NEW YORK – Starting today Major League Soccer fans can go online to the League’s official web site www.MLSnet.com to select 11 players they would like to see take on English Premier League club Everton FC in the 2009 MLS All-Star Game.
The 14th annual MLS midsummer showcase will bring together Major League Soccer’s best for a marquee matchup on July 29, 2009, versus famed English Premier League club Everton FC at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the home of Real Salt Lake. The game will be televised in the U.S. on ESPN2 and Telefutura at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Fans can vote for the All-Star First XI online by selecting one goalkeeper, three defenders, five midfielders, and two forwards. Fans can vote up to 10 times per day. The online fan balloting program, which concludes on Monday, July 6, will comprise 25 percent of the total vote for the All-Star First XI, with coaches and general managers, players, and media each holding 25 percent of the vote.
This year’s All-Star team will take on the 2009 FA Cup Finalists and historic Premier League club Everton FC. The Toffees, as they are known to their supporters, are led by U.S. National Team star, former MLS standout, and one of the top goalkeepers in Europe, Tim Howard. The team also boasts England National Team veteran Phillip Neville and a recent call-up to Fabio Capello’s England side, Joleon Lescott. Among the club’s international stars are Tim Cahill (Australia), Marouane Fellaini (Belgium), Louis Saha (France) and Joseph Yobo and Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Nigeria). Everton FC is managed by Scotland-born David Moyes. Everton FC currently sit in sixth place in the English Premier League – one point behind fifth-place Aston Villa and seven points ahead of Fulham.
This year marks the sixth time that MLS All-Stars have taken on a high-profile international opponent in the MLS All-Star game. In 2003 the MLS All-Stars defeated Mexican club CD Guadalajara 3-1, in 2005 claimed a victory over English opponents Fulham 4-1, in 2006 beat English power Chelsea FC 1-0, in 2007 they defeated Scottish Premier League front-runners Celtic FC 2-0 and last year the MLS All-Stars defeated English Premier League side West Ham United, 3-2, on goals from Chicago’s Cuauhtemoc Blanco, D.C. United’s Christian Gomez and Toronto FC’s Dwayne De Rosario. The format of the MLS All-Star game makes it arguably the most competitive all-star game in American professional sports.
The announcement schedule for the 2009 MLS All-Star Team is as follows. Dates are subject to change.
- Wednesday, May 6 – All-Star Game media credential registration began
- Saturday, May 9 – Public on-sale date for All-Star Game Tickets
- Wednesday, May 13 – Online fan voting begins
- Tuesday, June 9 – Media voting scheduled to begin
- Sunday, June 28 - All-Star Coach announced (decided by team with the most points per game as of June 28)
- Monday, July 6 – Online voting ends
- Thursday, July 16 – All-Star ‘First XI’ announced
- Friday, July 17 – Media Credential registration deadline
- Monday, July 20 – All-Star Reserves & Commissioner’s picks announced