MLS vs. Liga MX All-Stars live score, updates, highlights from 2021 All-Star Game

By | August 25, 2021

In the first-ever matchup between All-Stars from rival leagues MLS and Liga MX, it was the MLS squad that won bragging rights, taking a penalty-kick shootout 3-2 following a 1-1 draw during regulation.

Liga MX took the lead on a sensational strike by Cruz Azul forward Jonathan ‘Cabecita’ Rodriguez in the first half. MLS would equalize on a second half corner-kick header by Jesus Murillo, who scored in front of his LAFC supporters at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.

Neither side was able to find the back of the net for the rest of the match, although it was the MLS team that looked most likely to score. The match went straight to penalty kicks, where U.S. national team ‘keeper Matt Turner came up with two saves as Liga MX only converted two of their five spot kicks. It was 18-year-old All-Star Ricardo Pepi who won the shootout for MLS, converting the fifth and final attempt. 

MORE: Why soccer has the best All-Star Game in sports

Pepi, an FC Dallas forward and product of the club’s academy, is also set to earn his first-ever U.S. national team call-up for World Cup qualifying on Thursday, according to a report by Fox Sports analyst Stu Holden. 

The match is part of an increasing series of showdowns between MLS and Liga MX, as well as the U.S. and Mexican national teams.

MLS vs. Liga MX final score

  1H 2H Final PKs
MLS 0 1 1 3
Liga MX 1 0 1 2

LMX – Jonathan ‘Cabecita’ Rodriguez (Jorge Sanchez) – 21st min.
MLS – Jesus Murillo (Eduard Atuesta) – 53rd min.

(All times Eastern)

Penalty kick shootout (MLS wins 3-2 in PK shootout)

Rd 5 – MLS: And Ricardo Pepi scores!!! MLS wins it on the final kick! (LMX 2, MLS 3)

Rd 5 – Liga MX: Luis Romo scores and ties it up for Liga MX. (LMX 2, MLS 2)

Rd 4 – MLS: Nani skies it! Liga MX with hope! (LMX 1, MLS 2)

Rd 4 – Liga MX: Turner blocks another shot by Salvador Reyes! (LMX 1, MLS 2)

Rd 3 – MLS: Eduard Atuesta what are you doing? He went for finesse shot and Nahuel stopped it (LMX 1, MLS 2)

Rd 3 – Liga MX: Erik Lira skies it! Terrible kick! (LMX 1, MLS 2)

Rd 2 – MLS: Daniel Salloi scores his penalty. No shot for Nahuel (LMX 1, MLS 2)

Rd 2 – Liga MX: Rogelio Funes Mori’s shot is stopped by Matt Turner! (LMX 1, MLS 1)

Rd 1 – MLS: Damir Kreilach also scores down the middle (LMX 1, MLS 1)

Rd 1 – Liga MX: Rubens Sambueza up first and scores down the middle (LMX 1, MLS 0)

Stand by for a kick-by-kick rundown of the penalties as they happen.

Regulation: MLS All-Stars 1, Liga MX All-Stars 1

92nd min.: And that’s it! We’re heading to penalty kicks. It’s Liga MX ‘keeper Nahuel Guzman up against PK specialist Matt Turner.

90th min.: MLS’s Daniel Salloi with a header that’s wide of the target. Pepi chased it down, but it goes out of play. We’re into two minutes of stoppage time.

87th min.: Yellow card! It’s Luis Romo getting cautioned for shoving Sebastian Lletget in the back for no reason at all! Liga MX players don’t seem happy to be going to penalty kicks.

85th min.: MLS’s Ricardo Pepi fires from 30 yards out and Guzman gives up the rebound. Then he gets another shot off, but can’t find the target. Penalty kicks just minutes away.

80th min.: Todd Gurley in the house:

79th min.: Liga MX brings on its last two subs — Victor Guzman (for Alexis Vega) and Erik Lira (for Javier Salas).

77th min.: Great play by James Sands to clear a ball off the foot of Rogelio Funes Mori for a corner. Romo’s header on the corner is right at goalkeeper Matt Turner.

