Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake and defender Kai Wagner will be representing the Boys in Blue at the 2021 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target. The duo getting the accomplishment marks the third time in club history the Union has had two players named to the same All-Star team. For the first time ever, the MLS All-Stars will face rival league LIGA MX All-Stars in an unprecedented match up to take place at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. (9 p.m. ET, FS1 / Univision / TSN / TVA Sports).
Blake was named to the All-Star roster in 2016 and 2019, becoming the first two-time All-Star in Union history and will now extend the record to three. Blake, 30, signed with the Union in 2014 when he was selected by Philadelphia first overall in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, the first goalkeeper ever to be taken first overall in the history of the event. In 2020, with Blake leading from the back, the Union made history as they became the only team in MLS history to win every home match in a single season (9-0-0). They also ended the season with the fewest goals allowed in MLS, as well the fewest goals allowed in a single season in Union history, that culminated in the club’s first Supporters’ Shield victory.
Blake holds the Union all-time records in games played, games started, minutes played, saves and clean sheets, as well as setting the single-season saves record (118 saves, 2018) and single-season wins (14 wins, 2018). He has twice been named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year (2016, 2020) and was named a finalist in 2017, and has been twice nominated for an ESPY award for best Major League Soccer player (2017, 2021).
Internationally, Blake, who regularly features as Jamaica’s number one goalkeeper and captain, has earned 48 caps for the Reggae Boyz. In 2017, he captained his team to the Gold Cup final where he kept three clean sheets and only allowed four goals in six games, earning him the Golden Gloves award and a best XI nomination.
This is the first time Wagner has been named to the All-Star Roster. He is in his third season with the Philadelphia Union where he has started 60 of his 61 appearances for the club and has tallied two goals and added 13 assists in that time. In his first season, Wagner tallied eight assists in 30 games played, ranking him first amongst MLS defenders. His eight assists as a defender also tied Sheanon Williams’ all-time single-season club record for the Union. Between 2019 and 2020, Wagner made MLS’ Team of the Week three times.
As a key piece to one of the best defensive teams in the league, Wagner has contributed to 16 clean sheets and has totaled 86 interceptions in his MLS career. His presence on the left side of the field proved to be vital in the Union’s 9-0-0 record at home in 2020 and securing the club’s first-ever Supporters’ Shield that same season.
This year, he has appeared in all 21 matches, starting 19 of those. He scored his first goal of the season for the equalizer against Chicago Fire FC that landed him his first spot on Team of the Week this season. His four assists are tied for the most on the team and he leads the team in key passes (37) and passing percentage (84%). Thus far in the season he has 31 interceptions and 21 tackles won.
This is the first time the rival leagues will match up as the MLS All-Stars take on the top-tier Mexican league All-Stars from Liga MX. MLS All-Stars were voted in by the following: 12 players determined by a combined vote of fan, media, and players; 12 players selected by All-Star Head Coach Bob Bradley; 2 players selected by MLS Commissioner Don Garber. Liga MX All-Stars were selected by the following: The first 14 selections were winners and nominees for the Balon de Oro awards in the categories of best goalkeeper, fullback, defender, defensive midfielder, attacking midfield, rookie and forward; 11 players were selected by Cruz Azul Head Coach Juan Reynoso; and 1 player was decided by Executive President Mikel Arriola.
The complete list of all-time Union All-Stars is as follows:
2010: Sebastien Le Toux
2011: Faryd Mondragon
2012: Michael Farfan, Carlos Valdes
2013: Jack McInerney
2014: Maurice Edu
2016: Andre Blake, Keegan Rosenberry
2019: Andre Blake
2020: *No All-Star Game Held
2021: Kai Wagner