WASHINGTON, D.C. (SportsDay) – Arsenal F.C. defeated the MLS All-Stars, 5-0, in the 2023 MLS All-Star Game at Audi Field in Washington D.C. on Wednesday evening. Arsenal was led by forward Bukayo Saka, who was named the 2023 MLS All-Star Game MVP in front of an Audi Field-record and sellout crowd of 20,621.
MLS is now 9-5-5 vs. international competition in the MLS All-Star Game. This was the second time facing Arsenal F.C., and the first since 2016. In the previous matchup, Arsenal prevailed 2-1 at PayPal Park in San Jose, California, with Chuba Akpom earning MVP honors.
Nashville SC defender Walker Zimmerman made his fourth consecutive start in an MLS All-Star Game (2019-23 – no game was played in 2020). Zimmerman became the 10th player in league history to start four straight All-Star games, but the first since Thierry Henry, who did so from 2011-14.
The MLS All-Stars had nine different nationalities represented in their starting lineup – Argentina (Luciano Acosta, Álvaro Barreal), Belgium (Christian Benteke), Gabon (Dénis Bouanga), Germany (Hany Mukhtar), Norway (Jakob Glesnes), Spain (Riqui Puig), Switzerland (Roman Bürki), United States (Ryan Hollingshead, Walker Zimmerman), and Venezuela (José Martínez).
With Roman Bürki and Tim Parker both appearing in tonight’s match, St. Louis CITY SC became the 31st different MLS club to have a player appear in an MLS All-Star Game.
Arsenal was led by first-time MLS All-Star goal scorers Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard, Jorginho, Gabriel Martinelli, and Kai Havertz in the victory.
The Gunners’ Bukayo Saka was named the 2023 MLS All-Star Game MVP after playing 45 minutes and contributing an assist in the match. Saka is the second English player to earn the honor after Chuba Akpom took home the award for Arsenal in the 2016 All-Star Game.
Overall, MLS was led by captain Luciano Acosta (FC Cincinnati), who created two chances and had seven passes in the final third. Acosta currently ranks second in MLS with 20 goal contributions (12 goals, eight assists) in 2023.
This was MLS’ first loss in an All-Star Game since 2019, when they fell to Atlético de Madrid, 3-0, at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla.