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Fire Midfielder Marco Pappa Named to MLS All-Star First XI

Chicago Fire midfielder Marco Pappa was named to his first-ever MLS All-Star First XI today when Major League Soccer announced the 2010 MLS All-Star First XI live on MLSsoccer.com. The MLS All-Star First XI will be joined by 10 coaches’ picks and two Commissioner’s selections, which will be announced on Monday, July 19, to complete the 2010 MLS All-Star team’s 23-man roster.

Pappa, with six goals and four assists has stood out as one of the league’s most creative players in 2010. The fleet midfielder’s ability to control the flow of the game and strike from distance has garnered the 22-year-old his first MLS All-Star nod.

In the 15th annual midsummer event, the MLS All-Stars will face the 2009 English Premier League champions Manchester United in the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Reliant Stadium, in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday, July 28 (live on ESPN2 and TeleFutura at 7:30 PM CT). 

2010 MLS All-Star First XI

Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts (LA Galaxy)*

Defenders: Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)*, Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake)*

Midfielders: Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)*, Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire)* Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew)

Forwards: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)

* Denotes first selection to the MLS All-Star Team

The First XI, consisting of one goalkeeper, three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards, received the most votes at their respective positions from four groups – fans, players, media, and coaches/general managers.

The top two Western Conference teams earned seven of the First XI honors as the LA Galaxy has four players and defending MLS Cup Champions Real Salt Lake have three. 

The MLS All-Star First XI show a range of All-Star experience. Eight players have previously participated in the All-Star game; three will be playing in their first.

U.S. National Team star Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) has been selected as an All-Star in each of his 10 seasons in the League. He is joined by returning All-Stars Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake) and Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew). Receiving the honor for the first time are 2009 Rookie of the Year Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Pappa (Chicago Fire), defender Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake) and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts (LA Galaxy).

The First XI is reflective of Major League Soccer’s diverse player pool, as six nations are represented. Five members of the First XI have played for the U.S. Men’s National Team, while four others have represented their countries at the senior level – Schelotto (Argentina), Pappa (Guatemala), Ricketts (Jamaica) and De Rosario (Canada). Gonzalez, 21, is the youngest member of the First XI; Schelotto is the most senior at 37.

The First XI is not necessarily the starting lineup. MLS All-Star coach Bruce Arena will select the starters based on player availability and tactical considerations. If First XI selections are unavailable due to injury, international duty or other commitments, Arena, in collaboration with host city head coach Dominic Kinnear of the Houston Dynamo, will select alternates for the game day roster, but all First XI players are All-Stars.

Due to international competition – MLS teams in the CONCACAF Champions League the week of the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star Game – the MLS All-Star Game Day Roster will be 23 players as opposed to the 18 players used in the past.  LA Galaxy and Toronto FC players who are All-Stars will arrive in Houston on the day of the All-Star game and will be available to play against Manchester United. No Seattle players will be available for the game day roster, but can be named All-Stars.

The complete 23-man roster, which will be announced on Monday, July 19, at noon CT on MLSsoccer.com, will include 10 coaches’ selections and two Commissioner’s Picks. Those 12 will join the First XI to comprise the 23-man roster.

Under the CBA, a total of 32 players will be named All-Stars. After the 23-man game day roster, the remaining nine players receiving that title will come from the weighted voting, but will be inactive for the All-Star Game. 

Tickets to the 2010 MLS All-Star Game remain on sale, with prices starting at $35-40 (Upper Deck), and continuing at $50 (Upper Endline), $60 (Endline), $65-75 (Sideline) and $90 (Club Seats). To purchase tickets for the MLS All-Star Game, please visit www.houstondynamo.com, call 713-276-7500, or visit the Reliant Stadium Box Office, open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time.

Fan balloting comprises 25 percent of the combined First XI vote, with MLS coaches and GMs (25 percent), media (25 percent), and players (25 percent) accounting for the remainder. Players and coaches/general managers could not register votes for players on their own teams. The chart below shows 20 of the top vote-getters, with the weighted percentage of total votes within each group that the players received.

2010 MLS All-Star First XI

(Listed by position in a 3-5-2 formation)

Donovan Ricketts    Goalkeeper   LA Galaxy                  Nationality: Jamaica     Born: July 7, 1977

This season, Ricketts has helped the Galaxy to a record of 11-2-3 just past the midpoint of the regular season.  He also currently leads the League in saves with 40 saves and earned the NAPA Save of the Week for Week 10. In his first MLS season, goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was a key component of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s defense that allowed just 31 goals on the way to the 2009 MLS Cup Final. Beginning his professional career in Jamaica with Village United before moving to EPL team Bolton Wanderers and League Two side Bradford City, Ricketts made an immediate impact in his MLS debut vs. Chivas USA on April 11, 2009, keeping a clean sheet with five saves and earning MLS Player of the Week honors. This is Ricketts’ first MLS All-Star Team selection.

