Dom Dwyer is headed to the AT&T MLS All-Star Game after all.
Major League Soccer announced on Sunday that the Sporting Kansas City forward has been added to the roster for the All-Stars’ matchup against Bayern Munich on Wednesday in Portland (9:30 pm ET; ESPN2/UniMas/TSN/RDS), replacing Toronto FC striker Jermain Defoe.
MLS All-Stars and Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made the decision after Defoe was held out TFC’s 2-0 win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday with a groin injury.
That opens the door for the 24-year-old Dwyer, who was originally left off the roster during the fans’ vote and after Porter filled out his 23-man squad late last month. Dwyer’s 14 goals are tied for second best in the league this season and he’s been an offensive catalyst for surging Kansas City, who will also send defenders Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin and winger Graham Zusi to Portland for the summer showcase this week.
This is the first All-Star appearance for Dwyer, who made his name in 2013 while on loan with SKC affiliate Orlando City. After a breakout season with the USL PRO side he returned to Kansas City’s lineup last fall and scored the game-winning goal of the second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship series against the Houston Dynamo, a crucial goal in SKC’s eventual run to the MLS Cup final.
Dwyer has started 19 of 21 games this season for Kansas City, who head into the All-Star break on an eight-game unbeaten streak and with the most points of any team of the league (39).
The Englishman is the fourth replacement made by Porter this weekend, and the second due to injury. Seattle Sounders defender Chad Marshall (back) was replaced by D.C. United defender Bobby Boswell, while LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane and defender Omar Gonzalez were replaced due to the Galaxy’s matchup against the San Jose Earthquakes just two days after the All-Star Game.