Major League Soccer revealed it’s First XI for the All-Star game against West Ham United in Toronto on July 24th. As expected, David Beckham made the starting lineup, as did teammate Landon Donovan, who had the largest combined vote total (the team was chosen based on voting from fans, players, media, coaches and general managers).
Here is the MLS All-Star First XI:
————Kenny Cooper——–Landon Donovan————–
Robbie Rogers————————————David Beckham
————–Shalrie Joseph——Sacha Kljestan—————–
Jimmy Conrad———Michael Parkhurst——–Frankie Hejduk
The actual squad that plays West Ham United will look a bit different, with New England head coach Steve Nicol having the option of selecting different players to make up the actual Starting XI for the match. With Kljestan and Rogers expected to make the U.S. Olympic team, and therefore miss the match, Nicol will have plenty of decisions to make.
Here’s a closer look at the voting:
Some notes on the voting, by position:
GOALKEEPERS– Matt Reis won every voting category, with Jon Busch finishing second overall.
DEFENDERS: Frankie Hejduk won the fan and player voting while Michael Parkhurst won the voting among media and coaches/general managers. Chicago teammates Gonzalo Segares and Bakary Soumare finished fourth and fifth among defenders in overall voting. Segares did edge Jimmy Conrad in the media voting category.
MIDFIELDERS: David Beckham ran away with the fan vote, but also won the player vote, with only Sacha Kljestan close to him in the player voting. Beckham and Blanco crushed the field in the media voting while Beckham won the coach/GM voting. Interestingly enough, Blanco finished just fourth among coaches/GMs, behind Beckham, Shalrie Joseph and Sacha Kljestan. Shalrie Joseph got no love from the fans, finishing eighth in that category. Dwayne DeRosario and Steve Ralston finished sixth and seventh in the overall voting and are good bets to replace Rogers and Kljestan in the starting lineup. Guillermo Barros Schelotto finished eighth and should get a reserve nod. It’s interesting to note that Schelotto finished fourth in the media voting.
FORWARDS: The voting wasn’t even close here, although Luciano Emilio did beat out Kenny Cooper in the media voting. Kenny Cooper’s big win came in the coach/GM category, where he crushed Emilio. I wonder when that voting took place, if it came early, that might have cost Emilio the nod.
Nicol and his coaching staff will select five reserve players, while MLS commissioner Don Garber will also select two players, to round out the 18-man roster. Who could we see making those groups? Here is a potential list:
MLS ALL-STAR BENCH
- Jon Busch
- Gonzalo Segares
- Dwayne DeRosario
- Steve Ralston
- Luciano Emilio
- Jim Brennan
- Guillermo Barros Schelotto
So what could the actual Starting XI look like against West Ham? Well, if there are no injuries, this is a starting lineup we could see:
————Kenny Cooper————-Landon Donovan———-
Steve Ralston———Dwayne DeRosario——David Beckham
Gonzalo Segares——-Michael Parkhurst——-Frankie Hejduk
I see Ralston getting the call because he’s been great since returning from injury while DeRosario is one of the league’s best AND a Toronto native who should help make up for the lack of a Toronto FC player in the starting lineup.
One player missing from my lists is Marvell Wynne, who I really feel should be on the team. If either Jimmy Conrad or Michael Parkhurst gets the call as a U.S. Olympic Team overage player I think you’ll see Wynne get the nod.
What do you think of the First XI? Any surprises? Anyone you thought would make it that didn’t? Share your thoughts below.