Major League Soccer has unveiled its first 11 players for the MLS All-Star Game, as voted by the fans as well as the FIFA 16 video game, to take on Arsenal July 28 in San Jose’s new Avaya Stadium.
As expected when fans vote for something like an all-star team, it’s somewhat of a popularity contest. So the team is filled with big name players who have had varying degrees of success this season. But overall, this lineup isn’t bad. Here are the 11 players.
GK: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
DEF: Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) and Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact)
MID: Kaka (Orlando City SC), Andrea Pirlo (New York City FC), Giovani dos Santos (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
FW: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact), David Villa (New York City FC) (FIFA 16 winner due to players scoring the most goals with him than anyone else)
Obviously there are some players on that list who you would suspect based on the seasons they have had so far. And there are certainly some players who are likely more deserving than some on this list (Ignacio Piatti for one), but I have seen worse selections for the MLS Fan XI in past years and other sports have their own issues when fans vote for the participants so this is improvement. It’s also important to note that the coaching staff doesn’t necessarily have to choose this lineup has their Starting XI so don’t expect them to start at a 3-4-3.
Fans of players who haven’t been selected also shouldn’t worry because there is going to be another round of selections by coaches and players to fill in the rest of the squad as well as two players chosen by Commissioner Don Garber. Hopefully that can fill in the gaps and bring in some of those who were deserving to be voted in.