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This past Monday marked the deadline for media ballots for the MLS All-Star Team, meaning I could no longer keep putting off my selections as I tried to choose in some of the toughest all-star selection races in recent memory.
It wasn't easy to pick a starting XI without leaving off some very deserving players, with this year's choices being much tougher than last year's (and not just because there was one more team in the mix).
No, the final SBI All-Star ballot didn't have eight Seattle Sounders, but the expansion club did wind up with a couple of selections after a strong late push and some national team absences. Among the players who didn't make it who were very deserving: Conor Casey, Santino Quaranta, Kasey Keller, Stuart Holden and Dwayne DeRosario just to name a few.
So who did make it? Here is SBI's MLS All-Star ballot:
FORWARDS– Freddy Montero, Landon Donovan.
MIDFIELDERS– Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Amado Guevara, Marco Pappa, Brad Davis, Shalrie Joseph.
DEFENDERS– Geoff Cameron, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Wilman Conde
GOALKEEPER– Zach Thornton
How did I come up with this group? Here's how:
Forwards weren't so easy, with Montero's late pushing giving him the nod. Donovan got the edge for me for how he carried Los Angeles for the first three months of the season. Conor Casey fell just short and teammate Omar Cummings also got consideration.
Midfielders was easier to pick because of Santino Quaranta's listing as a forward. If he were a midfielder on the ballot he would have made the squad. Schelotto and Guevara are locks for me. I know Pappa's selection will raise some eyebrows but I think Pappa has been the Fire's best and most consistent attacking player this season. Joseph may be enjoying his best season to date in carrying a struggling Revs team and Davis has been deadly on the wing for Houston. Those who came close? Paulo Nagamura, Osvaldo Alonso and Colin Clark just missed the cut.
Defenders was also tough but the trio I chose rose to the top. Brian Namoff and Gonzalo Segares were considered, as was Shavar Thomas.
Goalkeeper was probably the toughest decision for me, with Thornton narrowly edging Pat Onstad. I could have gone either way, but Thornton was just so key to Chivas USA's great start to the season. Onstad has been important to Houston too, but Thornton had to do much more. Keller is still probably the best actual goalkeeper in MLS but the other two have had, for my money, better seasons to date.
So those were my picks. What were your picks? Share your final MLS All-Star ballots below, and your thoughts on the SBI ballot, in the comments section below.
WHAT ABOUT AMADO???
best midfielder in the usa. it’s a ridiculous sign for mls if toronto can’t come because of canadian qualifiers.
No point in selecting anyone from TFC. They’ll be playing against Puerto Rico that evening.
For those questioning Pappa over Blanco, I may agree that he may not be at the same level as Blanco, but he has been having a better season than Blanco. Good choice by Ives.
As for Keller, the goalie with the best record may not always get the nod. Just ask Busch last year.
Shock of shocks, you’ve left off Conor Casey.
By sure THE COACH will be JC OSORIO……………
Constipated monkey- Brad Davis is a joke???
There’s not a better winger in the league. Not even up for debate.