Players openly questioned why the two Englishmen were chosen.
The first 13 names on the 2015 MLS All-Star team caused no small amount of consternation among players and fans. Neither of the league's top two leading goal scorers (Columbus' Kei Kamara and Toronto's Sebastian Giovinco) made the Fan XI, which is determined via online voting. Columbus' Ethan Finlay, a rising star who currently leads the league in assists, also failed to garner enough votes.
But no two names aroused as much criticism from fellow players as the two "Commissioner's picks" for the event: NYCFC's Frank Lampard and the L.A. Galaxy's Steven Gerrard. Both high-profile midfielders have only just started training with their clubs, and neither had played a single second of MLS action at the time Commissioner Don Garber summoned them to appear in the All-Star game.
Players league-wide took to Twitter to vent their frustrations.
Seattle Sounders midfielder Brad Evans wasn't impressed with Garber's magic trick:
Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin named another recently-signed European midfielder with no MLS games under his belt that should have made the team:
He also had a few other suggestions:
Expecting Chicharito, Gio Dos Santos and Landon Donovan as late additions to ASG.— Clint Irwin (@ClintIrwin) July 14, 2015
Irwin's teammate had an idea of his own:
As did Columbus Crew midfielder Mohammed Saeid:
Columbus Crew defender Michael Parkhurst pulled no punches with an economic analysis of the picks:
Maybe, according to Sporting Kansas City's Ike Opara, Lampard and Gerrard are impressive behind closed doors:
Meanwhile, L.A. Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza let a picture say it all:
The MLS All-Stars, complete with Lampard and Gerrard, take on Tottenham Hotspur at Denver's Dick's Sporting Goods Park on July 29.