July 16, MLS Commissioner Don Garber chose New York Red Bulls striker Juan Agudelo and Sporting Kansas City Designated Player Omar Bravo as his special selections for the 2011 MLS All-Stars, listed below. The All-Stars will host EPL champions Manchester United on July 27, 2011 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey at 8:30 p.m. ET, broadcast on ESPN2, Galavisión, and TSN2.
Last year, a crowd of 70,728 attended the MLS All-Stars-Manchester United match, which resulted in a 5-2 loss for the home team.
MLS All-Star and NYRB coach Hans Backe will announce the complete game day roster on July 18. A total of 32 players will be named All-Stars. After the gameday roster is announced, the remaining pool of 32 All-Stars will be selected by a combined vote from all players and announced on July 25.
The Official 2011 MLS All-Stars First XI (by popular online vote)
Goalkeeper: Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounder FC)
Defenders: Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Rafa Marquez (New York Red Bulls), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls).
Midfielders: David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Jack Jewsbury (Portland Timbers), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
Forwards: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Read also: MLS All-Star First XI: Who was selected and who should be
The Commissioner’s picks
Bravo is one of the top goal scorers in Mexican soccer history, with more 150 goals in Mexico’s First Division and 16 goals in 65 appearances with the Mexican National Team. Bravo ranks second as the all-time goalscorer for CD Guadalajara (Chivas).
Bravo joined Sporting Kansas City as a Designated Player before the 2011 season and although sidelined with injury in the spring, helped the team achieve their current 10-game unbeaten streak since he returned. He has scored four goals and added two assists in 12 games for Sporting KC.
“Omar Bravo is a player with big-game experience, and that was a key factor in my decision to name him as one of my commissioner’s picks,” said Garber. “His quickness and unpredictable nature will create scoring chances, and that will be critical to our success against Manchester United.”
Agudelo, 18, is the first Homegrown Player ever signed to an MLS All-Star team. A native of Colombia, he moved to New Jersey at age eight and joined the Red Bulls Academy in 2007, and was the first graduate of the Academy in the club’s history to make a first-team appearance. Agudelo has scored four goals in 14 appearances for NYRB and two goals in 10 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team since his international debut in 2010.
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