I, personally, am shocked! From Club release:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 12, 2022) – Nashville Soccer Club in conjunction with Major League Soccer announced today that Nashville SC Designated Players Hany Mukhtar and Walker Zimmerman will feature in the 2022 MLS All-Star Game, presented by Target, in Minnesota.
“The selections for Walker and Hany are well-deserved, and we are so proud of them,” said General Manager Mike Jacobs. “They continue to demonstrate that they are among the elite players in Major League Soccer, and this selection only continues to validate and affirm that. They are both tremendous ambassadors for Nashville Soccer Club and MLS, and are worthy recipients of this opportunity.”
Mukhtar and Zimmerman will join a cast of MLS All-Stars to compete against a team of All-Stars from Mexico’s LIGA MX. The 2022 MLS All-Star Game will take place Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 7:30 pm CT and will be televised on ESPN and Univision.
“It feels amazing to be selected, and I’m happy to be on the team,” said Mukhtar. “I want to thank my teammates and the coaching staff for their support in getting me here. I’m looking forward to being in Minnesota representing Nashville. It shows all of our hard work here at the club and that our players have been doing a good job these past three years. I’m very happy to be part of it.”
“I’m really excited to be a part of the All-Star Game again,” said Zimmerman. “It’s a special accomplishment that you always strive for each and every season. I’m really happy for Hany [Mukhtar] to get involved after last year probably deserving the honor, it didn’t quite go his way. Credit to a lot of our teammates for putting us in good positions and helping us stand out enough to be selected for this game. I’m excited to represent Nashville and looking forward to the game.”
Nashville’s two all-stars continue to make headlines in the club’s 2022 campaign following the signing of their contract extensions, which will keep them in Music City through at least 2025.
Mukhtar earns his first MLS All-Star selection after staying true to his MVP caliber form in 2021.
This season the German is tied for fourth in MLS in goals scored (10), leads the league in shots (75) and shots on goal (42) and is tied for second in MLS in goal contributions (15).
Mukhtar is also the first Nashville SC player to reach double-digit goals in back-to-back MLS seasons. The attacker has been responsible for 15 of Nashville’s 25 goals.
The midfielder was selected as the MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire, for Week 16, his fourth selection of his career. Since entering the league in 2020, Mukhtar and Seattle Sounders FC forward Raúl Ruidíaz are the only players to earn the Player of the Week award four different times.
Zimmerman is set to appear in his third career All-Star Game, earning the honors in 2019 and 2021. The U.S. international, who became the first All-Star in Nashville SC’s history last season, also holds the back-to-back MLS Defender of the Year award. He is the third-ever MLS player to win the award in back-to-back seasons and the first in over a decade.
Zimmerman anchored Nashville to historic heights to start its 2022 MLS season earning the highest road points per game total (1.37) for any team in MLS history to play over eight road matches to start an MLS season.
At the international level Zimmerman was crucial in the U.S. MNT’s 2022 FIFA World Cup™ qualification, captaining the States and appearing in 10 World Cup Qualifying matches. The club and country captain owns a 6W-2L-2D record, five clean sheets and a goal-differential of +10.
Zimmerman’s highlighted performance came on Feb. 3, 2022, when the centerback registered a goal and an assist while captaining the U.S. to a 3-0 victory over Honduras.
Nashville SC returns to GEODIS Park this week for a pair of 7:30 p.m. CT matches hosting the reigning Concacaf Champions League winners Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday followed by LAFC on Sunday. Limited tickets remain available at www.NashvilleSC.com/Tickets.Nashville SC release
Mukhtar was quite famously snubbed last year despite being among the league leaders in goals (10th) and assists (8th) at the time the team was named. A commissioner’s selection did not provide justice, largely since it existed exclusively to get LA Galaxy’s Chicharito Hernandez on the field in the first MLS/Liga MX tilt. Mukhtar, of course, would go on to finish runner-up for the league MVP award despite, uh, in-house media forces coalescing around Carles Gil very early in the year.
Zimmerman has become a mainstay for the US Men’s National Team over the past year, and is the two-time defending MLS Player of the Year. He was NSC’s lone all-star last year (and given the cancellation of the 2020 ASG for obvious reasons, stands as Nashville’s only all-star to date).
The Aug. 10 event takes place at Allianz Field, where Mukhtar assisted CJ Sapong’s goal to give NSC a road draw in the second game of the year.