Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Clint Dempsey, defender DeAndre Yedlin, and forward Obafemi Martins have been selected to the 2014 MLS All-Star Fan XI, MLS announced today. Sounders FC leads MLS with a league-high three players named to the All-Star Fan XI.
The MLS All-Stars will compete against Bayern Munich on August 6 at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2, UniMas, TSN and RDS.
Dempsey, 31, makes his third MLS All-Star appearance and first with Seattle, after starting in 2005 and 2006 while with the New England Revolution. In addition to captaining the U.S. National Team and scoring twice at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Dempsey has nine goals (fifth in MLS) and three assists in 10 appearances for Sounders FC this season, leading the league with 0.90 goals per game.
This marks the second consecutive All-Star appearance for Yedlin, 21, after being selected by MLS Commissioner Don Garber as a rookie in 2013. The Seattle-native has 12 appearances this season and became the first MLS Homegrown Player to represent the U.S. at the World Cup, where he made three appearances and logged 112 minutes.
Martins, 29, earns his first MLS All-Star selection after joining Sounders FC in March of last year. The Nigerian striker has already matched his 2013 total of eight goals this season (sixth in MLS) to go along with six assists (tied-seventh). He is one of just three players in MLS with at least six goals and six assists each in 2014.
Martins earned his place on the Fan XI through the innovative AT&T/EA SPORTS MLS All-Star 'More Than a Vote' Challenge. Fans scored more than one million goals with Martins in FIFA 14, with one goal equaling one vote. Other players who finished in the top five of 'More Than a Vote' Challenge were Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) and Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy).
Sounders FC has earned multiple All-Star selections in each of its six years in existence. Yedlin becomes the fifth Seattle player to be selected to multiple All-Star games, joining Kasey Keller (2009-11), Freddie Ljungberg (2009-10), Fredy Montero (2009-10), and Osvaldo Alonso (2011-13).
Below is the news from the league:
Eight players who took part in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil highlight the list of athletes named to Major League Soccer’s 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Fan XI that will compete against German giants Bayern Munich in the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday, August 6 at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon. The match will be televised live on ESPN2, UniMas, and in Canada on TSN and RDS starting at 9:30 p.m. ET.
U.S. men’s national team captain Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC) features alongside World Cup teammates Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) and Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake). The Fan XI is rounded out by 2010 World Cup hero Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), former French World Champion Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), and AT&T/EA SPORTS “More Than a Vote” Challenge winner Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC).
In what could shape up to be a stateside World Cup showcase, MLS All-Star opponents Bayern Munich currently field seven players that took part in Germany’s World Cup winning team. In total, 14 Bayern players represented their countries in Brazil, more than any club in the world.
The Fan XI received the most votes at their respective positions from combined fan voting on two platforms – online at MLSsoccer.com and via Twitter. The ballot consisted of eight players from each club, as chosen by the media.
Martins earned his place on the Fan XI through the innovative AT&T/EA SPORTS MLS All-Star ‘More Than a Vote’ Challenge. Fans scored more than one million goals with Martins in FIFA 14, with one goal equaling one vote. Other players who finished in the top five of ‘More Than a Vote’ Challenge were Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) and Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy).
A 3-4-3 formation was selected for this year’s Fan XI. Bios for the 11 All-Stars named today are at the bottom of this release.
2014 MLS All-Star Fan XI
Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC – AT&T/EA SPORTS “More than a Vote” Challenge winner)
Players who were close to the leading vote-getters at their positions, but finished outside the Fan XI include, in alphabetical order by last name: Steven Beitashour (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Júlio César (Toronto FC), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC) and Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City).
The Fan XI are not necessarily included on the game day roster. MLS All-Star coach Caleb Porter will select the roster based on player availability and tactical considerations, but all Fan XI players are All-Stars.
Two selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, and Porter’s complete 20-man game day roster, will be announced on Saturday, July 19 during ESPN2’s broadcast of Sporting Kansas City vs. LA Galaxy.
Under the CBA, a total of 32 players will be named All-Stars. After the game day roster, the remaining players receiving the All-Star honor will come from voting among MLS players.
Bios for 2014 MLS All-Star Fan XI:
(Listed by position in a 3-4-3 formation)
Nick Rimando Goalkeeper Real Salt Lake Nationality: USA Born: June 17, 1979
In his 15th MLS season, Rimando earns his fourth All-Star selection (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014). He has 111 career shutouts, which is one shy of the MLS record of 112. A two-time MLS Cup Champion (2004, 2009), he was named MLS Cup MVP in 2009 with Real Salt Lake. Following his standout 2013 season, Rimando was selected as a member of the U.S. men’s national team World Cup squad.
