At the interval of the game between New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union, the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Fan XI was announced.
Thierry Henry, Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan headline the 10 players that received the highest number of votes on MLSsoccer.com and Twitter. The 11th player, Obafemi Martins, was “selected via the AT&T/EA SPORTS™ “More than a Vote” Challenge, where the MLS forward with the most goals scored by EA SPORTS FIFA 14 players earned a spot on the Fan XI.”
All the players selected have World Cup experience. Eight were members of Jurgen Klinsmann’s 2014 World Cup squad. Donovan played in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups, Henry appeared in the 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups and Martins was a member of Nigeria’s 2010 World Cup team.
The league’s biggest teams are heavily represented with three Seattle Sounders players and two players from Real Salt Lake, Sporting Kansas City and LA Galaxy making the cut.
Tim Cahill, Jermain Defoe and Aurelien Collin were some of the big names that didn’t make the cut.
Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
The US international is having another solid season in goal. He has made 35 saves in 10 games, while also keeping three clean sheets.
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)
Yedlin doesn’t have a goal or an assist, but he has appeared 12 times for Seattle this season.
Gonzalez doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star because he has only featured six times this season. The fans should have voted for DC United’s Bobby Boswell or Seattle’s Chad Marshall.
Midfielders: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
After a disappointing season last year, Dempsey has taken over this season. The American captain has nine goals and three assists in just nine starts.
Just like Gonzalez, Bradley was voted into the All-Star team because he is one of the most recognizable players in the league. He has one goal and zero assists in eight games. In an ideal world, either Gonzalo Pineda or Osvaldo Alonso would take Bradley’s spot.
Beckerman, RSL’s heart and soul, continue to prove his doubters wrong. The 32-year-old has started 12 games, scoring two goals and assisting two.
Compared to his last two seasons, Zusi hasn’t been extremely effective this year. He only has a goal and four assists in 11 games. Portland Timbers’ Diego Valeri or Vancouver Whitecaps’ Pedro Morales should have been voted ahead of him.
Forwards: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders)
Of all the players selected to this team, Donovan is the biggest surprise. Even though LA’s No.10 broke MLS’ scoring record, he hasn’t done enough to be considered an All-Star. He has three goals in 14 appearances.
Henry gets the benefit of the doubt because he leads the league in assists. The French legend has four goals and 10 assists in 16 games.
Dempsey is the most popular player in Seattle, but the American forward might not be the best. Martins has proven that he is more of game changer than his colleague. The Nigerian has eight goals and six assists this season.
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