Something has gone very, very wrong in the universe when D.C. United’s Lionard Pajoy is on the official MLS All-Star Ballot and Dallas’ George John is not.
Some of the boo-boos on this year’s ballot, out just this very afternoon and now available for fan voting, are understandable. For instance, Portland’s Rodney Wallace has been an absolute revelation at left wing. All-Star material? Eh, maybe … maybe not.
But considering that each MLS club gets six men on the ballot for better or worse, Wallace (pictured) probably deserves placement. The Portland Timbers man isn’t there because he was formally a marginal MLS defender before Caleb Porter’s brainstorm; after this year’s conversion, Wallace’s name plate might read “intriguing MLS left-winger.”
So that one we can understand. But others? Some of these are so bad, they make me want to drive around the country slapping people on the back of their noggins, the way Special Agent Gibbs does in NCIS.
(Embarrassingly, the ballot was chosen by media voters. I was one of them … but I am not guilty of any of the following.) Some of the head-scratchers:
- Lionard Pajoy? Lionard Pajoy? Seriously? The D.C. United forward has 10 goals in 44 MLS appearances – far, far from MLS All-Star production.
- The absence of FC Dallas center back George John is inexplicable. He has been instrumental in helping Schellas Hyndman’s team merge into July with the league’s best record.
- Sounders DP striker Obafemi Martins is absent, although good cases can be made for most of Seattle’s six choices. (Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Osvaldo Alonso, Mauro Rosales and Eddie Johnson.) Traore is the one I might replace.
- Adam Jahn from San Jose? Four goals midway through a rookie season certainly says “Promising.” But I’m not sure it says “All-Star.” Same for Deshorn Brown, Colorado’s talented rookie attacker.
- Not to kick the pool old Goats, but any appearance from Chivas USA can be questioned outside of Dan Kennedy’s. (Pretty much the same for Toronto, by the way.) Alas, rules require six choices from each of the 19 MLS clubs. I dunno – does that need a re-think?
- Some of the potential All-Stars are “names” but are not enjoying good seasons. We’ll excuse these because they are mostly products of ballots (media ballots to form the public ballot, that is) that were due back on May 22, still early in the season. Prime examples are Chicago’s Chris Rolfe and D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario and Chris Pontius.
Major League Soccer’s All-Stars will face Italy’s Roma on July 31 match at Sporting Park in Kansas City.