United Shut Out of All-Stars
For the first time in MLS history, D.C. United might not be represented in the all-star game.
No United players were among the 11 voted to the squad, and neither New England Coach Steve Nicol nor MLS Commissioner Don Garber included a D.C. member yesterday when the 18-man squad was unofficially filled.
However, Nicol is expected to name at least two replacements after the U.S. Olympic team is unveiled tomorrow. Because of travel commitments, Olympians who also are all-stars will not be available for the MLS event July 24 in Toronto, where the league team will face West Ham of the English Premiership.
Brazilian forward Luciano Emilio, the 2007 league MVP whose 10 goals this year rank him third in the league, is United's top all-star candidate. The club has had at least one all-star every year since MLS was founded in 1996.
Nicol's choices were Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad and Toronto defender Jim Brennan, both Canadians; Colorado midfielders Pablo Mastroeni and Christian Gomez; and New York forward Juan Pablo Ángel (three goals). Garber selected Los Angeles forward Edson Buddle (11 goals) and Houston midfielder Dwayne De Rosario, also from Canada.
Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales (seven assists) and Chicago goalie Jon Busch (league-best 0.93 goals against average) were other notable omissions.
All-stars voted to the squad by players, coaches, general managers, reporters and fans were New England goalie Matt Reis; defenders Michael Parkhurst (New England), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City) and Frankie Hejduk (Columbus); midfielders David Beckham (Los Angeles), Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Chicago), Shalrie Joseph (New England), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA) and Robbie Rogers (Columbus); and forwards Kenny Cooper (Dallas) and Landon Donovan (Los Angeles). Parkhurst, Kljestan and possibly Rogers will be named to the Olympic team.
-- Steven Goff