Johan Kappelhof is having an eventful week.
The Chicago Fire defender got named to the MLS All-Star Team on Tuesday, but that wasn’t even close to the most important thing to happen to him in the past few days. While the Fire were still on break, Kappelhof got married on Saturday back home in Amsterdam.
“It was a special week for me,” Kappelhof said. “It was a stressful week, but it was a beautiful day. I’m happy that I’m a married man now and I’m back to play again.”
Kappelhof got 10 days off in total, taking advantage of a league-wide break for the group stage of the Gold Cup. With the hectic week behind him, Kappelhof is happy to return to normalcy, although he did joke that he now has to figure out if he should take his ring off or cover it when he plays.
“It feels good to be back, to do what I love to do, to play soccer,” Kappelhof said. “I’m used to that. I’m not used to getting married so this was a great day for me, but I’m happy to be back on the training pitch.”
Not long after returning to Chicago, Kappelhof got more good news. When he arrived to training Tuesday morning, Kappelhof received word that he was picked for the All-Star Game along with teammate Dax McCarty.
“It was a surprise for me,” Kappelhof said. “I’m very excited and very thankful for the coaching staff who elected me for the game. I will give everything to give that back to them.”
Fire coach Veljko Paunovic is coaching the team and made 11 selections in addition to the Fan XI vote. Nemanja Nikolic and Bastian Schweinsteiger were included on the Fan XI. Kappelhof and McCarty joined as selections by Paunovic to give the Fire four picks, more than any other team.
“Dax and Johan will help us balance the team, be more competitive,” Paunovic said. “It’s obviously a great achievement for two of them, very happy for them, very happy also for our club where we are now. I think that this is the first time since a long time ago that we have four All-Star players, which is also another achievement.”
McCarty is the only Fire All-Star who has been selected before. He was also an All-Star in 2015.
David Accam was not included on the roster despite being top five in both goals scored and assists, the only player in the league who can make that claim. The full roster is available here.
The All-Star Game will take place at Soldier Field in Chicago. The MLS All-Stars will play Real Madrid on Aug. 2.