On July 19 the entire roster for the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game was announced. The 23-man squad will battle Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich at Providence Park on August 6.
The roster is jam-packed with the league’s top talents, but there were some surprise inclusions and multiple deserving individuals were left off the team.
Top five surprises
5. Omar Gonzalez: I have the utmost respect for the tall center back because on his best day, he is the best defender in the league, but he hasn’t done enough or played enough games to be named an All-Star. He was voted into the team by the fans not because of his solid performances this season, but because he is becoming somewhat of a cult hero among American supporters.
4. Graham Zusi: Another player that got the nod because of he is one of the most popular players in the league. Zusi is good, I mean he’s very good at the MLS level, but there are at least five midfielders that have been better than him this season.
3. Tim Cahill: Yes, the same Cahill that just took home the ESPY for Best MLS Player. Just like Gonzalez and Zusi, there are multiple players that have played better than the Australian legend. Before he went to Brazil, the midfielder played eight games. Of those eight games, his team only picked up three points twice and he only scored one goal.
Now tell me, does he deserve to be an All-Star?
2. Landon Donovan: Those who believe that fans shouldn’t be allowed to vote for All-Star games can use Donovan as the foundation for their case. The American legend has been below par this season and subsequently lost his place in Jurgen Klinsmann’s team. The fact that he was the forward selected ahead the strikers that have actually scored goals is mind-boggling.
1. Will Johnson: His selection must be a publicity stunt. Portland Timbers captain is chosen by Portland’s head coach, to play in a game hosted on Portland’s home turf. Now it all makes sense.
Top five snubs
5. Jon Busch: I don’t have any problem with the two goalkeepers on the roster, but Caleb Porter should have found a way to sneak Busch in. San Jose Earthquakes, the second to last team in the league, has conceded only 19 goals. Without his presence in goal, San Jose would have conceded at least 30 goals.
4. Benny Feilhaber: I would rather have Feilhaber than Zusi on the team. That’s how good and consistent the exciting playmaker has been.
3. Pedro Morales: Zusi has one goal and four assists in 10 starts and Morales has six goals and eight helpers in 15 starts. I’ll let you do the math.
2. DC United’s Fabián Espíndola and Bobby Boswell: Porter committed a crime when he left these men off the roster. What was he thinking when he picked Michael Parkhurst over Boswell. I mean has he seen DC’s record this season?
If Espíndola returns to top form after his injury, he could very well be crowned MVP. But I guess that’s not good enough for the All-Star team.
1. Dom Dwyer: Dwyer got robbed. It’s that simply. The opportunity to show his superb talent, electrifying speed, bone-crushing power and silky-smooth finishing against one of the best, if not the best, teams in the world, was ripped out of his hands.
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