Jamison Olave          Defender       Real Salt Lake          Nationality: Colombia   Born: April 21, 1981

This year, Olave has started all 15 matches and played the full 90 minutes in all but one match for RSL.  He is an intimidating and effective physical presence and has proven to be a threat on set pieces as he has contributed three key goals for Salt Lake this season. Jamison Olave was named Real Salt Lake’s Defender of the Year in 2009, starting 24 of 25 appearances to lead his team to the 2009 MLS Cup championship.  Beginning his professional career in 2001 with Colombian first division squad Deportivo Cali, Olave helped the team earn its eighth domestic championship in 2005 before leaving the club in 2007 to join Real Salt Lake.  In 2008, Olave started 23 of RSL’s last 26 matches, scoring twice in the process, including the first-ever goal at Rio Tinto Stadium on Oct. 9 vs. the New York Red Bulls. This is Olave’s first MLS All-Star Team selection

Omar Gonzalez        Defender       LA Galaxy                  Nationality: United States Born: Oct. 11, 1988

The 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year has become a steady starter in a solid Galaxy backline. Since his arrival after being selected third overall in the 2009 SuperDraft, he started and played every minute of every League and MLS Cup game for the Galaxy until missing the July 3 game vs. New England. With Gonzalez in defense, the Galaxy have only allowed seven goals in 2010, shutting out opponents 10 times. A three-year starter at the University of Maryland, Gonzalez started all 69 of the games in which he appeared for the Terrapins, and as a junior was a pivotal member of their NCAA championship in 2008. Gonzalez was a member of the prestigious U.S. Soccer Residency program in Bradenton, Fla. Gonzalez has represented the U.S. at the Under-17 and Under-20 levels, and earlier this year was called into the annual U.S. National Team January training camp.

Chad Marshall           Defender       Columbus Crew        Nationality: United States Born: August 22, 1984

This season, Marshall has helped lead the Crew to an 8-2-4 record, which currently places his side in the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The second overall selection in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft has spent his entire seven-year professional career with the Columbus Crew. After battling injuries early in his career, Marshall has stormed back to become one of the League’s top defenders. He has been named the MLS Defender of the Year each of the last two seasons and named to the MLS Best XI on each occasion. The 25-year-old Riverside, Calif., native has used his young career to catapult him into the U.S. Men’s National Team scene. He has recorded 11 caps for the U.S. and was named to the 30-man preliminary roster for the 2010 World Cup. This is Marshall’s second MLS All-Star team selection.

Dwayne De Rosario                        Midfielder                  Toronto FC                      Nationality: Canada                    Born: May 15, 1978

This season, De Rosario has helped lead Toronto to a 6-4-4 record, tallying eight goals and three assists. In 2009, his first full season in Toronto, De Rosario was voted the team’s MVP and Golden Boot winner. Currently in his 10th MLS season, De Rosario has won the MLS Cup four times and is the only two-time MLS Cup MVP. The Scarborough, Ontario native has been named to the MLS Best XI squad four times. De Rosario has recorded two game-winning goals in previous All-Star games, including a long-range volley in a 1-0 victory against Chelsea in 2006 and a penalty kick that was the difference in the MLS All-Stars’ 3-2 win against West Ham in 2008 in Toronto. He earned his first of 52 caps with the Canadian national team in 1998. This is De Rosario’s fifth MLS All-Star team selection.

Marco Pappa            Midfielder      Chicago Fire              Nationality: Guatemala      Born: Nov. 15, 1987

In his third season with the Fire, Pappa has featured in all 14 games this season, leading the Fire with six goals while also contributing four assists. The Guatemalan midfielder, who joined the Fire on loan in 2008, has since made the move permanent. In 2009, Pappa started 28 of his 30 appearances for the Fire as they reached the Eastern Conference Championship. He began his professional career in 2006 with CSD Municipal in his homeland. Pappa has represented his country at the U-17, U-20, U-21, and U-23 levels. He made his first appearance with the full squad on Aug. 20, 2008, and has since earned 12 caps. This is Pappa’s first MLS All-Star team selection.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto  Midfielder   Columbus Crew                                     Nationality: Argentina                      Born: May 4, 1973

In his fourth MLS season, the Argentine attacker is the fulcrum of the Crew’s offense and continues to prove himself to be one of the best players in his club’s history. Schelotto, the 2008 Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player, and former star at Argentine club Boca Juniors, is one of Major League Soccer’s most exciting players. He signed as the Crew’s first Designated Player in 2007 season and led the League with 19 assists the following year. He earned League MVP and MLS Cup MVP honors as he assisted on all three Crew tallies in their 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls. In 2009, Schelotto scored 12 goals, while adding three assists. Since joining the Crew, Schelotto has scored 29 goals and recorded 37 assists. The only other MLS player with at least 20 goals and 20 assists during that time is Landon Donovan (41 goals, 38 assists). This is Schelotto’s second selection to the MLS All-Star First XI team.

