What players spring to mind when you think about skills?
Ronaldinho? Jay-Jay Okocha? Neymar?
There’s just something about those players who can produce magic with the ball at their feet.
Tricksters will always be admired and, hopefully, there will always be a place for them in the game.
Indeed, Major League Soccer is seeking to celebrate its skilful stars by launching a new skills challenge during the 2019 all-star week in Orlando.
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Wayne Rooney, Luis Nani, Koke and Carlos Vela are among the players who will take part in the event, which will be held at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex on July 30.
“Nani’s smooth passing and Wayne Rooney’s precision strikes will be put to the test when Major League Soccer adds trick shot flavor to its all-star week for the first time,” reads a statement.
MLS skills challenge
“MLS is unveiling a new skills challenge during all-star weekend later this month in Orlando, inviting fans to cheer on the game’s most gifted handlers as they battle for bragging rights.”
Three teams composed of players from the MLS all-star team, Orlando City and Atletico Madrid will take part in three competitions that measure creativity, precision and accuracy.
Nani, Chris Mueller and Sebas Mendez will represent Orlando City. The MLS all-star team will include DC United’s Rooney, Los Angeles FC’s Carlos Vela and Los Angeles Galaxy’s Jonathan dos Santos.
Koke will represent Atletico Madrid along with two players who will be announced at a later date.
The three challenges
So, what will the challenges include?
One is touch and volley, which requires players to score from crosses. The second is shooting and will see whether players can hit targets in the goal. Passing will also be tested, with players accumulating points for hitting moving and static targets.
The tests were created by The F2 FMLS is launching a new skills challenge and it sounds awesomereestylers duo of Jeremy Lynch and Billy Wingrove, who are two of the most popular freestylers in the world.
“What I like about MLS and American sports in general is it’s not just about the game, it’s about the spectacle, making the event fun and enjoyable with your family and your friends, and I feel like this kind of event will bring that out,” Wingrove told Pro Soccer USA.
“It’s an incredible achievement for us, an honor to be able to team up with MLS and run some of the best pros in MLS through skills challenges.
“I’m really looking forward to it. This kind of event has never been done before, so it’s totally new to us. It’s gonna be so fun.”
It’s like real life FIFA Street!