Matt Besler Defender Sporting Kansas City Nationality: USA Born: February 11, 1987
The 2012 MLS Defender of the Year and two-time Best XI selection earns his third MLS All-Star selection (2011, 2013, 2014). Besler was at the heart of the Sporting Kansas City defense that helped the team win MLS Cup 2013. The Overland Park, Kan. native was an integral part of the U.S. men’s national team’s defense at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, starting all four matches as the team advanced to the Round of 16.
Omar Gonzalez Defender LA Galaxy Nationality: USA Born: October 11, 1988
A fixture for the U.S. men’s national team in World Cup Qualifying, Gonzalez made 14 appearances in 2013 and was second on the team in minutes played with 1,172. Since the Galaxy selected Gonzalez third overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, he has been named MLS Rookie of the Year, Defender of the Year and to three MLS Best XI’s, while helping the Galaxy win two MLS Cups (2011, 2012) and two Supporters’ Shields (2010, 2011).
DeAndre Yedlin Defender Seattle Sounders FC Nationality: USA Born: July 9, 1993
In 2013, Yedlin became the first Homegrown Player signing in the history of the Seattle Sounders FC. This is his second All-Star selection (2013, 2014) after being named an All-Star by Commissioner Don Garber in 2013. After a standout rookie season, Yedlin became the first Homegrown Players to make the U.S. national team’s World Cup roster, appearing in three of the team’s four games in Brazil.
Clint Dempsey Midfielder Seattle Sounders FC Nationality: USA Born: March 9, 1983
After returning to MLS last August, Dempsey has led Sounders FC to the best record in the League so far in 2014, contributing nine goals and three assists. The captain of the U.S. men’s national team, Dempsey scored the team’s fastest goal in World Cup history at 29 seconds in the 2-1 win over Ghana, making him the first American player to score in three consecutive World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014).
Michael Bradley Midfielder Toronto FC Nationality: USA Born: July 31, 1987
Returning to MLS after playing nine seasons abroad. Bradley is the engine of Toronto FC’s midfield. He started and played every minute of the U.S. men’s national team’s four games during the World Cup. This is Bradley’s first MLS All-Star selection, but second appearance after playing for AS Roma in the 2013 All-Star game.
Graham Zusi Midfielder Sporting Kansas City Nationality: USA Born: August 18, 1986
A six-year MLS veteran, Zusi was named to the U.S. men’s national team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup; played in all four games in Brazil and assisted on goals in the 2-1 win against Ghana, and the 2-2 draw against Portugal. Named to the Fan XI in 2013, and recorded six goals and eight assists while helping Sporting KC win MLS Cup 2013. Has scored one goal and added four assists so far in 2014.
Kyle Beckerman Midfielder Real Salt Lake Nationality: USA Born: April 23, 1982
Playing in his 15th MLS season, Beckerman is among MLS all-time leaders in games and minutes played. He made his FIFA World Cup debut in Brazil, starting all three group stage games for the U.S. and helping the team advance to the Round of 16. He captained RSL to its first ever MLS Cup title in 2009 and this is his eighth straight All-Star nomination.
Landon Donovan Forward LA Galaxy Nationality: USA Born: March 4, 1982
The all-time leading goal scorer in MLS history with 137 goals and second in assists with121 assists, Donovan has been named an MLS All-Star for his 14th consecutive season. The all-time leader in goals (57) and assists (56) for the U.S. men’s national team has won five MLS Cup titles, three with the LA Galaxy.
Thierry Henry Forward New York Red Bulls Nationality: France Born: August 17, 1977
In his fourth full season with the New York Red Bulls, Henry has four goals to go along with a MLS-best nine assists in 15 games played. He has been named to the MLS Best XI twice (2011, 2012). Henry helped France win the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and reach the tournament final at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. This is his fourth MLS All-Star Team selection.
Obafemi Martins Forward Seattle Sounders FC Nationality: Nigeria Born: October28, 1984
After signing with Seattle as a Designated Player in 2013, Martins has tallied eight goals and six assists in 16 appearances this season. Prior to joining Seattle, Martins spent six seasons with Italian giants Inter Milan and four seasons in the Barclay’s Premier League with Newcastle United. He has scored 18 goals for the Nigerian national team and made two appearances at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.