Sounders fans making noise in All-Star Game fan voting

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                                                          Photo by ISIphoto.com

BY DYLAN BUTLER

They made their presence known by first reserving a record number of season tickets before the team even played a game and then by drawing 32,523 for their team's inaugural game and averaging 29,536 per game, far and away the best in the league.

And now, Seattle Sounders FC fans are stuffing the ballot box like no one else. One week into the MLS All-Star First XI voting and EIGHT — that's right — eight Sounders are among the top XI.

The leading vote-getter, to no one's surprise, is Kasey Keller. The former U.S. National Team keeper has a league-best 0.41 goals against average. And Freddie Ljungberg is understandable because he is one of Major League Soccer's most recognizable stars.

Hey, cases can even be made for Fredy Montero, Osvaldo Alonso, Tyrone Marshall, Steve Zakuani (barely) and John Kennedy Hurtado, who, in that order, have accumulated the next highest totals in the first week of voting.

But then it gets a little crazy. Just behind Columbus veteran Frankie Hejduk is James Riley. Really? The three non-Seattle players on that list are Hejduk, Toronto FC midfielder Dwayne De Rosario and Los Angeles forward Landon Donovan.

OK, this is only fan voting and, of course, we understand this is going to be a popularity contest. Fans votes count for 25 percent of the overall total with the other 75 percent votes from media, general managers and coaches as well as players. But are you upset that this year's All-Star Game might well have a very Northwestern flair to it? Do you even care about voting? Who is your First XI? Let us know.

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58 Responses to Sounders fans making noise in All-Star Game fan voting

  1. Matt in Louisville says:

    This is why fan voting only counts 25 percent. Guys playing in Dallas and Kansas City would never have a chance.

  2. kpugs says:

    You can’t blame the fans, but this is the reason why fan voting only counts 25%.

    Here’s to hoping Lastings Milledge is voted into the MLB all star game to teach them a lesson.

  3. Luis says:

    As a Sounder fan/season ticket holder who is considering going to the game, I am a bit disappointed in this.

    There are some solid players in the Sounder lineup, but if the likes of James Riley and Seba Le Toux are on the All Star team, it’s a bit ridiculous.

    That being said, at least it shows our enthusiasm.

  4. BFBS says:

    This is awesome, merit be damned. Big ups to the Layne Staley reincarnate in the middle of the picture.

  5. MVK says:

    I only care because they are playing another team and the preformance reflects on the MLS. No suprize though, this is way fans only count for 25%. Sounders fans homers? no way, its not like they were on here saying undefeated season after 2 wins or anything… oh wait

  6. Larry says:

    Do I even care about the “all star” game. No. A soccer friendly is just that–a friendly. It’s only really of interest if it (1) has some really world famous players in it or (2) is a charity event. Defenders don’t tackle; attackers don’t combine; midfielders don’t worry too much about running. As a result, IMHO, an “all star” soccer game is not worth attending.

  7. KingSnake says:

    Maybe other supporters should actually … oh … support their team as well as the Sounders’ do?

  8. Matt in Louisville says:

    I’ll give it a go.

    B. McBride G. Schelloto

    L. Donovan

    C. Blanco D. DeRosario S. Joseph

    J. Bornstein B. Boswell J. Conrad F. Hejduk

    K. Keller

  9. MVK says:

    Larry

    to my memory the past few All-Star games have been extremely entertaining

  10. Jimmie says:

    It is always awesome to hear the Sounder fans parroting the same thing: “support your team like the Sounders do.”

    Nice, because all markets are of the same size and density in soccer fans. I support RSL (even though they should be dead last in any ranking) as much as any fan, and have only missed 2 home games, ever. How could I support them more? Well, I pay for 2 extra season tickets to take nonfans to every game. How could I support them more?

    It has to do with the size of the market. So, Sounders, shut your trap for being such a large market. Enjoy that you have a team and good crowds. I am jealous of what you have, so stop flaunting it. Really, stop.

    BTW – The voting should be controlled so you HAD to vote for other players outside of your market. That is the only way to get an unbiased group of allstars without the biggest markets hogging the slots. If this was implemented, Keller would still be #1, but probably not the rest.

    So, to all Sounders, nobody else thinks as highly of your team as you do. Homers.

  11. This Guy says:

    I said it before: Sensible fans vs. Sounders fans.

    I’m a Fire supporter but I only voted for McGod. I would have voted for Timmy Ward but he isn’t on the ballot.

    Keller is overshadowing Thornton.

    As much as I think Keller is the best Keeper in the MLS. Thornton is having a better year. Red Card is the scale tipper in what is virtually even Goals Allowed averages.

  12. This Guy says:

    Maybe other supporters should actually … oh … support their team as well as the Sounders’ do?

