Who should start in the MLS All-Star Game?

BeckhamHenry (Getty)

The 2012 MLS All-Star Game will kick off on Wednesday night with a strong team of MLS standouts taking on a Chelsea side that will certainly be dangerous despite the fact they are working their way through pre-season.

MLS All-Star coach Ben Olsen has a variety of options to choose from when picking his team, and the quality selections he made will make it that much of a more interesting process for him to settle on his starting lineup.

One wrench in Olsen's potential plans is the fact that David Beckham is unlikely to be available for many minutes as he travels from London the day before the game, and returns to London after the match as he takes part in Olympic ceremonies.

So what lineup should we expect to see on Wednesday night for the MLS All-Stars? Here is a squad we have a good chance of seeing:

PROJECTED MLS ALL-STAR LINEUP

———Thierry Henry——–Chris Wondolowski———-

————————Dwayne DeRosario——————–

Landon Donovan——————————–Graham Zusi

————————–Osvaldo Alonso———————-

Justin Morrow—————————–Steven Beitashour

—————Jay DeMerit—–Aurelien Collin————–

————————-Dan Kennedy————————-

Based on the All-Star team's training session on Tuesday, this seems like a good bet to be the squad, but you wonder if Olsen will at least consider going with a lineup that features both Alonso and Kyle Beckerman.

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Here is the full MLS All-Star Game Roster:

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

Defenders: Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), AurĂ©lien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Ramiro Corrales (San Jose Earthquakes), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes), Carlos Valdes (Philadelphia Union)

Midfielders: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Michael Farfan (Philadelphia Union)

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

———-

What lineup would you like to see Ben Olsen go with against Chelsea?

Share your thoughts below.

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34 Responses to Who should start in the MLS All-Star Game?

  1. Topher says:

    I like your lineup, Ives. I would just switch Pontius in for Zusi and play him on the left with Donovan switching to the right.

    I think Zusi is better centrally. I didn’t like him out on the right for the USMNT earlier this year.

  2. msg24365 says:

    You don’t think hometown Carlos Valdes will get the start? Not saying he deserves it more than the projected CB’s, who are both solid.

  3. Gnarls says:

    That’s a high quality line-up. Budweiser should sponsor MLS FC in the FA Cup next year.

  4. Dinho says:

    I hate to say it, but DeMerit and Collin are going to get eaten alive by Lukaku, Torres, etc.

  5. Joe says:

    While I agree that there is a possibility of starting Valdes, the most likely event would to be bring him on at a later point to have the crowd cheer for him as he is not quiet deserving of the start, though he is very solid.

  6. Allen23 says:

    I still say that MLS is in a no win situation. If the All-Stars beat Chelsea, then people will say, hey they are an All-Star team and they should win. If Chelsea wins they will say, wow the best in MLS can’t beat a club team that is not even in season form yet.

  7. g-dub says:

    If going for a win I’d go for Alonso & Beckerman as dual DMs behind DeRo. Pontius on the left flank. And start EJ up top because Henry would refuse to play as a target forward.

    But this game isn’t about winning.

  8. elgringorico says:

    Yes, move Lando to the right and start Pontius over Zusi. Or, (and yes, I know this will never happen), Pontius over Wondo. We know Wondo is a poacher but Pontius skill will be a better match for Chelsea defenders.

  9. KEEP says:

    Yesir, remember LD causes issues on that side against a certain left back.I think Pontius would be a better starting option as well.

  10. Gnarls says:

    That’s not a no win situation. If MLS wins and people say, “Hey, they’re All-Stars, they should win,” that our best are better than Torres, Lukaku, Lampard, Terry, etc.

  11. Gnarls says:

    *In their preseason form, yes, but come on, they won the UCL two months ago.

  12. elgringorico says:

    agreed

  13. Creige says:

    I think Beckham deserves to start and honestly I would like to see him play with Henry.

  14. elgringorico says:

    That is a really unique opinion you have

  15. dan says:

    LOL! Torres :)

  16. Mat says:

    This lineup seems a bit too aggressive to effectively contain a team like Chelsea.
    Since it would be nice not to be yet again embarrassed in the all-star game, I think we need to reinforce the midfield and play a 4-5-1. I don’t really care who plays in defense, since our options are pretty weak overall, so Ive’s defense is fine, for the rest:
    Beckerman, Alonso
    Beckham, DeRosario, Landon
    Henry

  17. Hogatroge Abroad says:

    Pretty sure DeMerit helped shut Torres out in the Confederations Cup back in ’09.

