Top Stories

Keller, Donovan lead MLS All-Star First XI


The MLS All-Star First XI was announced on Monday, and as expected, Seattle led the way with selections, only not as many might have thought.

Kasey Keller and Freddie Ljungberg were named to the MLS All-Star First XI in their first seasons in the league. Voted on by fans, players and media, the MLS All-Star First XI is the group of players who received the most votes, but isn't necessarily the group that will start against Everton at the All-Star Game at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 29th.

Here is the MLS All-Star First XI:

Kasey Keller, Chad Marshall, Wilman Conde, Geoff Cameron, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Freddie Ljungberg, Shalrie Joseph, Stuart Holden, Dwayne DeRosario, Conor Casey, Landon Donovan

Dwayne DeRosario won't be available for the match as he leads Toronto FC in CONCACAF Champions League play that week.

So how would this group look in a formation? Here's a lineup:







Okay, so maybe this formation isn't going to work, but again, the All-Star First XI isn't the actual lineup Houston Dynamo head coach Dom Kinnear will go with.

Surprise picks? I'd have to say it's LJungberg, but the popularity contest aspect of things clearly won out. He's skilled and famous, but has he had one of the best half-seasons in the league? No way. Color me a bit surprised that Fredy Montero didn't edge out Conor Casey. He came on strong in recent weeks, and he also had the Seattle fan voting push, but that still wasn't enough. Here's hoping he makes the team and starts anyway. He's fun to watch and very deserving.

The rest of the picks make sense, though I would argue that Chad Marshall hasn't had a better first-half of the season than Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. If anything, these picks wind up being more about reputation than performance when it comes down to the closely-disputed slots.

What do you think of this group? Which selection was the most surprising? What MLS player do you think was the biggest snub? Which selection do you think was the least deserving. Which seven players do you see being added to the roster?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Is there a rule that our marquis former European stars must be in the All-Star game? Cause there is no way Lundberg should even be considered an alternate. Unless he’s there to protest every call.

  2. The media coverage of Beckham @ All-Star game will all revolve around “what the hell is wrong with the MLS for picking an All-Star that has yet to suit up for his team this year b/c he’s been playing overseas?!”

    Your choices are (a) less media coverage, or (b) bad media coverage. I go with (a) on this one.

  3. Garber has a tough decision. Make the media happy and pick Beckham and lose respect of the players and some fans. Don’t pick Beckham and miss out on an opportunity for some media coverage. I think we all know the best moral decision but the best business decision is tricky. Is making Beckham and the media happy worth more, or is keeping the league of players happy worth more?

  4. I picked Montero, but have no problem seeing Casey get the nod. For a big man, I think his foot skills are underrated. There have been plenty of great forwards who aren’t fast, or even that great with their feet, but if they can put the ball in the back of the net….

  5. Just to follow up, I’m not advocating Beckham for All-Star. To be an All-Star you have to actually play in the league for part of the season.

    I’m just pointing out the silliness of comparing guys with two different positions/roles for their teams and doing so by cherry-picking the stats that favor your guy.

  6. ross… What has beckham done in the world of soccer? He has never, NEVER been the best player in any of the teams he’s been on. Player for Player Donovan has more interntional goals, more caps and if he wasn’t american you’d be kissing his ass!

    Posted by: alex | July 13, 2009 at 06:29 PM

    By that logic (comparing guys with 2 different positions/roles) then Donovan is better than Paolo Maldini, too. Maldini’s never been the best player on any of his teams, Donovan has more international goals, and more caps, too.
    Heck, with that metric, we ought to take Donovan over Lionel Messi, or Torsten Frings, or Rafael van der Vaart. Great call there, Alex.

  7. ——-S. Bucknor — G. Richardson ——-

    Khano Smith — B. Convey — Johann Smith
    ——-S. Kljestan — J. Pietravallo ——

    — I. Guerrero — C. Suarez — T. Sanneh —

    ————- G. Sutton ————-

    A. Razov, F. Garcia, P. Noonan, D. Dichio
    S. Hirsig, M. Videira, M. Castro, D. Richards
    J. James, R. Cochrane, S. Purdy,
    J. Conway

  8. “Mac Kandji should be on the reserves.”

    Yeah, because not only did he score a goal, but he also scored a second one, too! He’s on fire!

  9. It’s also interesting how Casey is #2 top player according to fans and coaches, yet he is the #1 trashed player on this forum.

  10. The media rates Blanco 11.1 and Joseph 4.4, while the players and coaches average voted Blanco 3.5 and Joseph 10.5, totally reversed. Media gives Montero, Casey, McBride 13, 7.3, 3.5 while players coaches give them 5.7, 15.5, 7.5. Does anyone have a theory why Blanco, Montero, and Alonso are so much more popular in the media than within the league, while Joseph, Casey, McBride, and Nagamura are in the media basement relatively?

