No big surprise, but no Sounders were named to the MLS All-Star First XI today. However, there also was a clarification from the league that no Sounders will participate in the game even if selected, due to the club's CONCACAF home match against Metapan on the same day the MLS stars meet Manchester United in Houston:
Due to international competition – MLS teams in the CONCACAF Champions League the week of the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star Game – the MLS All-Star Game Day Roster will be 23 players as opposed to the 18 players used in the past. LA Galaxy and Toronto FC players who are All-Stars will arrive in Houston on the day of the All-Star game and will be available to play against Manchester United. No Seattle players will be available for the game day roster, but can be named All-Stars.
Meanwhile, here is the First XI (not necessarily the starting lineup), as voted by fans, media, players, and coaches and general managers:
GOALKEEPER (1): Donovan Ricketts (LA Galaxy)
DEFENDERS (3): Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC), Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake), Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire)
FORWARDS (2): Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
More information and an announcement video is available at MLSsoccer.com.
"I never think a lot about that because the fans vote and different people vote," coach Sigi Schmid said yesterday. "Obviously a lot of times all-star selections go hand-in-hand with is the team being successful at the moment or is the team not being successful? I imagine a lot of nominations for people from L.A. and Salt Lake and people like that. But I think there are some guys for up who have stood up and played well, but it's really in the hands of other people."
Last season, Kasey Keller and Freddie Ljungberg were voted onto the First XI, and Fredy Montero and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado were added later when the roster was filled out.