … to this passionate soccer market,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said. “Next summer, Orlando will be the gathering place for soccer in North America with nearly a week of festivities and meetings. Orlando City Stadium is a world-class venue, and we know the supporters within the Wall will provide incredible energy and support for the MLS All-Stars.”
Orlando City SC joined the league as an expansion team in 2015.
Orlando City Stadium was constrcuted with stands to position fans on top of the action with exce;;emt sightlines to the pitch. The stadium boasts the first supporters’ standing-only zone in North America and since opening in 2017, the club has played before crowds averaging more than 99 percent of the stadium’s 25,500 capacity.
“We are extremely proud to have been selected to host the 2019 MLS all-star game and all of the events that make all-star week,” Orlando City SC chairman and majority owner Flavio Augusto da Silva said. “This gives us another significant opportunity to welcome national and international soccer to Central Florida, and we couldn’t be prouder of our fans for embracing our club and creating the passionate atmosphere that is giving us the opportunity to bring this event to Orlando City Stadium.”
This will be just the fourth major league all-star game held in Orlando – the second for MLS.
In 1998, a crowd of more than 34,000 at the Citrus Bowl watched as a team of MLS all-stars from the U.S. defeated league stars from the rest of the world, 6-1. The U.S. goals were scored by Tab Ramos, Alexi Lalas, Brian McBride, Preki, Roy Lassiter and Cobi Jones. Orlando has also hosted the NBA all-star game in 1992 and 2012.
HISTORY OF MLS ALL-STAR GAMES
1996: East 3, West 2 (E. Rutherford, N.J.)
1997: East 5, West 4 (E. Rutherford, N.J.)
1998: MLS USA 6, MLS World 1 (Orlando)
1999: West 6, East 4 (San Diego)
2000: East 9, West 4 (Columbus)
2001: East 6, West 6 (San Jose)
2002: MLS 3, U.S. National Team 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2003: MLS 3, CD Guadalajara 1 (Carson, Calif.)
2004: East 3, West 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2005: MLS 4, Fulham FC 1 (Columbus)
2006: MLS 1, Chelsea FC 0 (Bridgeview, Ill.)
2007: MLS 2, Celtic FC 0 (Commerce City, Colo.)
2008: MLS 3, West Ham United FC 2 (Toronto)
2009: MLS 1, Everton FC 1 (Everton 4-3 pen) (Sandy, Utah)
2010: Manchester United FC 5, MLS 2 (Houston)
2011: Manchester United FC 4, MLS 0 (Harrison, N.J.)
2012: MLS 3, Chelsea FC 2 (Chester, Pa.)
2013: AS Roma 3, MLS 1 (Kansas City)
2014: MLS 2, Bayern Munich 1 (Portland)
2015: MLS 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Commerce City, Colo.)
2016: Arsenal 2, MLS 1 (San Jose)
2017: Real Madrid 1, MLS 1 (Real Madrid 4-2 pen) (Chicago)
2018: Juventus 1, MLS 1 (Juventus 5-4 pen) (Atlanta)