The MLS Skills Challenge: How It Works And Who's Competing

Atlético Madrid is in town to take on some of MLS' brightest stars in the skills challenge, so here's what you need to know about the competition.

In recent years, Major League Soccer has gone up against numerous big-name European clubs in a friendly to help showcase both the talent in MLS as well as international talent of clubs vying for more market presence in the U.S. The MLS All-Star Skills Challenge is part of that ploy. So, here’s some helpful information to know before you watch it.

The 90-minute competition will be held Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at 8 p.m. ET. The two hosting the competition are a world-renowned freestyle duo F2 Freestylers.

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How to watch 2019 MLS Skills Challenge

  • Time: 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, July 30, 2019 
  • and the MLS mobile app
  • and ESPN3
  • app/FOX Now app

Teams competing in 2019 MLS Skills Challenge

  • MLS All-Stars: Wayne Rooney, Carlos Vela, Jonathan dos Santos
  • Orlando City SC: Nani, Chris Mueller, Sebastian Mendez
  • Atlético Madrid: Koke, João Félix, Héctor Herrera

Each team will compete in three different competitions, amassing points through various systems. Below, you can look at how each drill works and how the points are scored.

2019 MLS Skills Challenge Rules

Shooting Competition

  • One team goes at a time
  • 15 total shots, with players alternating between each other
  • 76 is the maximum score possible


There are three targets in the goal:

  • 10 points, 5 points and 2 points.
  • Each target can only be hit once per team.
  • If they score a goal, but hit no target, it is one point
  • Missed goal gets no points
  • If two targets are hit on the same shot, the higher target counts and the lower score target is still in play for a teammate to hit

Touch and Volley

  • Three rounds; team with lowest points goes first
  • One player per team shoots in each round
  • Each player gets six shots


  • Bicycle kick: 20 points
  • Full volley: 10 points
  • Touch and then a volley: 5 points
  • Half volley: 3 points
  • Bonus points are awarded for style, judged by fans as well as the judges

Passing Competition

  • Each team gets two minutes to try to hit different targets on the course
  • Players from each team will alternate passing at various targets
  • Ball must remain in target to earn points
  • Moving targets begin when the clock hits 1:00 and only count for points if they are hit while still in bounds on the course


Five targets:

  • 3 points, 5 points, 10 points, 15 points, 25 points

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