Ibrahimovic, Rooney, Vela headline MLS All-Star XI

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Katharine Lotze

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Vela are among the big names to be selected to the Major League Soccer All-Star XI ahead of their clash with Atletico Madrid.

The MLS squad will face off against the Spanish giants on July 31 in Orlando, with a team selected by a combination of fan vote, Orlando City head coach James O’Connor and league commissioner Don Garber.

The starting XI are selected entirely by fan vote, with the results seeing stars Ibrahimovic, Rooney and Vela make up a forward line who have dominated the conversation for Most Valuable Player thus far in 2019.

Vela is arguably the front-runner for the award, with the former Mexico international leading the league in both goals, with 16, and assists, with 10, as Los Angeles FC have jumped out to the best record in MLS with 37 points.

Ibrahimovic has enjoyed a strong second season in the league as well, having scored 11 times for the LA Galaxy this season, second in the league to Vela, with a side that sits No.2 in the Western Conference.

Rooney has netted eight times this season for D.C. United, while adding five assists for the third-placed team in the East.

The trio are joined by multiple stars from reigning MLS champions Atlanta United.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender Leandro González Pírez represent the Five Stripes’ league best back line, while Ezequiel Barco and Gonzalo 'Pity' Martinez were selected as midfielders.

Rooney’s old Manchester United teammate Nani, starring for hosts Orlando City with eight goals this season, will join the Atlanta duo in the midfield, as will Mexico international and Ibrahimovic’s Galaxy teammate Jonathan dos Santos.

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Joining Gonzalez Pirez along the back line will be United States international Walker Zimmerman and Sporting Kansas City right back Graham Zusi.

Beyond the XI, 11 more players will be selected by O’Connor, who will coach the squad by virtue of being the boss of the host city’s team.

Two additional selections will be made by commissioner Garber.