NEW YORK --
Major League Soccer has announced seven more selections to the 18-player roster including the Canadian National Team trio of Jim Brennan (Toronto FC), Dwayne De Rosario (Houston Dynamo) and Pat Onstad (Houston Dynamo). The 2008 Pepsi MLS All-Star Game between the MLS All-Stars and West Ham United takes place on July 24, 2008 at BMO Field in Toronto (Live on ESPN, Telefutura and on CBC in Canada, 7 p.m. ET).
In addition to the All-Star First XI announced last week, New England Revolution Coach Steve Nicol selected five All-Stars and MLS Commissioner Don Garber selected two. The five players selected by Nicol were (in alphabetical order): Juan Pablo Ángel (forward, New York Red Bulls), Jim Brennan (defender, Toronto FC), Christian Gomez (midfielder, Colorado Rapids), Pablo Mastroeni (midfielder, Colorado Rapids) and Pat Onstad (goalkeeper, Houston Dynamo).
Commissioner Garber selected Edson Buddle (forward, Los Angeles Galaxy) and Dwayne De Rosario (midfielder, Houston Dynamo) as the two "Commissioner's picks." Buddle was traded to the Galaxy, his fourth team in three years, midway through last season and was slowed by injuries. This season he has already matched his career high of 11 goals, tying him for first in MLS with teammate and All-Star First XI member Landon Donovan. De Rosario, a Toronto-area native and a regular for Canada's national team, has led the Houston Dynamo to the past two MLS Cup Championships. Last year he became the first player to win the MLS Cup MVP award twice. This is his third consecutive All-Star Game selection. In 2006 he scored the lone goal when the MLS All-Stars defeated English Premier League power Chelsea FC at TOYOTA PARK in Bridgeview, Ill.
Nicol earned the honor of coaching the MLS side by virtue of leading his team to the highest points per game average in the League through games played on June 29 (Week 14). If players are unavailable due to injury, international duty or other commitments, Nicol will select alternates.
Full 18-Player MLS All-Star Roster:
Goalkeeper: Pat Onstad& (Houston Dynamo), Matt Reis* (New England Revolution)
Defenders: Jim Brennan& (Toronto FC), Jimmy Conrad* (Kansas City Wizards), Frankie Hejduk* (Columbus Crew), Michael Parkhurst* (New England Revolution)
Midfielders: David Beckham* (Los Angeles Galaxy), Cuauhtémoc Blanco* (Chicago Fire), Dwayne De Rosario+ (Houston Dynamo), Christian Gomez& (Colorado Rapids), Shalrie Joseph* (New England Revolution), Sacha Kljestan* (Chivas USA), Pablo Mastroeni& (Colorado Rapids), Robbie Rogers* (Columbus Crew)
Forwards: Juan Pablo Angel& (forward, New York Red Bulls), Edson Buddle+ (Los Angeles Galaxy), Kenny Cooper* (FC Dallas), Landon Donovan* (Los Angeles Galaxy)
* First XI
& Coach's Selection
+ Commissioner's Selection
2008 MLS ALL-STAR BIOS
Juan Pablo Angel, Forward, New York Red Bulls, Born: October 24, 1975
Angel had a stellar first year with the Red Bulls in 2007, after arriving as a Designated Player from English Premiership team Aston Villa. He scored a goal and was named the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player in 2007 versus Celtic FC at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Last season Angel notched 19 goals and five assists, finishing second in the Budweiser Golden Boot race. Angel brings to MLS a wealth of international experience, including time at Atlético Nacional in Colombia and River Plate in Argentina. This is the second consecutive All-Star game selection for Angel.
David Beckham, Midfielder, Los Angeles Galaxy, Born: May 2, 1975
In his second season with the Galaxy, David Beckham has made a huge impact in leading the team to the top of the Western Conference standings. He has registered five goals and seven assists in 2008, but also leads the Galaxy midfield with his tireless work effort, his pinpoint passing and sublime free kicks. Beckham recently earned his 100th cap for England, and is hoping to help the Galaxy return to the MLS Cup Final. This is Beckham's first MLS All-Star Game selection.
Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Midfielder, Chicago Fire, Born: January 17, 1973
Blanco's arrival to Chicago last year sparked a run of form that propelled the Fire to the Eastern Conference Championship game after the club had struggled in the standings during the first half of 2007. Now in his second season with the club, Blanco has already matched his goal scoring total from last season with four (4) goals and has also recorded six assists. The Mexican international has scored 34 goals in 97 games for his national team. He won the 1999 Confederations Cup with Mexico, setting a tournament record with nine goals. This is Blanco's first MLS All-Star Game selection.
