It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for Vancouver Whitecaps teenager Alphonso Davies.
Earlier this month, the 17-year-old from Edmonton addressed the FIFA Congress in Moscow in support of the joint 2026 World Cup bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
On Thursday, the young midfielder was named to the MLS all-star team, along with New York Red Bulls sniper Bradley Wright-Phillips, as commissioner Don Garber’s picks for the Aug. 1 game against Italian champion Juventus at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney welcomed Davies’ selection.
“It’s good for him,” he said. “Every time I watch the game, the kid makes things happen. You can’t deny that for him. He’s obviously a player with lots of talent and rising in his performances and his ability to make a difference in games.
“He’s one of our young exciting players, without question. Good for him to get recognized.”
With a fan vote having already decided 11 all-stars, Atlanta coach Gerardo (Tata) Martino fleshed out the rest of his roster with 14 picks, including Toronto forward Sebastian Giovinco and Montreal Impact midfielder Ignacio Piatti.
For Giovinco, the game is an opportunity to play against his former team.
“I’m happy,” he said in English. “I’ll meet again all my friends.”
The roster features players from 16 countries, the most in MLS all-star game history.
Davies, who was born in a refugee camp in Ghana to Liberian parents before emigrating with his family to Canada, became the youngest player to represent Canada’s senior team at the 2017 Gold Cup. He went on to win the Golden Boot as tournament’s top scorer and the Young Player of the Tournament award, and was included in the tournament’s Best XI.
He is also the youngest goal-scorer in the history of the Whitecaps, the United Soccer League, CONCACAF Champions League, Canadian Championship and Canadian national team.
Davies would be the fourth-youngest player to appear in an MLS all-star game. He was the third-youngest player in league history when he signed as a homegrown player on July 15, 2016.
Davies has two goals and seven assists in 17 appearances for the Whitecaps this season, including 14 starts.
The ‘Caps winger is tied for third in MLS with assists on the season. He’s also the MLS leader in dribbles completed (69) and duels won (146), second in fast breaks (6), and fourth in tackles won (34).
Giovinco will be making his fourth all-star appearance, although injury kept him out of the 2015 game. The crafty striker from Turin, Italy, has three goals and seven assists in 12 MLS appearances this season and 58 goals and 44 assists in 98 career MLS games.
Piatti, a three-time all-star, is having a strong season with the Impact, scoring eight goals and adding six assists over 15 games. The Argentine has 55 goals and 27 assists in 107 games over his MLS career.
MLS All-Star Game Roster
Goalkeepers: x-Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC).
Defenders: Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), x-Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles FC), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls), x-Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), x-Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
Midfielders: x-Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United), x-Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), z-Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Alexander Ring (New York City FC), Ilie Sanchez (Sporting Kansas City), x-Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), Yoshimar Yotun (Orlando City SC), Wilfried Zahibo (New England Revolution).
Forwards: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), x-Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy), x-Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), x-Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC), David Villa (New York City FC), z-Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)
x- denotes Fan XI selection
z-denotes commissioner Don Garber selection