Dunivant makes All-Star list this time
Fan balloting for the July 25 MLS All-Star Game begins Friday morning, and a name missing from last year's list of candidates has found its way onto the ballot: Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant's.
He's one of six L.A. players eligible to make the All-Star First XI, the first group of players for Philadelphia coach Peter Nowak's side for the clash with England's Chelsea at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
The First XI will be determined by fan voting at Major League Soccer's website, via text messaging and, in two weeks, during a two-day Twitter session. Additional players will be selected by Nowak, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and in a players vote.
Midfielders David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Juninho, forward Robbie Keane and goalkeeper Josh Saunders are the other Galaxy players on the ballot. Donovan would make a record 12th appearance is selected; he shares the record with retired defender Eddie Pope.
Chivas' eligible players are goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, defender James Riley, midfielders Nick LaBrocca and Oswaldo Minda, and forwards Juan Pablo Angel and Alejandro Moreno.
A media panel determined the 114 names on the ballot, just six per team, including one goalkeeper from each side. As always, there are omissions, although for the local teams none as wrong-headed as Dunivant's omission last year.
Given the Galaxy's struggles, only a few players -- Beckham chief among them -- are worthy of consideration, although the priority is more about putting together a team that can compete with Chelsea than in rewarding players for their performances in the first half of the season.
The biggest omissions among local players are Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee, one of the few L.A. players who has done well this season, and Chivas USA center backs Danny Califf and Rauwshan McKenzie.
Ten local players from other teams also are on the ballot, including second-year San Jose midfielder Rafael Baca (Lawndale/Animo Leadership HS and Loyola Marymount).
Beckham would miss the game if chosen for Great Britain's Olympic roster. If he is not among Stuart Pearce's three over-age selections, it is uncertain what role he will play at the London Games. He was active in the campaign to bring the Olympics to his hometown and has served in an ambassadorial role during preparations.
The First XI will be announced July 8, and Nowak will select his starting lineup from a game-day roster that will include his selections and two picks from Garber. The Collective Bargaining Agreement mandates that 32 players be accorded All-Star status, so the players vote will determine the inactive” players, who will not head to Chester for the game. MLS isn't sure how many players will be on the game-day roster.
Online balloting will run through July 2, and fans also can send players' first and last names by text to 22442. Twitter voting will take place June 21-22.
Chelsea is making its second All-Star Game appearance -- the MLS All-Stars prevailed, 1-0, in 2006 in Bridgeview, Ill. -- and this is the eighth straight year a British team has participated, all but one from England. Manchester United has won the past two games, 2010 in Houston and last year in Harrison, N.J.
Here are the list of local players on the ballot:
M David Beckham
M Landon Donovan
D Todd Dunivant
F Robbie Keane
G Josh Saunders
F Juan Pablo Angel
G Dan Kennedy
M Nick LaBrocca
M Oswaldo Minda
F Alejandro Moreno
D James Riley
M Rafael Baca (San Jose)
F David Estrada (Seattle)
M Benny Feilhaber (New England)
G Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas)
F Kei Kamara (Sporting Kansas City)
F Steven Lenhart (San Jose)
D Chad Marshall (Columbus)
M Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
G Matt Reis (New England)
G Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)