Jim Brennan, Defender, Toronto FC, Born: May 8, 1977
Brennan, a Toronto native, is a stalwart in Toronto FC's back line. Last year the captain played in and started 27 games, logging 2,430 minutes. He's led a turnaround for the second season expansion side, as they have a 6-6-3 record with 21 points and sit in the middle of a tight race for the Eastern Conference lead. Brennan played 10 seasons in England with Southampton, Norwich City, Nottingham Forrest and Bristol City. His transfer fee from Bristol City to Nottingham Forest was the largest fee paid for a Canadian player. Brennan is also a regular on the Canadian National Team, having competed in 43 contests, second most among active players. This will be Brennan's first appearance in the MLS All-Star Game.
Edson Buddle, Forward, Los Angeles Galaxy, Born: May 21, 1981
Edson Buddle is enjoying the best season of his career in only his second season with the Galaxy. He is tied with teammate Landon Donovan in the race for the Budweiser Golden Boot Award with 11 goals. He has recorded 64 goals and 21 assists in career. His four career hat tricks tie him for third best all-time in MLS. Buddle's 11 goals through just half of the 2008 season already match his career high, set in 2004 over 24 games. Buddle began his MLS career with Columbus in 2001 and played for New York and Toronto before joining the Galaxy. This is Buddle's first MLS All-Star Game selection.
Jimmy Conrad, Defender, Kansas City Wizards, Born: February 12, 1977
Conrad anchors a young Kansas City defense that ranks second in goals against average allowing only 1.20 goals per game (15 games played). Of the seven other Kansas City defenders, four are rookies and none have more than two years of experience entering the season. The defensive unit has recorded a league-leading six shutouts this season. Somewhat surprisingly, Conrad also leads the team in goals scored with four (4) this season. The 10-year MLS veteran was named MLS Defender of the Year in 2005. In college, Conrad won a national championship with UCLA in 1997. This is Conrad's fifth consecutive and fifth overall selection to the MLS All-Star team.
Kenny Cooper, Forward, FC Dallas, Born: October 21, 1984
After suffering through an injury-riddled 2007 campaign, the Dallas, Texas native has regained his health and is wreaking havoc on MLS defenses. As one of the most imposing forces in the League, the 6-foot, 3-inch, 207-pound forward is surprisingly nimble and has a soft touch on the ball. He has scored eight goals and ranks fourth among League leaders. Cooper signed with Manchester United after his senior year in high school and won the Manchester Senior Cup in his first season with the Manchester United reserves. His father, Kenny Cooper, Sr., was a standout goalkeeper in the North American Soccer League (NASL). This is Cooper's first MLS All-Star Game selection.
Dwayne De Rosario, Midfielder, Houston Dynamo, Born: May 15, 1978
De Rosario has been one of the most successful players in MLS history, having won MLS Cup four times, twice with the Houston Dynamo and twice with the San Jose Earthquakes. He has a reputation for performing well in big games, with two goals and two assists in MLS Cup finals and a game-winning goal and game-winning assist in the past two MLS All-Star Games. De Rosario, also a member of the Canadian National Team, leads the Houston Dynamo from the attacking midfield slot where his creative attacking skills, superior field vision and ability to apply pressure all over the field make him one of the top midfielders in the league. This is De Rosario's third consecutive and third overall selection for the MLS All-Star Game.
Landon Donovan, Forward, Los Angeles Galaxy, Born: March 4, 1982
At just 26 years of age, Donovan has already earned 101 caps with the U.S. Men's National Team and is the all-time leading scorer with 36 goals. The youngest player in League history to record 50 goals and 50 assists, Donovan's terrific play this season has pushed the Galaxy into first place in the Western Conference. He is tied with teammate Edson Buddle in the League goal-scoring race for the Budweiser Golden Boot with 11 goals. He has won three MLS Cups (two with the San Jose Earthquakes and one with the Galaxy). This is the eighth overall and eighth consecutive MLS All-Star Game selection for Donovan.
Christian Gomez, Midfielder, Colorado Rapids, Born: November 7, 1974
Before joining the Rapids prior to this season, Christian Gomez had a successful stint with D.C. United, helping them win the MLS Cup in 2004 and the Supporter's Shield in 2006 and 2007. Gomez, the 2006 MLS MVP, now provides Colorado with a playmaking maestro in the midfield. He has scored three goals and registered five assists thus far. In his MLS career, Gomez has 42 goals and 34 assists in 112 games and can hurt opposing teams in any number of ways, posing a threat to goal any time he is on the field. This is Gomez's fourth consecutive MLS All-Star game selection.
Frankie Hejduk, Defender, Columbus Crew, Born: August 5, 1974
Best known for his endurance and gritty defending, the 33-year old Hejduk is in his eighth MLS season. The Crew missed the playoffs in 2007, but behind Hejduk's leadership at the back and strong play from teammate and fellow First XI member, Robbie Rogers, the team is positioned to compete for a playoff spot in 2008. Hejduk is a regular with the U.S. Men's National Team; he has earned 78 caps and played in three FIFA World Cups. Off the field, Hejduk is an avid surfer and was a member of San Dieguito High School's state and national championship surfing team. The 10-year MLS veteran was named MLS Defender of the Year in 2005. This is Hejduk's sixth MLS All-Star selection and will be his first appearance since the 2005 game held in Columbus versus Fulham FC. His first selection came in 1998 as a member of the Tampa Bay Mutiny.
Shalrie Joseph, Midfielder, New England Revolution, Born: April 24, 1978
Joseph controls the game from his defensive midfield position, using tenacious tackles and vocal leadership. His presence has played a large part in Revolution's run to the best record in MLS during the first half of the season. Currently in his sixth season with New England, Joseph is an All-Star for the fifth consecutive year. Born in Grenada, Joseph moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. as a teenager and has represented his national team on numerous occasions. He was named Caribbean Footballer of the Year in 2007.
Sacha Kljestan, Midfielder, Chivas USA, Born: September 9, 1985
This third-year player from Huntington Beach, Calif. will be making his first MLS All-Star game appearance. Just 22, Kljestan has made seven appearances with the U.S. Men's National Team and helped the U.S. U-23 squad during CONCACAF Olympic qualifying. He currently leads Chivas USA in scoring with five goals, a career high for the Seton Hall graduate. He also leads the team with four assists. His brother Gordon is a member of the New York Red Bulls.
Pablo Mastroeni, Midfielder, Colorado Rapids, Born: August 29, 1976
Mastroeni is one of the hardest working, toughest tackling players in the League. The Colorado captain is vocal on the field and has established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the country with the versatility to step into the back line as well. Born in Argentina, Mastroeni has been a mainstay for the U.S. Men's National Team since becoming a U.S. citizen in 2001, and has represented the U.S. in the last two FIFA World Cups. This is his ninth overall and ninth consecutive MLS All-Star selection for Mastroeni, which is tops among the 18 players on the roster and tied for second all-time with Cobi Jones.
Pat Onstad, Goalkeeper, Houston Dynamo, Born: January 13, 1968
The Canadian international makes his second All-Star appearance, having established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in Major League Soccer. Onstad owns the all-time best goals against average, just over one goal per game. In five seasons in MLS, Onstad has won three MLS Cups, two Goalkeeper of the Year awards and is a two-time Best XI member. Onstad is a proven veteran; his solid, consistent play and vocal leadership make him the ideal man to defend the goal.
Michael Parkhurst, Defender, New England Revolution, Born: January 24, 1984
Parkhurst has helped lead the Revolution to the past three MLS Cup finals. This is his third selection to the MLS All-Star team. Parkhurst, 24, is one of the best defenders in the League and a key reason the Revolution have recorded five shutouts this season. After a standout career for Wake Forest University, he was named MLS Rookie of the Year in 2005 and MLS Defender of the Year in 2007. Off the field, Parkhurst spends much of his free time volunteering, and in 2006 he received the League's U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award.
Matt Reis, Goalkeeper, New England Revolution, Born: March 28, 1975
Reis ranks highly among MLS goalkeepers in all categories - first in wins (10), second in saves (65), and second in shutouts (five). Reis led the League in shutouts and saves in 2005 and 2006. He holds nearly every Revolution goalkeeping record and was voted both the Soccer America MLS 'Keeper of the Year and Revolution MVP in 2006. Reis earned the Revolution's Humanitarian of the Year award in 2005 for his work in the community. The durable Reis has played every minute of every League match for the Revs since August 2005. This is Reis's fourth overall and fourth consecutive MLS All-Star selection.
Robbie Rogers, Midfielder, Columbus Crew, Born: May 12, 1987
In only his second season in MLS, the 21-year old Rogers is the youngest member of the First XI. He will be making his first All-Star Game appearance. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native is second on his team with five goals, but just as importantly has caused opponents fits with his marauding runs down the left flank. After an impressive performance for the United States at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Rogers has started all 15 of the Crew's games this season. Rogers won the 2005 NCAA Championship with the University of Maryland during his freshman year before becoming a professional.