    Posted by: KingSnake

    It not about supporting your team. It’s about loving the game and a way for fans to honor those that have shown greatness and generated excitement.

  13. Jim says:

    Oh well, vote for your team. If it ends up this way, maybe a virtual MLS expansion team will beat Everton.

    Off topic, but Yanks-Abroad has an interview with PDL-EPL man Peterlin. His PDL coach implies that Peterlin wasn’t interested in MLS and just wanted to get his degree before going to Europe.
    link to yanks-abroad.com

  14. PCFC says:

    Beside Keller, I refuse to vote for a Sounder simply to balance the madness.

    Nothing personal to the Puggie Sounders.

  15. Devon says:

    Maybe if you couldn’t vote 10 times a day per email address this would be less of a problem. That’s ridiculous. Yes, there are too many Sounders based on those votes so far. But 10 times a day?! WTF!

  16. MVK says:

    that linked article says that the voting was dominated by TFC fans before so thats some saving grace cuz I dont really remember any non-deserving TFC players ever making the all-star team

  17. Tony says:

    I like the voting, it allows fans another opportunity to feel apart of the game. Granted, thats why its only worth 25% but hey, if you want your team to be better represented get over to MLSnet and vote 10 times a day and make a difference.

  18. d says:

    is there a webpage that show the running tally to see on any given day who has how many votes so far?

  19. MVK says:

    Matt Belser just wants waffles

    link to youtube.com

  20. EDB says:

    Did someone just call Seattle a large Market? thats pretty funny.. Lets see bigger pop areas – Chicago, LA, NY, Columbus, San Jose, Houston, NE, DC, Toronto .. And denver is about the same population.. so while Salt Lake might be smaller don’t try to paint the seattle area as some huge pop center compared to other cities.

  21. chupacabra says:

    All of the MLS voting schemes are a joke, dominated by US soccer’s equivalent of trekkies. That’s why Quaranta’s goal won goal of the week, even though Lewis and Wolyniec’s were better (and look who won Ives’ poll where you could vote only once).

  22. CarlosT says:

    I haven’t voted and probably won’t because All-Star games are just lame to begin with. It’s just a friendly and one that doesn’t feature any team I care about, so it’s even more meaningless than your usual friendlies. They could pick 11 random guys off the street for all I care.

    As for Sounders fans, of course we’re homers. Duh. What are we supposed to be, neutral or something? Why would we have a rooting interest in MLS in the abstract? I’m a Sounders fan first and an MLS fan something like sixth (let’s see, Sounders, then Inter, then Corinthians, then Serie A, then Brazilian soccer, then MLS, unless I forgot something).

    My primary interest in MLS is that it’s the league where the Sounders play. When the Sounders played in the USL, I paid attention to the USL, and didn’t pay attention to MLS. Now that the situation is reversed, I pay attention to MLS and ignore USL. I’ll watch a non-Sounders MLS game if I happen to catch one, but I don’t go out of my way to find them. I’d probably watch an MLS game rather than a non-soccer event, but it’s not a given if it’s not the Sounders.

  23. Hopper says:

    Jimmie,

    It’s not our fault most other MLS teams play in front of half empty stadiums. We’re proud of what we have in Seattle, because not only do we have great fans and an amazing home field atmosphere, but we also have a good team. There’s nothing wrong with being vocal and proud about our team, and wondering why other teams have such a hard time replicating what we have.

    Also, Seattle isn’t really that big of a market. I’d say it’s a big market for soccer, but we’re not Chicago, New York, LA, or Boston, and look how poorly those teams are supported by their fans.

    Don’t blame us. Blame your RSL front office for not getting butts in the seats.

  24. smokeminside says:

    1. MLS all star game while entertaining in the past, is not something to get worked up about.

    2.To the killjoys who slam Sounder fans for using the voting system available to them: go take a nap. Seattle just lost its NBA franchise, its baseball team is disappointing AGAIN, and the football team is in the dumps as well. Why shouldn’t exuberant fans go a little berserker? It’s only 25% of the vote, for pete’s sake. Dispassionate heads will prevail when it really matters.

  25. Aron says:

    As a Sounder fan that hates the ballot box stuffing I am not voting.
    I would probably vote for Keller and perhaps Alonso. However I haven’t seen every other team play yet and don’t know how the other defensive mids stack up to Alonso.

    Also Thornton has a very strong case as starting keeper

    With Seattle’s current form finishing if any forward from Seattle is picked it would be a crime.

    That said if Montero figures out how to stop being a pantywaist we’ll be dangerous again.

  26. Carlos says:

    So, to all Sounders, nobody else thinks as highly of your team as you do. Homers.

    Posted by: Jimmie | May 20, 2009 at 04:43 PM

    Thanks, Captain Obvious. Here’s another newsflash. I don’t think as highly of your team as you do. Also, the sun will set in the west today, ice is cold, and the Pope’s Catholic.

