The MLS fan starting 11 was announced before the United States Men’s National team game tonight against Panama and it is no surprise that Ethan Findley and Kei Kamara were left off the team. With big names in MLS from bigger markets getting selection based on the fan vote, it was always a long shot that the two Crew SC stars would get the call.
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The attacking options that the fans voted on hail from the cities of New York and Seattle, much larger soccer markets when compared to Columbus. David Villa, Clint Dempsey, and Obafemi Martins are all valid selections as they are stars having respectable seasons.
Beyond the fan-voted starting 11, the two commissioner picks are the curious portion of the selection process and is confusing. Mr. Don Garber, the MLS commissioner picked two players that have yet to appear in an MLS match, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. There is nothing wrong with these two players making the roster. They are stars who are attempting to raise the international profile of the MLS. From a marketing standpoint, it makes total sense.
The problem with selecting players who have yet to appear in a league match means this is no longer a match rewarding a player for their performance. Isn’t that what the purpose of the all-star game is in America?
Columbus Crew SC fans shouldn’t begin to protest too loudly as only 13 of the 22 man roster have been selected. Our beloved stars will in all likelihood get the call from the Colorado coaching staff who are selecting the remaining members. Fans can count on at minimum one of either Findley or Kamara to get the all-star nod. Kamara is leading the league in goals while Findley is leading the league in assists and those facts can’t be ignored by the MLS office or Colorado coaching staff.
Below is the starting 11 and two commissioner picks:
GK: Nick Rimando
DEF: Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, DaMarcus Beasley
MID: Kaka, Michael Bradley, Benny Feilhaber, Graham Zusi
FWD: David Villa, Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins
Commissioner picks: Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard