Remembering the 2016 MLS All-Star Game

We'll be heading back to the United States for our pre-season tour ahead of the 2023/24 season - and on the schedule is a fixture against the MLS All-Stars, who we also faced in San Jose back in 2016.

On that occasion, Chuba Akpom’s late goal proved to be the winner after Didier Drogba had cancelled out Joel Campbell’s first-half opener.

The match saw current first-team players Rob Holding and Granit Xhaka make their first appearances in an Arsenal shirt, while Mohamed Elneny was also among our starters.

Campbell gave us the lead from the penalty spot early on, dusting himself down to confidently fire past Andre Blake.

The match looked set for penalties after Drogba fired the All-Stars level just before half-time, but Akpom - named the game’s MVP - would have the final say when he converted from Nacho Monreal’s inviting low cross.

Our opposition on the day featured the likes of Drogba, Kaka, Andrea Pirlo, David Villa Clint Dempsey and Sebastian Giovinco - and contributed to providing an experience Holding relished.

“It was a bit crazy," Rob told us at full-time, "especially when there was the national anthem and fireworks - I was thinking 'this is crazy'. 

"But I really enjoyed it, playing against the likes of Kaka, Pirlo and Drogba was a great experience for me personally.

“I was definitely pleased with my performance. It's the first one under my belt which helps you get settled and build your way into it.”

Our team on the day was:

Arsenal: Cech (Martinez 67), Debuchy (Bellerin 46), Holding, Bielik (Chambers 46), Gibbs (Monreal 46), Elneny (Zelalem 67), Coquelin (Xhaka 46), Wilshere (Iwobi 46), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Reine-Adelaide 67), Campbell (Willock 67), Walcott (Akpom 67)

The MLS All-Star squad for the match was as follows:

Starting XI: Andre Blake, Keegan Rosenberry, Laurent Ciman, Jelle Van Damme, Kellyn Acosta, Andrea Pirlo, Kyle Beckerman, Giovani dos Santos, Kaka, David Villa, Didier Drogba.

Subs: David Bingham, Brandon Vincent, Kendall Waston, Andrew Farrell, Steve Birnbaum, Clint Dempsey, Darlington Nagbe, Chris Wondolowski, Sacha Kljestan, Will Trapp, Ignacio Piatti, Mauro Diaz, Cyle Larin, Sebastian Giovinco

Manager: Dominic Kinnear

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Fixtures & Results