Some were surprised to learn last week that a combined bid of Washington D.C. and Baltimore did not make the final cut for the 11 cities in the United States selected to host matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup held in North America.
The nation’s capital received somewhat of a consolation prize on Thursday.
Major League Soccer has announced that Washington, D.C. will be the home of the 2023 MLS All-Star Game. Specifically, Audi Field, where MLS club D.C. United hosts opponents, will welcome the exhibition contest on July 19 of next year.
This will be the third time the league’s All-Star Game will take place in D.C. but, per Kyle Bonagura of ESPN, the first since Audi Field opened in 2018. The 2022 MLS All-Star Game will occur on Aug. 10 at Allianz Field, home of Minnesota United FC. A Liga MX All-Star team will serve as the opponent for that contest.
Bonagura reports MLS “will likely consider other options” for next year’s friendly due to an expanded Leagues Cup tournament that will showcase matchups between MLS and Liga MX teams. As noted in the league’s announcement, European clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have previously taken part in All-Star Games.
“We are thrilled to bring the MLS All-Star Game and festivities back to Washington, D.C., a city with a rich soccer history, as well as a diverse and vibrant soccer culture,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said for Thursday’s release. “D.C. United and the community have always held a special place in the hearts of everyone who believed in the power and growth of soccer in the U.S., and Audi Field will provide an incredible backdrop for next summer’s game.”