  11. Quaranta? Namoff? I know Gomez is a super sub for DC(not enough playing time) but he could do some 2nd half damage to Everton. Next year Wallace and Pontius should be sure bets on the “all star” squad. Beckham doesn’t deserve to even be in the stands for this. He should be on the practice field in LA making up time lost and making sure “his team” find winning form.

  12. I am an United fan and am glad that no United players will have the waste their time to fly cross country for this massive waste of time.

  13. A-Ok with DeRo not playing, would rather he preserve his energy for the league. In fact id go so far as to not vote and encourage other TFC supports not to vote for TFC players when it comes to the MLS allstar ish.

  14. …am I the only one who’s noticed freddie’s playmaking ability? I mean, sure there are cases to be made for other midfielders, but freddie is definitely deserving of at least a sub spot.

  15. Very disappointed there are no DC United players in this line up. Gomez, Emillio, Quaranta, Pontius, Wallace, Moreno…all of them have done more this season than Ljungberg. I’d certainly rather have Emillio up front over Casey. I was pretty excited about this game but as a DC fan I’m not even sure I’ll bother to watch now. I’ll wait for the highlights.

  16. Conor Casey is one of the worst players I’ve ever seen in the MLS. I can’t believe that fat, slow, lazy bald biyotch is the starter for the MLS all star 11. Ridiculous.

  17. It would be a moronic business decision for Garber not to pick Beckham (don’t worry, he will). The all-star game is the last place to make a stand on principle. Indeed, drawing serious ratings for one of MLS’s signature events is pretty important for the success of a league.

  18. I despise the Rapids, but you have to recognize Casey’s performance on the field and the impact he has had on games. No, Casey does not have the prettiest of games, but he is not a flashy, clinical striker…he is a large target forward who holds up the ball well for his teamates and he can be a beast in the air. I don’t understand the argument to say he is not deserving of an MLS best XI nod…

  19. Wasn’t ljungberg supposed to be on his deathbed by now? So much for him being the DP flop everyone predicted… knock on wood 🙂

  20. Sounders fan here and Casey DOES deserve it. Is he pretty to watch? No. But he’s been effective and completely unstoppable in the box. Why do we give a rats ass what Europe thinks about our league? He’s one of our very own and has had a remarkable season.

    Montero deserves to be on the team and should see the pitch, if only because it would be exciting to see him and Donovan team up!

    I’m surprised D.C. and Real Salt Lake are not more represented.

    Hey haha, you are punk and a coward for making such irresponsible remarks about Montero and Jaqua from the comfort of your keyboard. I hope you have the balls to come to Seattle and open your mouth like that. You will be assaulted right out of town.

  21. Im with KCB, the premier match up in this game is Kasey Keller starting opposite Tim Howard. Even Premier League snobbery has to recognize how awesome that is.

    Montero is probably the most deserving player left off of the first XI, but I cant imagine he wont get picked by the coach or by the commissioner. Ricardo Clark is also having a very deserving season.

    Where are the DC players? Nobody good enough to even be in the final rankings, geez.

    And it was so disappointing to watch Seattle v. Houston with both teams starting makeshift backlines, and so many dynamo players out or called up. THIS MATCH CONGESTION HAS GOT TO GO.

  22. ross… What has beckham done in the world of soccer? He has never, NEVER been the best player in any of the teams he’s been on. Player for Player Donovan has more interntional goals, more caps and if he wasn’t american you’d be kissing his ass!

  23. How many Americans could we have on the MLS all-star team?

    Not a lot.

    Just saying.

    All of our best players are being sent overseas. Good for the national team, bad for MLS. I hope the MLS doesn’t turn into the EPL just to make money off foreign talent.

    I hope at least ONE DC United player makes the squad. They have only been near the top of the east for the entire season.

    And based on sportsmanship, Blanco should not even be considered for this squad. He doesn’t deserve to represent the MLS with his antics.

  24. Holden over Blanco…Absolutely ridiculous. Despite his antics, Blanco is class of league. Alonzo over Joseph also.

  25. Will there be a day when an MLS side will have some of the above formations as the equivilent of their line up? When will we see a game day line up that is as strong as this? Something like this would be Champions League winners on the reg and could do a bit of damage on the global level.

  26. He should be penalized because his style of play and his physical attributes give pub leaguers around the world hope that someday they too can be an MLS all star.

    He is our version of John Daly. Clap for him during league matches, but don’t put him on display for the world to continue to pile on MLS.

  27. Conor Casey has a higher goals/game average than Montero. Should Casey really be penalized because he missed MLS games to play with the U.S. National Team?

  28. After chasing traffic in the Confed Cup, I, not sure that Casey wants any part of this. Just spare him and say that he woke up with a stiff neck. He can have a box of pizza as a consolation prize.


Leave a Comment