Olsen, Garber make picks to round out MLS All-Star team

AlonsoJohnson (Reuters Pictures)

The 18 players who will go up against Chelsea at PPL Park in the MLS All-Star Game on July 25 are set, and the tops of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference tables are well represented.

D.C. United and MLS All-Star coach Ben Olsen opted to select all 11 players voted into the First XI by the fans while adding his own in-form attacker Chris Pontius; Seattle Sounders standouts Osvaldo Alonso and Eddie Johnson; Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman and Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

Comissioner Don Garber selected last remaining MLS original Ramiro Corrales and Philadelphia Union centerback Carlos Valdes with his two picks to round out the squad. Valdes will be the lone Union player representing the game's host team. The two teams leading the two respective conferences — Supporters' Shield race leading San Jose and Sporting Kansas City — are tied for fielding the most All-Stars with three apiece.

Fourteen other players will earn All-Star distinction per the current collective bargaining agreement, but only the following 18 (barring injury or other reasons for absence) will make the gameday roster that will take on Chelsea (and keep in mind the First XI is not automatically Olsen's starting lineup):

MLS ALL-STAR GAME MATCHDAY ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS: Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City), Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA)

DEFENDERS: Steve Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps), Carlos Valdes (Philadelphia Union), Heath Pearce (New York Red Bulls), Ramiro Corrales (San Jose Earthquakes)

MIDFIELDERS: David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS: Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) 

What do you think of the squad? Think MLS will take down Chelsea? Who are the biggest snubs? Who should Olsen start against the UEFA Champions League winners?

Share your thoughts below.

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15 Responses to Olsen, Garber make picks to round out MLS All-Star team

  1. chris says:

    Ramiro Corrales? The Don beens smokin that good weed

  2. b says:

    I understand why he was selected, but if the league wants fans to take the game seriously, they should make selections based only on merit. And there are plenty of Quakes who will miss out despite deserving it: Chavez, Bernardez, Morrow.

  3. nam says:

    I get the whole retiring thing, give him a nice present. But is there really no one else retiring this year that is better than Corrales, i.e. a bag of balls.

  4. b says:

    I’m glad Kenny freakin Cooper wasn’t selected based on a few decent Henry-aided performances early in the season and not much since, but I would have liked to see Saborio over Eddie Johnson.

  5. 232 says:

    Really EJ? Is he suddenly making a surge to a return to the Nats?

  6. Matt says:

    Please no…

  7. RobsterCraw says:

    Yup, my sentiments exactly. Bernardez in particular.

  8. Mike says:

    Who said they wanted the game to be taken “seriously”? Its a fan event. Its a chance to showcase the league, and Ramiro is a part of the leagues history in a way that no other player is.

    Ramiro is the last man standing from ’96, and I think fully deserves the hat tip. Not just for him, but for the league to recognize how far its come.

  9. solles says:

    not sure you’re really understanding the reasons for his selection… other players are retiring sure but he’s the last remaining MLS original. That’s meaningful and I hope he gets some minutes as well.

  10. solles says:

    Ya Saborio to me is a snub.

  11. The Imperative Voice says:

    Ought to be an interesting reception for DC this evening after Olsen omitted the Tie-namo from the all star team.

  12. Lorenzo says:

    Thanks to Fabian Johnson, USA fans can once again pull out those old “Johnson” jerseys.

  13. ThaDeuce says:

    damnet, that midfield is stellar.

  14. Hogatroge Abroad says:

    Can’t argue with most of the selections, but I don’t think anyone but Houston haters would argue with Bruin and Taylor being named in the remaining All-Stars. Maybe Davis, too.

  15. Matt says:

    You just know Ramiro is gonna sky one over the crossbar and about 30 yards deep into the stands. :)

    For real though, Corrales is getting the nod based on his entire body of work as a long, long, longtime player and starter in MLS. And he’s playing just fine still and his team is in first place, so it’s not like it’s a risky pick.