Dempsey, Bradley, Donovan headline USA-heavy MLS All-Star Fan XI
The MLS All-Star team will have a heavy U.S. national team feel to it.
Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi, Kyle Beckerman, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, DeAndre Yedlin and Nick Rimando are nine of the fan-voted MLS All-Star XI, which the league revealed Wednesday night at halftime of the Philadelphia Union - New York Red Bulls clash. The other two players are Red Bulls star Thierry Henry and Seattle Sounders forward Obafemi Martins.
Ten of the players (goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders, one forward) were voted by the fans, while the last player (Martins) was selected via an EA Sports challenge, in which fans' video game goals determined the outcome. MLS commissioner Don Garber will make two selections as well, and the remainder of the 20-man gameday roster that will take on Bayern Munich will be announced July 19 at halftime of Sporting Kansas City's match against the LA Galaxy.
The fan XI will not necessarily be the starters against Bayern Munich on Aug. 6 at Providence Park in Portland. That is ultimately up to Portland Timbers and MLS All-Star coach Caleb Porter to decide.
If the USA-heavy lineup does take to the field, the All-Star Game will feature a number players who met in the USA-Germany Group G finale. Bayern Munich boasts World Cup final hero Mario Gotze and fellow champions Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Jerome Boateng. Bayern is also slated to bring USA rising star Julian Green.
One of the USA players who famously missed out on the World Cup and that June 26 clash in Recife was Donovan. The All-Star nod marks his record 14th straight, though in 2013 it took being an injury replacement for club teammate Robbie Keane to keep his streak alive.
Among the notable players who didn't make the fan XI are Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips, the league's leading scorer with 16 goals; Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer, who has 14 goals; and Chivas USA forward Erick "Cubo" Torres, who has 13 goals. They can all still be named to the team via other avenues.