Friday, December 26, 2014

Six Union players on MLS All-Star Ballot

Forward Jack McInerney and defender Amobi Okugo are the biggest names among the Union's representatives on this year's ballot fot the Major League Soccer All-Star Game.

Six Union players on MLS All-Star Ballot

Jack McInerney celebrates with Union fans after scoring the winning goal. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Jack McInerney celebrates with Union fans after scoring the winning goal. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Forward Jack McInerney and defender Amobi Okugo are the biggest names among the Union's representatives on this year's ballot for the Major League Soccer All-Star Game.

McInerney and Okugo are joined by goalkeeper Zac MacMath, defenders Jeff Parke and Sheanon Williams, and forward Sébastien Le Toux.

This year's edition of MLS' mid-summer classic will take place at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., on July 31 (9:00 p.m., ESPN2/UniMás). Italian power AS Roma, led by Michael Bradley and Francesco Totti, will be the opponent.

The six Union players are part of a pool of 115 players across MLS' 19 teams. The pool was compiled by a group of media members who cover the league.

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In the end, a total of 32 players will be on the All-Star game roster. That number is set by MLS' collective bargaining agreement with its players' union, as the players selected get bonuses for their recognition.

(Which is a polite way of saying that whether you like the spectacle or not, it serves a practical purpose away from the game itself.)

Eleven of the 32 players will be selected by fans. Ten of those 11 will come from fan votes, which will be totaled in three ways. The main method is an online ballot, which you can fill out here. You'll also be able to vote by text message and Twitter. Instructions for how to do so can be found here.

Voting runs from now through July 2.

The 11th player will be picked in a new way, as MLS has teamed up with EA Sports to run a promotion through the wildly popular FIFA 13 video game.

After the fan balloting ends, MLS will take all of the forwards remaining on the ballot and send that list to EA. The player who fans get to score score the most goals in FIFA 13's Ultimate Team feature between July 3 and July 10 will take the final spot in the fans' XI.

Once that vote ends, Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes and MLS commissioner Don Garber will fill out the squad. Vermes gets 19 of the 21 slots, and Garber gets two.

Vermes also gets to pick the 18 players who will be in the game-day squad for the match against Roma, as well as the starting lineup.

The eventual 32-player squad will include four goalkeepers, eight defenders, 13 midfielders and seven forwards. The non-playing All-Stars will be announced on the day of the game.

About this blog
The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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