Former Arsenal man Freddie Ljungberg has been selected to the MLS All Star first XI. He and Kasey Keller represent the Seattle Sounders, who continue to be the story this season with their passionate fan base and the team's display. This is their debut All Star appearance.
They will play Everton FC at Rio Tinto Stadium, home of Real Salt Lake on July 29th.
The balloting threw up some interesting numbers. The fans, the media, the players, and the coaches were allocated 25% each.
There was no doubt about Guillermo Barros Schelotto of the Crew who ran away with the votes in almost all categories, except in fans.
In Ljungberg's case it was Seattle's passionate fans and media that made the difference which offset his average numbers with coaches and players. Shalrie Joseph (Revs) and Stuart Holden (Dynamo) outscored him in these two categories substantially while losing out on an indifferent fan base. In fact, all of Seattle's nominees were beneficiaries of the media and fans voting blocs.
Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Fire) just got beaten out of the starting XI due to his very poor player numbers. His violent altercation last year with Clyde Simms of DC United seems to have reinforced the perception of a volatile player. On the other hand he seems to have benefited from the Spanish media who find him a hero and his controversies compelling.
2009 MLS All-Star First XI
Goalkeeper: Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders FC)*
Defenders: Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo)*, Wilman Conde (Chicago Fire)*, Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew)*
Midfielders: Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo)*, Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution) Freddie Ljungberg (Seattle Sounders FC)*, Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew)
Forwards: Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids)*, Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
* Denotes first selection to the MLS All-Star Team