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Arsenal form the greatest MLS All-Star Skills Challenge team ever assembled

I'll have you know that I consider myself the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge-meister

No one appointed me this position, I wasn't voted into it and I've only just recently thought of the title, but I think about the All-Star Skills Challenge a lot: the contests, the strategies, the techniques and the storied three-event history of the competition.

Who can forget when Nani won it at the death against Atlético Madrid and the absurd tekkers of João Félix? What about Cabecita lifting Liga MX over MLS in 2021? Or when Uriel Antuna lost it for Liga MX the following year? This is all football heritage.  

Yessir, the Skills Challenge is what it's all about — where we learn who can kick a ball harder than hell (Wayne Rooney, 2019) and who visualizes finishing like a FIFA loading screen (Ricardo Pepi, all the time).

If you're near Audi Field in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, July 18, you should be there. It's only $15, it's nicely timed with five different events to watch and this is easily the greatest Skills Challenge roster ever assembled because of Arsenal's involvement. 

The Gunners are bringing Martin Ødegaard, Kai Havertz, Jorginho, Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun out. There's also Fábio Vieira, Rob Holding, Marquinhos and goalkeepers Aaron Ramsdale and Karl Hein.   

But MLS is going to put up a hell of a fight with Riqui Puig, Hany Mukhtar, Héctor Herrera, Jesús Ferreira, Thiago Almada, Dénis Bouanga, Luciano Acosta and Christian Benteke joined by goalkeepers Roman Bürki and Tyler Miller.

Arsenal MLS All-Star Skills Challenge roster

Still, if you had to personify the Skills Challenge, I'd definitely make it in the image of Ødegaard. Jorginho should be equally absurd at most these things, and we all know that Balogun can achieve whatever he puts his mind to (winning the '26 World Cup). And is there anyone better than Eddie Nketiah?!

We're putting a lot of weight on Riqui Puig's tiny shoulders.

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