MLS release All-Star Fan XI, US national team dominates


On Wednesday Major League Soccer announced the eleven players selected by fans to compete in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game in August.

Collecting votes from fans over Twitter and on, after a ballot of 152 players nominated by media members was released, the league confirmed the eleven All-Stars who will face off against Bayern Munich in Portland on August 6.

There was a heavy U.S. national team presence as eight of the eleven players are members of Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad. Nick Rimando, DeAndre Yedlin, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Kyle Beckerman and Graham Zusi all played for the U.S. at the World Cup this summer in Brazil.

Players who were deemed unlucky to miss out on the vote were MLS’ top scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips, while Steven Beitashour, Júlio César, Tim Cahill, Aurelien Collin and Jermain Defoe just missed out on the fan vote.

Despite these eleven players being selected by the fans, they are not guaranteed to be in the starting lineup as Don Garber’s two All-Star picks, and players that received at least two votes from their fellow players, all based on player availability and tactical considerations. Timbers head coach Caleb Porter will name the rest of his All-Star game-day roster on July 19 during halftime of the Sporting Kansas City-LA Galaxy game.

From there, MLS players will determine the remainder of the 32 All-Stars named annually per the collective bargaining agreement, otherwise known as the “inactive roster.” The final list of 32 All-Stars (4 goalkeepers, 8 defenders, 13 midfielders, 7 forwards) will be announced on on Aug. 6.

MLS All-Star Fan XI

Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders)

How will USMNT line up vs. Mexico in CONCACAF Cup?

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You probably don’t need reminding, but just in case you do, the U.S. national team face Mexico in a huge one-off CONCACAF Cup game on Saturday at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.

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The winner will represent CONCACAF at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia as Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT side are the underdogs against El Tri.

With plenty of struggles and a hangover from the 2015 Gold Cup failure, Klinsmann is under pressure and getting his team selection spot on will be crucial if the USA are going to get past Mexico in front of over 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl.

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Below I suggest three possible starting lineups, then give my conclusion on how I think the U.S. will lineup.

Let us know if you agree by posting your own lineups in the comments section below.

JPW’s choice

—– Guzan —–

— Johnson — Cameron — Besler — Ream —

Jones —– Bradley

— Bedoya — Dempsey — Zardes —

—– Altidore —–

Mix-and-match XI

—– Howard —–

— Cameron — Besler — Ream — Beasley —

—– Williams —–

— Yedlin — Bradley — Zusi —

— Altidore — Zardes —

Stopping Mexico

—– Howard —–

— Johnson — Besler — Ream — Beasley —

—– Cameron —–

— Dempsey — Williams — Bradley — Jones —

— Altidore —


I think Klinsmann’s choice is the way to go, although Tim Howard‘s presence in goal over Brad Guzan would certainly help strengthen the USA’s defense. A center back pairing of Cameron and Besler must happen, while having Johnson in at right back will be a boost and Ream’s size may see him get the nod over Beasely but the veteran is likely to start if fit. In midfield I’d go with Jones and Bradley sitting in front of othe back four and then that would allow, Zardes, Bedoya and Dempsey to support Altidore up top.

The final selection is ultra-defensive, but given the form of his team and Mexico’s attacking talents, Klinsmann may start more defensive and then change tact as the game goes on. Having all of your most-experienced players on the pitch will prove vital to succeeding at the Rose Bowl, therefore, even though the Mix-and-Match XI looks speedy and is dangerous, I’d expect to see “JPW’s choice” or “Stopping Mexico” to be more like the starting lineup on Saturday.

“Legends World Cup” hope to bring Beckham, Zidane to Mexico

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David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane coaxed out of retirement to play in a “Legends World Cup” you say?

Well, that got my attention.

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According to an interview with the BBC’s world service, the organizers of the 2017 Legends World Cup are hoping to entice both Becks and Zizou to roll back the years and represent their nations in Mexico.

Beckham, 40, and Zidane, 43, are already putting their boots back on to captain a Great Britain and Ireland XI vs. a World XI for a friendly at Old Trafford on November 14 to raise money for UNICEF, and former Mexico goalkeeper Jorge Campos, 48, has urged the duo to take part in the tournament in 2017 where he will coach Mexico’s team.

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From the BBC:

“I want to see Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Brazilian Ronaldo,” said Campos, 48, the flamboyant ex-Mexico goalkeeper who will coach his country.

“Everybody wants to see Argentina’s Diego Maradona, but he can’t play. He’s too old.”

The tournament is scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2017, with 12 teams in total — four from the Americas, six from Europe and one each from Africa and Asia — taking part.

Given the age (players must be aged between 35-45) and caliber of the players Campos and Co. are trying to recruit, let’s have a think about who would play for the U.S.

Landon Donovan and Brian McBride up front? Brad Friedel in goal? Let us know who would make the squad.