This week, Major League Soccer and its clubs are converging on downtown Los Angeles to celebrate what makes the league great, it’s greatest players at the 2021 MLS All-Star Game pres. by Target.
This year’s All-Star game will feature 28 of MLS’ finest facing off against the LIGA MX All-Stars at Banc of California Stadium – home to LAFC – on Wednesday, August 25. Among the MLS All-Stars is Real Salt Lake midfielder Damir Kreilach who despite his humble nature is reveling in the chance to represent the club and the league in such a marquee event.
Kreilach and the All-Stars took part in an orientation meeting on Monday morning following the arrival of the players on Sunday night. Monday didn’t carry many obligations such as training or a tactical session for the team outside of meetings, so players engaged to get to know one another and spend time outside of their hotel rooms. For Kreilach, he spent time getting to know Philadelphia Union’s Kai Wagner who he doesn’t often see on the opposite side of the field.
“After we arrived on Sunday, I was excited to meet the group of players on Monday,” Kreialch said during a media availability session from his hotel room in Los Angeles. “For me it’s about preparing myself the best that I can to give the best that I can against LIGA MX on Wednesday. It’s going to be a great game and so far, has been a great experience.”
On Tuesday, the MLS All-Stars participated in its first and only training of the week following LAFC’s training at the club’s facility at California State Los Angeles where All-Star Head Coach Bob Bradley met the team he’ll lead in Wednesday’s contest. Excitement surrounding training was palpable for Kreilach as the team prepared for the star-studded event.
Soaking in what Kreilach has named one of his highest career achievements, the competitor inside him has never shut off despite the lightheartedness of the celebrations surrounding the All-Star game.
“I am just happy that I have an opportunity to stay fit and play in a game on Wednesday,” Kreilach explained. “Since I will not be able to play against Vancouver on Sunday with RSL because of yellow cards, Wednesday gives me a chance to stay sharp and play a meaningful game against the LIGA MX stars. Ultimately that is where my mind is: staying sharp for when I return to RSL. I’m Just excited to represent our club, community and my family in the proper way that the RSL organization deserves.”
When asked and at times unprompted to players and staff attending the week’s festivities, Kreilach explained during his first full days as an MLS All-Star in Los Angeles what makes RSL so special to him and conveyed what makes the RSL organization a special club to represent during the All-Star festivities.
“First of all, it’s family. We have a lot to improve on at the club and it starts with the positive energy and mentality that we carry throughout the club,” Kreilach explained. “That is how we’re carrying ourself as an organization. It’s a club full of history. The club won MLS Cup and it’s up to us as players to continue to raise the level. I hope to bring that energy and positivity as a member of this All-Star team.”
Kreilach and the rest of the MLS All-Stars will face off against the LIGA MX All-Stars on Wednesday at Banc of California Stadium at 7:30 p.m. MT. The match can be seen live nationally on FS1, Univision in the US; TSN and TVA Sports in Canada.