  18. gonzo says:

    I’d love to see Mauro Rosales in that lineup somewhere.

  19. Creige says:

    Yes I buy into the hype. My only concern is it would turn into a tribute match for Beckham and Henry like the last All-Star game where every pass had to go to Beckham and it’s no longer about the MLS.

  20. Dennis says:

    Olsen might go with the 3 SJ teammates in back along with Colin or DeMerit in an attempt to have more defenders who have a good understanding of each other.

  21. Louis Z says:

    2009? that is almost 3 years ago. I hope current form has more to do with it.

    p.s. I read Torres won’t be playing.

  22. Charles says:

    Put Alonso and Beckerman in there together. I am not a huge Beckerman guy, but….
    Switching forwards/scoring mids back to mid because they are Donovan and DeRo, seems kind of crazy.

    Go with a 4-2-3-1, with all of the 3 being able to assist Wondo up front at different times.

    Chelsea’s D looked bad against Seattle, but they had a lethal counter. Win the game first. ESPN will like the Golden Balls fine no matter when you do.

  23. Dinho says:

    Just read that about Torres.

    Well, my point stands for Lukaku and everyone else on that roster… ouch.

  24. divers suck says:

    LOL, I’m guessing you couldn’t even say that with a strait face. Just watch the game and enjoy it for what it’s worth.

  25. JRP says:

    I am a big Beckerman fan so leave him out. WE need him to kill the Caps on Friday. This game is meaningless. He gets paid either way.

  26. This Guy says:

    Any lineup without Beckham is a joke. He is what markets the league abroad. Not a very business savvy crowd around here.

  27. elgringorico says:

    Everyone knows that already. What we try to do is simulate the best possible team. Beckham has played better in the past couple weeks but there are many other guys who deserve the spot in an MLS best XI

  28. JRP says:

    Really? Any lineup without Beckham is a joke? How many goals does he have? How many assists does he have? Is he even in the top 10 on either stat. To be honest, I don’t know, but I doubt it. There are plenty that are in the top 5 that aren’t on the AS team. Becks has played well in the last 8 games but what about before that? Is it the All Star Game or Super Star Game? He has throughout his MLS career put the league and his team behind his other priorities of selling underwear, traveling to royal weddings, Olympic ambassadorial duties and getting awful crazy haircuts. He is a big deal. But he needs to play to his level and earn a spot on the team. How can he play well when he is getting back that day from London? He will make a cameo in the second half. It is probably all he wants. I doubt he wants the international shame on his shoulders after playing a full 90 and losing badly.

  29. JRP says:

    Becks is second in assists. Just looked it up. My bad.

  30. beachbum says:

    great call, best I’ve read on this board on this subject

  31. beachbum says:

    nice lineup Ives. Zusi out wide doesn’t compute for me, but maybe he can do it. As others have mentioned, perhaps Pontius out left with LD switching to the right. Also beleive LD could play up top paired with Henry or Wondo, and both of those guys would love the extra space they’d find

    and Beckham deserves to be out there too imho, not just because of his name

  32. Duneman says:

    MLS is in season fitness…but its a pickup-team that never plays together…they get a day or two of lite training vs a club with many of the guys playing together for years.

    Playing for years together is massive…even some smaller international sides now try to get their A team playing on the same club or 2 maybe 3 clubs max so most of the guys have a chance to gel. If you are a country that does not have as much star power…playing more of your guys on the same club or two is a big advantage and something done by some of the smaller nations in Eruope so they can play better when coming together for an internaitonal match. There are only two giant clubs in Spain…but a big reason why Spain does so well is not only the talent but the Spanish team gets to play with most of their guys on Real or Barca. Other teams like Ireland and some eastern Eruope countries are trying to keep more of their core stars on the same club or two now to gain an edge.

    So…Chelsea is out of season form….and All-stars, while in shape, never really play together, play in a variety of systems based on their club and might not even be a great fit with some guys playing an attacking role in their club or behind some guy because of a good fit and are now forced potentially into a new system or role and have no clear understanding of how the guy ahead will run, cut, time runs, have a preferred ball placement, etc. So….its talent vs talent with pros and cons on both sides.

    although the computer says it will be close ;-)

    link to operationsports.com

  33. PD says:

    can we call up Nesta and Cahill?

  34. PD says:

    and leToux?