76th min.: And there’s Nani coming on for Quakes youngster Cade Cowell. He has a penchant for dramatic finishes during his time in MLS. Let’s see if he finds a way to get it done here. This game could use a spark again.

73rd min.: Bob Bradley confirms that Nani is going to come on to help resolve the game. He wants to avoid penalty kicks. The 3252 is having a good time no matter what:

67th min.: A check on the Liga MX lineup right now (4-3-3): Nahuel – Reyes, Tesillo, Aguilar, Escobar – Sambueza, Salas, Romo – Canelo, Funes Mori, Vega

66th min.: Big block by Miles Robinson on Alexis Vega and the ball goes out for a corner. That was a dangerous chance for Liga MX. There’s a sense the match is heating up at Banc of California.

60th min.: Here’s the MLS lineup right now with the 60th minute changes (4-3-3): Turner – Bello, Robinson, Sands, Araujo – Kreilach, Atuesta, Lletget – Salloi, Pepi, Cowell

53rd min.: Reminder that it goes straight to penalty kicks if the teams are deadlocked after 90 minutes.

53rd min.: Goal MLS! After a great combination by Cowell and Salloi leads to an MLS corner kick, LAFC center back Jesus Murillo heads home the Atuesta corner kick in front of his home crowd. We’re tied up at 1-1.

50th min.: Ricardo Pepi, who’s on the field as an 18-year-old to start the half for the MLS All-Stars, is about to have himself a memorable day tomorrow:

46th min.: Second half is underway. Tons of changes on both sides.

Halftime: MLS All-Stars 0, Liga MX All-Stars 1

Halftime: It was a first half of spurts and Liga MX was the most dangerous when they got their looks. The MLSers were dependent on Lucas Zelarayan to start and then Gustavo Bou, but those two didn’t get much help. It’ll have to be Nani, Ricardo Pepi or Daniel Salloi to help the MLS team get an equalizer in the second half.

45th min.: Moments after Gorriaran barely misses the target, it’s Bou again on the other end creating havoc but his ball into the box goes across the face of the goal. No teammates in proximity.

41st min.: And on the other end of the field Andre Blake makes a great stop, diving to take the ball off the feet of Santi Gimenez who was running in on goal. Great play by the veteran.

40th min.: And Bou again for MLS, but the ball gets away from him as he was bearing down on goal! He couldn’t take advantage of a giveaway and Talavera scoops it up.

38th min.: Gustavo Bou with the cleanest shot of the first half for the MLS team so far. But it doesn’t trouble Talavera.

30th min.: SUBS – MLS is beating Liga MX in the subs department. Five changes: Rodolfo Pizarro (for Zelarayan), Cade Cowell (Ruidiaz), Kai Wagner (Nouhou), Murillo (for Yeimar) and goalkeeper Andre Blake (Pedro Gallese)

28th min.:  SUBS – First three subs from the Liga MX side: Alfredo Talavera in for Ochoa in goal, Orbelin Pineda in for Angel Mena and Santi Gimenez comes in for Ibanez at forward.

22nd min.: The goal came against the run of play. MLS was sending some warning shots, but never enough to threaten the Liga MX side.

21st min.: Goal for Liga MX! Cross comes in from the right and Cabecita Rodriguez takes it down wonderfully on his chest and fires home. Class goal.

11th min.: The homophobic chant is heard coming from the stands and the referee Armando Villarreal immediately holds up play. The players are at the center circle waiting for his cue to restart. The action resumes after about a minute.

8th min.: Seconds later Jorge Sanchez clears a sure MLS goal off the line! What an acrobatic play! MLS’s Diego Rossi robbed!

7th min.: Fans want a penalty kick called for a foul in the MLS box on Liga MX’s Valdes, but the ref rules that he committed a hand ball.

3rd min.: The Univision reporter says that each player on the Liga MX side will get 25 minutes in this game.

1st min.: We’re off! Liga MX kicks off and the first foul after 45 seconds! Gustavo Bou committed the foul.

9:36 p.m.: Up-close look at the helicopter flyover:

9:32 p.m.: Teams are out and we’re getting both national anthems.

