Wednesday, June 8, 2011
MLS All-Star ballot missing Angel
By Scott French
Major League Soccer's All-Star Game fan ballot was released Wednesday, and the name of its best striker over the last five years is nowhere to be found.
Galaxy forward Juan Pablo Angel, who frankly hasn't played to an all-star standard in the season's first three months, was the biggest omission on the list of those eligible for the July 27 clash against Manchester United at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
Also not on the list, and most deserving, is Galaxy left back Todd Dunivant.
They were left out in a new voting format, in which only 108 players -- and no more than six from any club -- were tabbed for the First XI ballot by a committee of media. Fans may cast their votes at MLS's website.
The Galaxy's ballot sextet is goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, defenders Sean Franklin and Omar Gonzalez, midfielders David Beckham and Juninho, and forward/midfielder Landon Donovan.
Chivas' six: goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, defenders Ante Jazic and Heath Pearce, midfielder Nick LaBrocca, and forwards Justin Braun and Alejandro Moreno. The biggest Goats omission is forward Marcos Mondaini; would-be finalists Jimmy Conrad, Blair Gavin and Paulo Nagamura have missed almost all of the campaign through injury.
In addition to Franklin (Palmdale/Highland HS and Cal State Northridge), Donovan (Redlands/Redlands East Valley HS) and Kennedy (Yorba Linda/El Dorado HS and UC Santa Barbara), nine players from the L.A. area and another who attended college here are on the ballot:
- FC Dallas goalkeepers Kevin Hartman (Palos Verdes/Peninsula HS and Cal State Dominguez Hills/UCLA)
- New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita Catholic HS and UCLA) and midfielder Benny Feilhaber (Irvine/Northwood HS and UCLA)
- Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando (Montclair/Montclair HS and UCLA)
- Philadelphia defender Danny Califf (Orange/Orange HS)
- Columbus defender Chad Marshall (Riverside/Rubidoux HS) and midfielder Robbie Rogers (Palos Verdes and Huntington Beach/Mater Dei HS)
- D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius (Yorba Linda/Servite HS and UC Santa Barbara)
- Sporting Kansas City forward/midfielder Kei Kamara (Lawndale/Leuzinger HS and Cal State Dominguez Hills)
- Seattle midfielder Brad Evans (UC Irvine)
Angel, 35, has scored 63 goals in about 4½ MLS seasons, but he's netted just two in 13 games since leaving the Red Bulls and joining the Galaxy during the offseason. Dunivant, 30, is among MLS's premier left backs.
Fan voting will end July 5, with the First XI announced July 10, and Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe and MLS Commissioner Don Garber will fill out the rest of the game-day roster of at least 18 players. MLS players will vote to fill the list to 32 players, as per the collective bargaining agreement, but those not on the game-day roster will not be available to play.
Backe will select his starting lineup from the full game-day roster, not just the First XI.