Garber names Gerrard, Lampard to MLS All-Star team; Fan XI picked
Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have yet to play a minute in Major League Soccer, but they're already league All-Stars.
The veteran English midfielders were named to the MLS All-Star team as commissioner Don Garber's two selections, the league announced Monday night. The two will take on a familiar foe, Premier League club Tottenham, in the July 29 summer showcase at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado Rapids.
The league also revealed the Fan XI, the 11 players selected by fan vote. Sporting Kansas City led all teams with three player selections.
The selections are as follows:
Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo)
Midfielders: Kaká (Orlando City), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), David Villa (New York City FC), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders)
Colorado Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni, who as the manager of the host team will also manage the All-Star team, will select the players for the gameday roster to fill out the field. One of those players is expected to be Toronto FC's Italian playmaker Sebastian Giovinco, whose 11 goals and eight assists are second and fourth in the league, respectively. The league's leading scorer, Columbus Crew's Kei Kamara (12 goals), and leading assist man, Columbus's Ethan Finlay (10), also fell short on the fan vote.
The 11 players selected by the fans are not guaranteed to make the matchday roster, should Mastroeni choose otherwise.
Lampard was expected to make his debut for New York City FC this past weekend, but a calf strain ruled him out of action. Gerrard played his first minutes for LA in the Guinness International Champions Cup Saturday night and could make his league debut Friday against the San Jose Earthquakes.
MLS All-Stars are 7-3-1 against foreign clubs since the league adopted the current All-Star Game format. The 2014 All-Star team defeated Bayern Munich last year, 2–1, in Portland.