Philadelphia Union defender and captain Carlos Valdés has been named to the 18-player roster for the Major League Soccer All-Star game, which will take place at PPL Park on July 25.
Valdés was selected to the squad by MLS commissioner Don Garber, who picks two players for the roster. Garber's other selection was San Jose Earthquakes defender Ramiro Corrales, the only player left in MLS who has played every season of Major League Soccer's 17-year existence who played in the league in its original season.
(Corrales went overseas for a few years in the mid-2000s, which I overlooked when digging up his stats.)
D.C. United manager Ben Olsen, who will coach the All-Star Team, named the five other players who will fill out the 18 spots. They are goalkeeper Dan Kennnedy (Chivas USA); midfielders Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle) and Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake); and forwards Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders) and Chris Pontius (D.C. United).
So here's the full squad:
Goalkeeper: Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA), Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
Defenders: Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Ramiro Corrales (San Jose Earthquakes), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Jay DeMerit (Vancouer Whitecaps), Heath Pearce (New York Red Bulls), Carlos Valdés (Philadelphia Union)
Midfielders: David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
All 11 of the players voted into the First XI by fans earlier this month are included in the gameday roster. This did not necessarily have to be the case, but as I wrote last weekend, All-Star team coach Ben Olsen is smart enough to know that those players are worthy participants.
Nine of MLS' 19 teams are not represented Olsen's squad: Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Houston, Montréal, New England, Portland and Toronto.
In the end, a total of 32 players will be named to the All-Star Team. This is because there are bonus checked attached to the honor, and the number of players named dates back to when both sides in the All-Star game were comprised of MLS players.
The 14 reserve players not on the game-day roster will be named later this month, possibly on the day of the All-Star Game itself.
On Friday, Chelsea unveiled its roster for the All-Star Game and the other games on its U.S. tour:
Goalkeepers (4): Peter Cech, Ross Turbull, Henrique Hilário, Jamal Blackman
Defenders (9): Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole*, John Terry*, David Luiz, Paulo Ferreira, Gary Cahill, Sam Hutchinson, Todd Kane, Nathaniel Chalobah
Midfielders (11): Michael Essien, Ramires, Flourent Malouda*, Raul Meireles*, Frank Lampard, John Mikel Obi, Eden Hazard, Marko Marin, Yossi Benayoun, Josh McEachran, George Saville
Forwards (6): Gael Kakuta, Fernando Torres*, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Lucas Piazon, Patrick Bamford
* - Players who participated in the European Championships earlier this month will join the team later in the tour. I would expect everyone to be accounted for by the time of the All-Star Game.
Chelsea will play a total of four games on its United States tour. All except for the All-Star Game are part of the MLS-sponsored World Football Challenge. Here's the itinerary for the reigning Champions League winners:
- at Seattle this Wednesday, July 18 (9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN Deportes)
- vs. Paris Saint-Germain at Yankee Stadium, July 22 (7:00 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel/Univision Deportes)
- vs. the MLS All-Stars at PPL Park, July 25 (8:30 p.m., ESPN2/Telefutura)
- vs. AC Milan at SunLife Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., July 28 (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes)