NEW YORK — LA Galaxy stars David Beckham and Landon Donovan join New York Red Bulls standout Thierry Henry among the 22 MLS All-Stars confirmed on the game-day roster that will compete against Manchester United in the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 27 at Red Bull Arena (8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, Galavisión and TSN).
All-Star Head Coach Hans Backe of the Red Bulls selected the roster. Because of the competitive format — MLS vs. the World — of the All-Star Game, MLS asked Backe to select from among all available players, and he constructed a dynamic, balanced roster loaded with the league’s top talent. Backe also has seen success against Manchester United, including two wins during the 2007-08 English Premier League season when he was assistant coach at Manchester City under then-head coach Sven-Göran Eriksson.
Backe selected all eight of the original fan-voted All-Stars — including AT&T Text voting winner Matt Besler of Sporting Kansas City — who are available to play on July 27. Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders FC) and Brek Shea (FC Dallas) are unavailable because of CONCACAF Champions League matches during the week of the All-Star Game. Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) and Rafa Márquez (New York Red Bulls) are unavailable because of injuries.
NOTE: Backe will discuss his selections at approximately 6 p.m. ET today on MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio podcast (also available on iTunes).
In addition to 11-time All-Star Donovan, ex-Manchester United midfielder Beckham and World Cup Champion Henry, the roster also features prominent All-Star veterans such as Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo) and Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake).
Other selections have loads of international experience but are MLS All-Stars for the first time: Mexican icon Omar Bravo (Sporting Kansas City), Colombian national team veteran Faryd Mondragón (Philadelphia Union), US national team left back Heath Pearce (Chivas USA) and speedy Jamaican striker Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids).
The roster is below. Players are listed by the position they are most likely to play in the All-Star Game, which is not necessarily the position they play for their respective clubs.
2011 MLS All-Star game-day roster (click on player's name for full bio)
Goalkeeper: Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Faryd Mondragón (Philadelphia Union)
Defenders: Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Bobby Convey (San Jose Earthquakes), Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy), Jámison Olave (Real Salt Lake), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls).
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Jack Jewsbury (Portland Timbers), Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution), Nick LaBrocca (Chivas USA)
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Omar Bravo (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Inactive All-Stars (Note that another six inactive All-Stars will be chosen via player voting): Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Rafa Márquez (New York Red Bulls), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)