Javier Morales          Midfielder      Real Salt Lake          Nationality: Argentina Born: Jan. 10, 1980

The centerpiece of the RSL attack, Morales is a seasoned playmaker in his fourth MLS season. In 2010, Morales has four goals and six assists in 13 games, helping Real Salt Lake to a 9-3-3 record. In 2009, Morales featured in 26 matches and recorded five assists as RSL won their first MLS Cup Championship. During the 2008 season, he was second in MLS with 15 assists in 29 matches, behind only MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto. He spent nine years in his native Argentina with Lanus, Arsenal de Sarandi, Newell’s Old Boys and Cordoba before moving to Spain in 2006, where he played with Vecindario. He was signed by Real in August 2007. This is Morales’ second MLS All-Star team selection. Morales was named as a Commissioner’s Pick to the 2009 MLS All-Star game.

Kyle Beckerman      Midfielder      Real Salt Lake          Nationality: United States             Born: April 23, 1982

Now in his 11th MLS season, Beckerman has started in nine games this season, notching two goals and two assists from his midfield position, where he marshals RSL’s possession game and disrupts the opponent’s attack. Beckerman signed with MLS at the age of 18 with the Miami Fusion as part of the then-Project-40 program. After spending five full seasons with the Colorado Rapids, the Crofton, Md., native was traded to Real Salt Lake in July 2007.  The next season, he helped the team to the 2008 Western Conference Championship and in 2009, Beckerman captained his squad to its first MLS Cup title. After making his international debut with the U.S. Under-16 team in 1997, Beckerman played in the the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, where the U.S. made a historic run to the semifinals. He has since represented the United States at the highest level earning his first cap with the full U.S. Men’s National Team on January 20, 2007. This is Beckerman’s fourth consecutive All-Star selection.

Edson Buddle            Forward         Los Angeles Galaxy Nationality: United States Born: May 21, 1981

In the midst of a brilliant 2010 campaign, Buddle has been named to his second All-Star team. Buddle currently leads the Budweiser Golden Boot race with 10 goals in 10 games, including a goal against Seattle Sounders FC during his first game back from the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In 2009, Buddle finished second on the Galaxy in scoring despite an injury-plagued season. Buddle played his first full season with the Galaxy in 2008, when he tallied a then career-high 15 goals, good for third in the League. Buddle began his MLS career with the Columbus Crew, where he scored 39 goals in four seasons. He played one season with the New York Red Bulls, before moving to Toronto FC in 2007, then acquired by the Galaxy that June. Buddle has played for the US U-18, U-20, and U-23 levels. He most recently appeared for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he served as a second-half substitute in the USA.’s thrilling win over Algeria to reach the Round of 16. This is Buddle’s second selection as an All-Star, and his first time named to the MLS All-Star First XI.

Landon Donovan      Forward         LA Galaxy                  Nationality: United States Born: March 4, 1982

This season, Donovan has led both club and country to success as he recorded a League-leading 10 assists along with one goal to lift the Galaxy to a League-best record of 11-2-3.  As a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Donovan scored three goals through the USA’s run to the Round of 16 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The 2009 Volkswagen MLS MVP and 2008 Golden Boot Winner, Donovan has earned his 10th consecutive All-Star selection. Donovan was named the MVP of the 2001 All-Star Game, his first season in the League, and helped lead the San Jose Earthquakes to their first MLS Cup title that same year. He again played a starring role in the Earthquakes’ second MLS Cup in 2003, and as well as with the Galaxy in their MLS Cup championship season of 2005. Last year, Donovan led the Galaxy to the MLS Cup Final, scoring three goals during postseason play to earn the distinction of all-time leading goal scorer in MLS postseason history. In 2009, Donovan helped lead the United States to their most successful finish in a major FIFA tournament when they defeated Spain and finished second to Brazil at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. With five goals scored, Donovan is tied with Brian McBride for the most goals scored in MLS All-Star Game history.