The most decorated club in European history will face off against the best of MLS this summer.
The league announced Saturday that reigning UEFA Champions League winner Real Madrid will face the MLS All-Stars in the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on August 2 at Soldier Field in Chicago. The game will be broadcast live at 9 pm ET on FS1, UniMás, TSN and TVA Sports in the US and Canada, as well as in 170 other countries around the world.
Real Madrid is one of the most successful clubs in the history of the sport, having won a record 32 La Liga championships and 11 UEFA Champions League titles, as well as capturing the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup on multiple occasions. Managed by legendary French midfielder Zinedine Zidane and headlined by stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid currently sit atop the La Liga table and hold a lead over Bayern Munich heading into the home leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal series.
This will mark the first time that the MLS All-Stars will play a team from Spain’s La Liga. The MLS All-Stars have previously faced clubs from the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, Mexico’s Liga MX and Scottish Premier League, posting a 9-4-1 record against some of the world’s most renowned clubs.
MLS lost the 2016 All-Star Game, falling 2-1 to English side Arsenal at Avaya Stadium in San Jose. MLS had won the two previous All-Star Games, beating Bayern Munich in 2014 before downing EPL club Tottenham in 2015.
The MLS All-Stars will be managed by Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic, who spent over a decade playing in Spain and made 87 appearances for Real Madrid’s crosstown rivals, Atletico Madrid.
“It is an honor to represent Major League Soccer and to work with our league’s great players in a match against one of the top clubs in the word,” Paunovic said in a statement released by the league. “I know how special it is to compete against Real Madrid and I think our players and fans will also enjoy the experience."
Soldier Field, with a capacity of 61,500, has played host to some of the most exciting sporting and entertainment events in the world including CONCACAF Gold Cup matches, World Cup Qualifiers, 1994 FIFA World Cup matches, and last summer’s Copa America Centenario. The home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, Soldier Field also has a rich MLS legacy, as it was home to the Chicago Fire for seven total seasons. The Fire owned a 62-23-10 record (.705 winning percentage) in their home games at Soldier Field, a span which also includes the club's three appearances in MLS Cup.