In 2009, the Sounders FC had three players start the Major League Soccer All Star Game and a fourth on the bench. 2010 looked like it would be a shutout for Seattle, but on Monday all three starters from the 2009 match were named All Stars by MLS.
Kasey Keller, Fredy Montero and Freddie Ljungberg were all honored by the league on Tuesday, though none of the three will travel to Houston, where the MLS All Stars will take on Manchester United at Reliant Stadium. The Sounders FC host El Salvadoran club Metapan in the preliminary round of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday night at Qwest Field.
“Obviously all of them are good players,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Montero is our leading points guy at this time, so he deserves it. Kasey has played very well as of late for us and has come up with some good saves. I will always say with Freddie that he is a good, talented player and worthy of being an all-star.”
Keller has five clean sheets and a 6-8-3 record on the season, coming off of a season in which he was a finalist for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. In his last three matches, he has allowed just two goals and posted a 2-0-1 record, dropping his goals against average to 1.37.
Montero is second on the team with six goals, but tops the Sounders with eight assists, tying him for second in MLS. In 2009, he was named MLS Newcomer of the Year after a 12-goal, 7-assist season. He has either a goal or an assist in each of the last seven matches, totaling three goals and five assists in that stretch.
Ljungberg has had a down year, statistically, with just three assists in 15 games. This after a 2-goal, 9-assist season in 2009 earned him MLS Best XI honors. He is widely respected as one of the most talented players in the league and was at the top of the list for fan voting at the 2009 All-Star Game.
Ljungberg has been absent from the Sounders FC for the last three league matches while exploring other options during the international transfer window.
The Seattle trio are joined by Kansas City Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, New York Red Bulls midfielder Joel Lindpere, Columbus Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers and Colorado Rapids forward Conor Casey on the inactive list for the All-Star Game.
Defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado joined Keller, Montero and Ljungberg on the 2009 All-Star squad in a shootout loss to Everton.
The MLS All-Stars will face Manchester United at 5:30 pm Pacific Time on Wednesday, while the Sounders and Metapan will kick off at 7 pm in the aggregate goal series.