MLS All-Star Game First XI Announced

HARRISON, NJ - MARCH 29: (L-R) New York Red Bull, Thierry Henry, Manchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, MLS Comissioner, Don Garber, and Jane Ament, AT&T Marketing Manager pose for a photo prior to a press conference to announced that Barclay's English Premier League leader Manchester United will return as the AT&T MLS All-Star Game opponent on March 29, 2011 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)

Today during the Portland Timbers match against Seattle Sounders FC on ESPN2, the first XI was announced for the MLS All Star Game against Manchester United. The wording is key there, as these are not the starters for the match, they are just the top vote getters. As well, this year MLS announced the first XI as a 4-3-3, since the third place forward received twice as many votes as the fourth place midfielder.

The Los Angeles Galaxy had four players chosen in that first XI: Omar Gonzalez, Sean Franklin, David Beckham, and Landon Donovan. The full first XI are:

Goalkeeper: Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounder FC)

Defenders: Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Rafa Marquez (New York Red Bulls), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls).

Midfielders: David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Jack Jewsbury (Portland Timbers), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)

Forwards: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

as well as the text voting winner:

Defender: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)

Landon Donovan's selection gives him 11 in his career, tying him for the MLS record with Eddie Pope. Media were also given a list of players just outside the first XI at their respective positions:

Danny Califf (PHI), Charlie Davies (DC), Dwayne De Rosario (DC), Justin Mapp (PHI), Donovan Ricketts (LA), and Nick Rimando (RSL).

Justin Mapp was second in fan voting behind David Beckham the day before votes closed, but certainly there's no arguing against the inclusion of Brek Shea and Jack Jewsbury. Under the collective bargaining agreement, a total of 32 players will be named all stars. The First XI + the text vote winner are the only ones guaranteed to make the team; Hanse Backe will set the game day roster of 18 players on July 18th, which will include two selections by Don Garber. A player vote fleshes out the rest of the 32, which will be announced July 25.

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