Analysis / MLS

MLS All-Star Ballot: Here’s how we voted

Photo: Earl Gardner

MLS All-Star ballots were due on Friday, May 22.

Media members that participate in the process are asked to create the primary online ballot from which fans make the final selections.

The rules are simple enough. We’re tasked with selecting eight (!) players from each team, including one player at each position. That means we’re selecting a goalkeeper, a defender, a midfielder, and a forward from each of the 20 MLS clubs. The criteria for selection is simple; players we choose should be “worthy of all-star consideration based on league play in 2015”. That creates problems with a couple of superstar players who have been injured (Diego Valeri), and teams like Montreal that have only played five league games so far.

You can place your vote for the MLS All-star Game roster here.

With one ballot to go between all of PSP, we went back and forth before settling on a final list. When it was all said and done, here’s what our ballot looked like:

Philadelphia Union – Brian Sylvestre (GK), Steven Vitoria, Raymon Gaddis, Maurice Edu, Cristian Maidana, Zach Pfeffer, Vincent Nogueira, Fernando Aristeguieta

John McCarthy may be local, but Brian Sylvestre is flat out better. Thus, he gets our nod.

With Maurice Edu listed in midfield, it was impossible not to choose four central midfielders, with Zach Pfeffer’s spark earning him a shout alongside Nogueira and Maidana.

If only C.J. Sapong had stayed out of trouble, he would have probably joined Fernando Aristeguieta on our list, bumping off either Ray Gaddis or Steven Vitoria.

Chicago Fire – Sean Johnson (GK), Adailton, Jeff Larentowicz, Harry Shipp, Shaun Maloney, Joevin Jones, Matt Polster, David Accam

Joevin Jones is fast and fun to watch. So to is David Accam. Throw in the youthful tenacity of Matt Polster and the creativity of Harry Shipp and Chicago might actually be building something this year.

Colorado Rapids – Clint Irwin (GK), Axel Sjoberg, Lucas Pittinari, Dillon Powers, Juan Ramirez, Marcelo Sarvas, Dillon Serna, Gabby Torres

Almost threw a vote to Zac MacMath, because here at PSP, we do what we want. But, Clint Irwin is a pretty, darm good goalkeeper. In the midfield, Marcelo Sarvas is a flat-out winner in MLS, while Dillon Powers already boasts 5 assists.

Columbus Crew – Steve Clark (GK), Michael Parkhurst, Emanuel Pogatetz, Tony Tchani, Justin Meram, Mohamed Saied, Ethan Finlay, Kei Kamara

Solid from front to back, Michael Parkhurst and Emanuel Pogatetz keep the Crew organized and composed at the back, while Kei Kamara can’t stop banging them in at the other end. Thrown in the ever improving play of both Justin Meram and Ethan Finlay and no one in the East will want to play Columbus down the stretch. We’re not quite sure how we failed to check off the box for Federico Higuain. One of us (Eli) was definitely asleep at the wheel for that pick.

D.C. United – Bill Hamid (GK), Bobby Boswell, Sean Franklin, Nick DeLeon. Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius, Jairo Arrieta, Chris Rolfe

Chris Rolfe has done a pretty good job as DC’s creative fulcrum, while Perry Kitchen continues his ascent as one of the best defensive midfielders in MLS, but the biggest story down at RFK is the play of Bill Hamid. Still only 24 years old, Jurgen Klinsmann and plenty of European suitors will definitely have taken note of his fine form to open 2015.

FC Dallas – Chris Seitz (GK), Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Victor Ulloa, Mauro Diaz, Kellyn Acosta, Fabian Castillo, Blas Perez

Fabian Castillo is doing it all right now. No longer just a speed merchant, he is turning into an elite set up man. The goals likely aren’t that far behind. It also feels pretty great to throw a well deserved vote to Chris Seitz.

Houston Dynamo – Tyler Deric (GK), DaMarcus Beasley, David Horst, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, Luis Garrido, Giles Barnes, Will Bruin

Turns out all it took to get the best out of Giles Barnes was to give him an English coach. At the back, DaMarcus Beasley continues to soldier on as one of the greatest American players of all time.

Sporting Kansas City – Tim Melia (GK), Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler, Roger Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber, Paulo Nagamura, Dom Dwyer, Krisztian Nemeth

As much as we love to give Benny Feilhaber grief, he is leading MLS in assists. So, begrudgingly, he earned our vote. Also, Peter Vermes can count himself lucky the Krisztian Nemeth has been in a scoring mood lately, since Dom Dwyer has had some struggles putting the ball in the back of the net.

Los Angeles Galaxy – Jaime Penedo (GK), AJ DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Juninho, Robbie Rogers, Bradford Jamieson IV, Gyasi Zardes

It has been a rough start for the defending champs, with Landon Donovan gone and Robbie Keane spending most of the season on the bench. For that reason, extra credit is due for the trio of Jaime Penedo, AJ DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez for continuing to keep LA in games at the back.

Montreal Impact – Evan Bush (GK), Bakary Soumare, Calum Mallace, Nigel Reo-Coker, Ignacio Piatti, Andres Romero, Dominic Oduro, Jack McInerney

If Ignacio Piatti ever learns how to pick his head up and spot his teammates darting runs, he’d be the MLS MVP and Montreal might have lifted the CONCACAF Champions League Cup. That said, he’s still pretty darn good.

New England Revolution – Bobby Shuttleworth (GK), Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, Scott Caldwell, Jermaine Jones, Lee Nguyen, Juan Agudelo, Charlie Davies

After praising Perry Kitchen, it’s only fair to give Scott Caldwell some love for his massive improvements over the past year. Up front, Charlie Davies has rediscovered his scoring touch, though he also appears to have enrolled in the DeRo Academy of Obnoxious Celebrations.

New York City FC – Josh Saunders (GK), Jason Hernandez, Mehdi Ballouchy, Andrew Jacobson, Kwadwo Poku, Patrick Mullins, Khiry Shelton, David Villa

No Mix Diskerud? Color me unimpressed. Kwadwo Poku looks like a nice player though. Can’t be much worse than what Jason Kreis is currently running out there.

New York Red Bulls – Luis Robles (GK), Damien Perrinelle, Sacha Kljestan, Felipe, Dax McCarty, Lloyd Sam, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Mike Grella

Photo by Earl Gardner

Dax McCarty. One of MLS’ most underrated players for years. Photo: Earl Gardner

The story for the Red Bulls in 2015 has been the extremely well balanced midfield Jesse Marsch has assembled. Thus, Sacha Kjlestan, Felipe, Dax McCarty, Lloyd Sam and Mike Grella all make the list.

Orlando City SC –  Donovan Ricketts (GK), Seb Hines, Brek Shea, Cristian Higuita, Darwin Ceren, Kaka, Amobi Okugo, Cyle Larin 

Adrian Heath is thanking his lucky stars Cyle Larin started scoring when he did, otherwise Orlando could find themselves in a heap of trouble. Oh yeah, Kaka is also marvelous to watch.

Portland Timbers – Adam Kwarasey (GK), Nat Borchers, Jorge Villafana, Alvas Powell, Diego Chara, Dairon Asparilla, Ishmael Yartey, Fanendo Adi

No Nagbe? No. No Nagbe. With Diego Valeri and Will Johnson sidelined, this was supposed to be Nagbe’s chance to finally put the Timbers on his shoulders. With 0 goals and 2 assists as of this writing, Nagbe is more Metrostar than All Star.

Real Salt Lake – Nick Rimando (GK), Demar Phillips, Jamison Olave, Jordan Allen, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Alvaro Saborio, Devon Sandoval

He has always lacked the size to compete at international level, but Nick Rimando is one heck of an MLS goalkeeper. Despite starting the year slowly, RSL has come on, of late, and has some eager, young talent who can help drive them back into contention in the West.

San Jose Earthquakes – David Bingham (GK), Clarence Goodson, Fatai Alashe, Matias Perez-Garcia, Shea Salinas, Innocent Emeghara, Tommy Thompson, Chris Wondolowski 

Shea Salinas’ continue development into a playmaking, table-setting winger has been a big plus for San Jose, who have struggled to find a consistent bookend for him on the other wing. Like Rimando, Wondo may not have the chops internationally, but his 100 goals sure make the case for what a fine striker he is in this league.

Seattle Sounders – Stefan Frei (GK), Chad Marshall, Brad Evans, Tyrone Mears, Ozzie Alonso, Marco Pappa, Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins

Dempsey and Martins. Check. Alonso. Check. There is some serious star power in Seattle. Throw in the aerial prowess of Chad Marshall and Stefan Frei’s league leading 44 saves (while only conceding 9 goals) and Seattle is rock solid through their spine.

Toronto FC – Joe Bendik (GK), Nick Hagglund, Damien Perquis, Michael Bradley, Benoit Cheyrou, Robbie Findley, Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco

Giovinco has been the absolute superstar Toronto paid top dollar to acquire, but Benoit Cheyrou’s experience and steel in midfield is keeping his side in games and helping them to convert slim advantages into victories at the final whistle..

Vancouver Whitecaps – David Ousted (GK), Jordan Harvey, Kendall Waston, Matias Laba, Russell Teibert, Pedro Morales, Kekuta Manneh, Octavio Rivero

The Whitecaps young central midfield is so dynamic that any two of Laba, Teibert and Koffie could make this list. Also, Jordan Harvey. Because, Jordan Harvey.

6 Comments

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    It’s time we mend fences with our “friends” from New Jersey and vote in as many pink cows as possible. Let’s get them a lot of minutes on Wednesday before they head down to PPL on Saturday.

    • UnitedPenn13 says:

      The Pink Cows don’t come back down to PPL park until 08/01. NYCFC come down on Saturday, 06/06.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        The all-star game is 7/29, the Wednesday before 8/1. Voting for Pink Cows means they have to play an extra game on Wednesday before the Union game.

  2. Jim Presti says:

    Laughable that Nagbe wasn’t included. If you watch some of Portland’s matches, he is a magnet for defenders. Absorbs so much attention and can still make that final, great pass. More often its the striker’s not finishing. As far as goals, its hard to score when Dmids and CBs are constantly hacking you down.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I lived in Portland for awhile and have adopted Timbers as my cross conference team. I watch them as much as possible. I would like to see him continue to develop. Lovely footballer.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Portland is my Western Conference team. Love pretty much everything about them. And as far as Nagbe goes, I think he’s eligible for US citizenship soon. Crossing my fingers. Would love to see him in a USA kit

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