NEW YORK and TORONTO -- Major League Soccer and Toronto FC, hosts of the 2008 Pepsi MLS All-Star Game, will unveil the MLS All-Star First XI in a press conference aired live exclusively on MLSnet.com from BMO Field on Thursday, July 10 at 11 a.m. ET. MLS fans will learn the initial group of players voted to face West Ham United in the 13th annual MLS All-Star Game. The match is Thursday, July 24 at 7 p.m. ET, live on ESPN, TeleFutura and CBC.
Supporters cast their ballots and the resounding favorites were Los Angeles Galaxy teammates David Beckham and Landon Donovan. Chicago's Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Houston's Dwayne De Rosario and Columbus' Frankie Hejduk also captured a significant percentage of the fan votes.
Online fan balloting comprised 25 percent of the total vote for the All-Star First XI. The remaining 75 percent was comprised of voting by coaches and general managers, players and media, who each held 25 percent of the vote.
MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis will lead next Thursday's announcement from BMO Field. Tom Anselmi, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, will participate and will discuss events surrounding the All-Star Game including Pepsi MLS Soccer Jam being held from July 22-24, which takes place outside of BMO Field on the Grounds of Exhibition Place. The entire event will be broadcast live on the League's official web site www.mlsnet.com.
After the First XI is announced, MLS All-Star coach Steve Nicol (New England Revolution) will select five additional players and MLS Commissioner Don Garber will make two selections to round out the 18-player roster. If First XI selections are unavailable due to injury, international duty or other commitments, Nicol will decide on alternates.
The 2008 Pepsi MLS All-Star Game will feature the best in Major League Soccer versus West Ham United of the English Premier League. The game will be played on Thursday, July 24 at 7 p.m. ET at BMO Field in Toronto, Canada and will be broadcast on ESPN, Telefutura and CBC in Canada.
The 2008 Pepsi MLS All-Star Game will follow the most competitive All-Star format in North American professional sports, with MLS players looking to continue their streak against international opponents and West Ham players looking to secure their spots ahead of the Premier League season. Last year, the MLS All-Stars defeated Scottish Premier League powerhouse Celtic FC, 2-0, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce, Colo., with a game-winning goal by New York Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Angel. In 2006, the MLS All-Stars defeated English Premier League power Chelsea FC, 1-0, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. In 2005, the MLS All-Stars bested English Premier League club Fulham FC, 4-1, at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. In 2003, the MLS All-Stars downed one of Mexico's most successful clubs, Chivas de Guadalajara, 3-1, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Final Fan Voting Results
Top Vote Getters by Position and Percentage
1. Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) 19.58%
2. Danny Dichio (Toronto FC) 7.32%
3. Juan Pablo Angel (New York Red Bulls) 6.70%
4. Alejandro Moreno (Columbus Crew) 6.31%
1. David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy) 10.96%
2. Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago Fire) 7.31%
3. Dwayne De Rosario (Houston Dynamo) 4.87%
4. Amado Guevara (Toronto FC) 4.60%
5. Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew) 4.11%
6. Maurice Edu (Toronto FC) 3.96%
1. Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew) 7.89%
2. Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC) 5.65%
3. Jim Brennan (Toronto FC) 5.51%
1. Greg Sutton (Toronto FC) 18.44%
2. Matt Reis (New England Revolution) 13.50%
Top Ten Overall Vote Getters*
1. David Beckham 4.79%
2. Landon Donovan 3.61%
3. Cuauhtemoc Blanco 3.19%
4. Frankie Hejduk 2.13%
5. Dwayne De Rosario 2.13%
6. Amado Guevara 2.01%
7. Greg Sutton 1.99%
8. Guillermo Barros Schelotto 1.80%
9. Maurice Edu 1.73%
10. Robbie Rogers 1.61%
* The percentage shown is of fan votes (not ballots) cast by fans for all players. Because there are up to 11 votes on each ballot, a player receiving a vote on every ballot (if every ballot had 11 players selected), would be shown above as earning 9.09 percent of the total votes. As a comparison, David Beckham received a vote on 39 percent of all ballots submitted.
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and features many stars from the U.S. and around the world. Now in its 13th season, the 14 teams in MLS are: the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes and Toronto FC. For more information about MLS, log on to the League's official Web site at www.MLSnet.com.