  27. Matt says:

    Is this really so different than most other all-star games where fans of the most popular teams stuff the ballot boxes? If anything, MLS has more controls in place –not mentioned in this article — to prevent fans of any one team from setting the lineup. You’ll see two, maybe three Sounders at most. Relax, SBI Mafia.

  28. Kevin says:

    chupacabra:

    Wolyniec’s goal was better than Quaranta’s really? I’m with you for Lewis’s goal, but come on. Quaranta’s was a really quality strike. Wolyniec just turned around and shot the ball. I will also point out that if Wolyniec won the poll here (I don’t know if he did or not, and this is far too trivial a matter for me to check on), it’s probably because it’s a good bet that about 60-70% of the fans who read this blog are NYRB supporters.

    With that in mind, I did vote for Quaranta- both here and on MLSnet.com. But that’s no crime.

  29. Justin in Louisville says:

    @ Matt in Louisville- wouldn’t the players in Dallas have to be good to have a chance first?

  30. Landis says:

    Keller

    Hurtado-Bornstein-Hejduk

    GBS-Blanco-DeRo-Davis

    McBride-Donovan-Wolff

    Bench: Thornton, Barnes, Pontius, Emilio, Alonso

  31. Did someone really just call a Sounder fan supporting the Sounders a homer?

  32. Homer in Flannel, Gortex, Wool Socks, and Tevas says:

    I’ll enjoy the hysteria here in Seattle, the 13th largest market in the USA versus the NYRB & DCU, wtf are they drawing? Even if it only lasts this one season, because to my knowledge we are breaking records every game, and they aren’t the disco variety.

    -Keller for sure
    -Alonso & Hurtado our defensive spine one might start.
    -Llungberg-He’s a fashion model DP, They are guaranteed-in, but he won’t start, another Migrane)
    -Zakuani or Pontius commissioner’s pick with Rookie of the year candidate

  33. @ Homer in Flannel, Gortex, Wool Socks, and Tevas – isn’t there some sort of bank commercial about you?

  34. Mark says:

    Good that fans are showing enthusiasm for all things Seattle. I applaud that and hope all the upcoming expansion teams enjoy similar support.

    But for me, I vote based on merit. I’m a Red Bulls fan, and even though Angel is the best striker in the league, he hasn’t put up all star numbers thus far, so I won’t vote for him.

    Just my $0.02

  35. Isaac says:

    Who’s everyone voting for? I like Stuart Holden, Robbie Rogers, and Chris Pontius.

  36. zues says:

    Who cares about the All Star game? Let the Sounders play their whole team. It’s not like they’re actually playing for the cup anyway. There’s other teams, my Fire included, that actually have decent teams and a chance at the cup. Hopefully none of the good players make it on the team. I’d rather see the few good players in this league not get hurt in a meaningless friendly. There’s so few talented players in this league, let’s let the rest of them (i.e. Sounders) play and get hurt. That way the quality of the league doesn’t get hurt.

  37. kahlva says:

    Obviously it’s good to be proud of your team. But that’s just silly.

    Look, the Sounders have great fans and a great season going. All I can say is thank God fan votes only count as 25%. After this showing, maybe MLS should bring it down to 10%…

    I think it’s kinda lame to vote for JUST your own team for the All Star game, but to each their own.

  38. SeattleStan says:

    Carlos, that was classic! The pope is catholic, heh. Yeah, and I love the argument that Seattle is such a “huge” market. What a joke. I’m a Seattle fan and voted for Keller, Hurtado, and Alonso from the Sounders. Do I think its wrong that some fans have voted for their team? Give me a break, like its been said, its only 25% of the final ballot, and fans have been doing this from the start of this system. Supporting your home team and voting them doesn’t make you a “homer”. Such a joke. Don’t whine if your city just doesn’t have a lot of fans, tell your friends, wear your jerseys/scarves to work, call your local tv stations and or newspapers and get more fans instead of complaining.

  39. Rastafari says:

    Here are my PINE picks

    Matt in Louisville
    Jimmie
    PCFC
    zues
    LA Sean
    edb

  40. Jeff says:

    Enjoy getting your team tired/hurt.

  41. Jimmie says:

    HAHA, man, some of you Sounders have such thin skin. However, some of you are A-OK.

    The best FO in the world could pimp RSL all they wanted and still only get The RioT 1/2 full. SLC is not a soccer market, and you bagging on 1/2 full stadiums on this blog is so… lame. Don’t you think we, the SBI readers, fully support our teams, it is just the rest of the population of our market that doesn’t. Congrats Seattle, you have a good team, stadium, and atmosphere, but voting 10times a day for only Seattle players does make you a homer. That is the definition of a homer.

    BTW – 4 front row seats to the ASG for sale, $150 each.

  42. St. Louis United says:

    This isn’t Seattle vs Everton here. This is though, why I effin hate Seattle. The only Sounder worthy of MLS All-Star status is Keller. Forget the rest.

  43. Knuckles says:

    Jimmie: You’re missing the point. Homers don’t care what you think.

  44. JoeW says:

    I’ve got no problem with enthusiastic fans. But at the point people are voting for folks that aren’t even close to being an allstar in quality or performance (James Riley?) than it says they don’t know much about soccer. Every teams fans tend to favor their own team. But the reason that Khano Smith isn’t getting many votes isn’t because of a lack of RBNY fans, it’s because none of them (other than maybe his Mom) would vote for him. As a DC United fan, I might try to make an argument for maybe 1 player–maybe. And DCU is having a decent season. It’s not about the NUMBER of fans, it’s about the judgment. I’ve known rabid RSL fans who didn’t think that Carey Talley or Atiba Harris deserved votes but I get the impression that if either was starting for Seattle they’d be all-star (or runner-up status).

    Here’s my all-star team based on how I think players have performed to-date:

    S: McBride-Donovan
    MF: Schelotto-Joseph-Alonso-Bernstein (who I think has played more midfield than backline)
    D: Hurtado-Ward-Segares-Berhalter
    GK: Thornton

  45. This Guy says:

    I think MLS should make an All Star weekend out of this.

    Crossbar Challenge and other games. They used to do it if I remember correctly.

    Thornton should be the starter in goal.

  46. TH says:

    I fully support the Sounders fans voting in their entire team to the All-Star Game.

    Anything to prevent players from my team getting injured in a meaningless friendly and to give them a chance to rest up for the second half of the season while the Sounders players shlep out to Salt Lake and run their little legs off….

  47. Neuwerld says:

    Let the whole squad be Sounders, whatever. If I were to vote I would specifically pick players that weren’t on my team. Just a meaningless game that provides another chance to get injured and/or tired.

  48. madmax says:

    Here’s how this Sounder fan stuffed the box
    Keller, Hurtado, Alonso. Got a problem here?

    Oh the others. Marshall, Schelotto, Trujillo, Bornstein, Donovan, McBride, Wallace, Boswell.

  49. Scott A says:

    I’ll give it a vote. I hope the players who deserve it get in but I’m not too bothered if they don’t. All-Star games are for fun anyway and all power to Seattle fans who want to see their players (even though I happened to only vote for Keller)

  50. Matt in Louisville says:

    Justin, are you saying Kenny Cooper is not good?

    It’s true he is not having an All Star season, but he probably hates his life being stuck in Dallas right now.

  51. I’m a Sounders fan and want the best folks in. I’m also a homer.

    Decisions, decisions…

  52. mike ruze says:

    Anyone outside of Keller is a joke.

    Ljunburg is always hurt

    Tyrone Marshall an all star? HAHAHAHAHAH

    Zukani? HEHEHEHEHEH

  53. lassidawg says:

    Clearly you haven’t been watching Alonso or Hurtado. They alone with Keller has been why this team has been in games when they play with only 10 men.

    Will I vote for 11 Sounders, no, but come on people this isn’t the first time fans stuff the ballot box.

    I do find it humorous after reading hundreds of posts saying Seattle would never support the team, now it is getting slammed for being homers. I am assuming everyone is a homer, otherwise no one would get bent out of shape when something is said about their team.

    Do something about the ballot, get out and vote for those that should be there.

  54. tres says:

    It’s not our fault most other MLS teams play in front of half empty stadiums.

    Hopper, stop being such a pessimist. Those stadiums are half full!

  55. Nate says:

    Seattle has been a soccer town since the 1970′s. Part of the reason we have gone so nuts is we should have had a team years ago, and now we have the opportunity to prove it.

    Even if you despise the Sounders consider Alonso in your voting. He has been our MVP so far this season.

  56. Robin says:

    The problem isn’t the voting, the problem is the idea of having all-star games to begin with. Every coach tells their players “have fun, but don’t get hurt.” So all these great athletes are playing at half-speed like it’s summer camp. It’s the same with “Friendlies.” At least the name is accurate. All star games in all sports are just a cash grab. At least hockey’s Alexander Ovechkin dresses up and acts like a clown at all star games!

    link to sports.yahoo.com

  57. Sterlinho says:

    Vote for Andy Williams and Clint Mathis so they can play in front of their home crowd. They deserve it based on their lengthy careers. Then vote the rest of the team Sounders:)

  58. Andrew says:

    S: Donavon, McBride
    M: Guevara, Joseph, GBS, Alonso, DeRo
    D: Bornstein, Marshall, Conrad
    GK: Keller

    Fan voting is so stupid you shouldn’t be allowed to vote more than once a week, this is what happens.