9:20 p.m.: Scenes from the pregame ceremonies:

9:17 p.m.: An injury kept Carlos Vela out of the game, but he’s at his home stadium and in an interview with TUDN, he confirms he’s in the last year of his contract with LAFC:

9:09 p.m.: Wow. Liga MX starting with Cabecita Rodriguez, Mena and Ibanez up top and they have the likes of Funes Mori and Alexis Canelo coming off the bench. “We’re going to win” is the translation of one of the lines in this tweet:

9:08 p.m.: Diego Rossi getting the start for the MLS All-Stars in place of Cade Cowell:

8:30 p.m.: A reminder that Seattle’s Cristian Roldan will be captaining the MLS All-Stars against Liga MX. Cool night for him. He’ll also get to share the field with his brother and fellow Sounder, Alex Roldan:

MLS-Liga MX player rosters

With 27-man rosters on both sides, expect both teams to use their full squad with unlimited substituted permitted for the match. 

MLS All-Stars

MLS head coach Bob Bradley (LAFC) will be able to select from a 27-man roster of MLS talents:

Goalkeepers (3):  26-Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union), 1-Pedro Gallese (Orlando City), 30-Matt Turner (New England Revolution)

Defenders (10):  2-Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy), 3-George Bello (Atlanta United), 28-Yeimar Gomez Andrade (Seattle Sounders), 94-Jesus Murillo (LAFC), 5-Nouhou Tolo (Seattle Sounders), 12-Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), 13-Alex Roldan (Seattle Sounders), 16-James Sands (NYCFC), 27-Kai Wagner (Philadelphia Union), 25-Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

Midfielders (7):  20-Eduard Atuesta (LAFC), 8-Damir Kreilach (Real Salt Lake), 18-Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), 6-Joao Paulo (Seattle Sounders), 15-Rodolfo Pizarro (Inter Miami), 23-Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), 11-Lucas Zelarayan (Columbus Crew)

Forwards (7): 7-Gustavo Bou (New England Revolution), 44-Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes), 17-Nani (Orlando City), 24-Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas), 21-Diego Rossi (LAFC), 9-Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders), 19-Daniel Salloi (Sporting Kansas City)

Liga MX All-Stars

The coach for the Liga MX squad is Juan Reynoso of reigning Mexican champs Cruz Azul and he’ll have six of his own players to choose from on matchnight. The full 27-man squad follows below: 

Goalkepeers (3):  1-Nahuel Guzman (Tigres UANL), 13-Guillermo Ochoa (Club America), 12-Alfredo Talavera (Pumas UNAM)

Defenders (9): 23-Pablo Aguilar (Cruz Azul), 17-Kevin Alvarez (Pachuca), 2-Matheus Doria (Santos Laguna), 24-Juan Escobar (Cruz Azul), 34-Victor Guzman (Club Tijuana), 4-Cesar Montes (Monterrey), 26-Salvador Reyes (Club America), 3-Jorge Sanchez (Club America), 6-William Tesillo (Leon) 

Midfielders (7): 5-Pedro Aquino (Club America), 11-Fernando Gorriaran (Santos Laguna), 18-Erik Lira (Pumas UNAM), 27-Luis Romo (Cruz Azul), 16-Javier Salas (Puebla), 14-Rubens Sambueza (Toluca), 19-Diego Valdes (Santos Laguna)

Forwards (8): 25-Alexis Canelo (Toluca), 7-Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey), 29-Santiago Gimenez (Cruz Azul), 9-Nicolas Ibanez (Pachuca), 15-Angel Mena (Leon), 8-Orbelin Pineda (Cruz Azul), 21-Jonathan Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), 10-Alexis Vega (Chivas Guadalajara)

How to watch MLS vs. Liga MX All-Star Game

  • Date: Wed., Aug. 25, 2021
  • Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FS1
  • Spanish-language TV: Univision, TUDN
  • Streaming: fuboTV , Fox Sports app, TUDN app,
  • In Canada: TSN, TVA Sports

The 2021 MLS-Liga MX All-Star Game from Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles will be broadcast on FS1 (English) and Univision (Spanish) in the USA. Both networks can be streamed on fuboTV (free 7-day trial) . The match can also be streamed on the Fox Sports app, TUDN app and, but only for authenticated subscribers.

TSN (English) and TVA Sports (French) will carry the match in Canada.