When the MLS All-Stars take on Bayern Munich on Wednesday from Providence Park in Portland, Sounders FC will be well-represented. Five players from Seattle made the All-Star squad – the most of any team in MLS – although only four will make the trip to Portland after Chad Marshall was scratched from the lineup due to injury. After posting a 12-5-2 record to start the season in first place in the Western Conference standings, it’s a testament to a successful start that has surpassed each previous season in club history.
“It speaks wonders about the club and how we’re doing and the kind of players we have on this team,” said Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin, who will be making his second appearance at the mid-season exhibition in just two professional seasons. “Hopefully we can represent Seattle and the Sounders well.”
Yedlin will be joined in Portland by midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and forwards Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins against a Bayern Munich side that has reached the UEFA Champions League semifinals in four of the past five seasons, winning the tournament in 2013.
All five Seattle All-Stars are having standout seasons, but the collective whole in Seattle has built a foundation for players throughout the roster to shine.
“Whenever you achieve team success than individual recognition comes with it,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “I think it’s just a reflection of what we’ve done as a team and it’s great for the individuals.”
No other MLS club has more than three All-Stars. And while Seattle’s four takes up a significant chunk of the full roster, the only surprise to Alonso is that more players weren’t included.
“We are doing pretty good here. We’re top of the league and we deserve to have five players or more players to play in the All Stars,” said Alonso, a four-time All-Star himself. “But it is what it is and five players got there to play against Bayern Munich. I hope we can show our ability to play against big teams.”
With a star-laden roster that has found a way to play cohesively, Seattle is lining up to have a historical season even after suffering defeats in the last two matches. Now with 14 matches left to play, it has a long journey before the season ends, but lofty goals to reach.
“I feel like with the talent we have and the way we’re playing on the field and the way we fight for each other, it could be a special year,” Marshall said.
Kickoff is Wednesday’s All-Star Game is scheduled for 6:30 pm PT. It will be televised nationally on ESPN2.