Today Major League Soccer released the winners of their “Fan XI” All-Star vote. 10 spots actually get voted on and the 11th was selected by scoring goals in FIFA 2017 (it probably doesn’t help that I transferred Dom Dwyer away from my FIFA team).
Graham Zusi is the lone Sporting Kansas City player that was voted in, which isn’t bad if you consider 15 teams are represented at all. The Chicago Fire, Atlanta United and Toronto FC have two players each. Here is the initial roster
- GK: Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
- D: Greg Garza (Atlanta United)
- D: Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
- D: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo)
- M: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire)
- M: Kaka (Orlando City)
- M: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)
- M: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United)
- F: David Villa (NYCFC)
- F: Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire)
- F: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
MLS All-Star head coach, Veljko Paunovic of the Fire will pick the rest of the team. Obviously there are two notable early snubs from SKC. Ike Opara is having a career year, and arguably the best of any defender in MLS. And Tim Melia is having one of the best seasons ever in league history. League history! MLSsoccer.com put out a story on snubs and Melia isn’t even mentioned. Garbage.
Looking at the above list and there is a case to take away the vote from the fans. Howard, Garza, Beasley, Kaka and Bradley all don’t really deserve the nod based on their competition. Honestly, it could be said Zusi doesn’t deserve it either.
Fans clearly vote based on names they know. In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter, but I’d personally like to see the people playing the best go to the game.
There is another school of thought by our own Mike Kuhn that says don’t send any SKC players to the game so they are fresh when they play Atlanta just days after the All-Star game. He’ll be happy to see two Atlanta players already chosen.
If you are interested in who we voted for, we’ve got you covered there. As for what other Sporting players should get the call. There is the aforementioned Melia and Opara but I would say Ilie Sanchez is also probably deserving. He is one of the main differences in this team that is in first place instead of on the fringe of a playoff chase.