No players from Sounders FC were voted among the MLS All-Star First XI, which was announced Tuesday.
And even if Sounders are included when the rest of the All-Star team is revealed Monday, they won’t be able to play.
The MLS All-Stars will meet Manchester United of the English Premier League on July 28 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. However, the Sounders open CONCACAF Champions League play that same evening, meeting Metapan of El Salvador at Qwest Field.
Therefore, while Seattle players can be honored as All-Stars, they are not available for the game day All-Star roster. For now, the situation is only theoretical, as no Sounders were named among the First XI, as determined by vote of fans, players, media, coaches and general managers.
Those selected players are goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts (Los Angeles); defenders Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles), Chad Marshall (Columbus) and Jamison Olave (Salt Lake); midfielders Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto), Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Marco Pappa (Chicago), Javier Morales (Salt Lake) and Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus); and forwards Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan (both L.A.).
“I never think a lot about that because the fans vote and different people vote,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said before the results were announced. “Obviously, All-Star selections go hand in hand with is a team being successful; at the moment ours is a team not being successful. … I think there are some guys for us who have stood up and played well.”
A dozen more All-Stars will be named Monday, 10 coaches’ selections and two commissioner’s picks. That will create a roster of 23, rather than the usual 18, because some players will be unavailable or limited due to CONCACAF competition. In addition to Seattle’s direct conflict, Los Angeles and Toronto play the night before and their representatives won’t arrive in Houston until the day of the game.
The First XI won’t necessarily be the starting unit, as All-Star coach Bruce Arena of Los Angeles will be free to set his own lineup.
In addition to the 23-man game-day roster, nine other players will be selected as non-active All-Stars, in accordance with the new collective bargaining agreement.
Last season, Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller and midfielder Freddie Ljungberg were named to the First XI, and forward Fredy Montero and defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado were added later.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer