Major League Soccer will announce the 2012 All-Star First XI tomorrow afternoon at halftime of ESPN’s nationally televised meeting between the Los Angeles Galaxy — sans David Beckham — and the Chicago Fire — sans Steven Kinney. The San Jose Earthquakes, atop the league standings going into the halfway mark of the season, are well represented in the top ten vote getters going into the last day of voting, with Chris Wondolowski, Marvin Chavez, and Steven Beitashour all with a strong chance of getting the call to go to Philadelphia for the July 25 match against Champions League winners Chelsea FC.
Wondolowski was recently announced as the MLS Player of the Month award winner for the month of June, his second such honor this season (he was also POTM for April) and the fourth time in his career. The most prolific scorer in MLS the last two-plus seasons, Wondolowski has already netted 14 goals this season and is on pace to challenge Roy Lassiter’s mark of 27 goals scored for DC United in the league’s inaugural season of 1996. The Earthquakes two-time MVP has 16 games left on the schedule to reach Lassiter’s lofty level.
Chavez, riding a fantastic match against the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday, elevated his assists total to 8 on the season. Good for second place in MLS behind Dwayne De Rosario’s 10, Chavez’s 8 assists lead the Earthquakes and are a big part of helping push the team to the top of the goal scoring chart in MLS. While not an every game player according to his coach Frank Yallop, Chavez is in the running for most valuable player on the Earthquakes. Although with Wondolowski on the roster, the Honduran will likely need to settle for second best.
Beitashour has quietly put together another solid season at the right back position for San Jose. A blistering start to 2012 on the stats sheet saw the third year defender’s stock rise to the point that a discussion was brought forth as to whether or not he deserved a call-up to the U.S. Men’s national team. That talk has diminished somewhat as Beitashour’s contributions to the offense via assists has tempered, but the San Jose native continues to lock down a position that appears his to keep as long as he wears the Blue and Black.
According to MLS, the top online vote-getters (as of Monday, July 2; Twitter and text votes not included) by position are:
Goalkeepers: 1. Andy Gruenebaum (Columbus), 2. Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA), 3. Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting KC)
Defenders: 1. Jay DeMerit (Vancouver), 2. Jámison Olave (Real Salt Lake), 3. Steven Beitashour (San Jose)
Forwards: 1. Chris Wondolowski (San Jose), 2. Thierry Henry (New York), 3. Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Do the Earthquakes, a team that currently leads the way for the 2012 Supporters’ Shield trophy, deserve to send a trio of players to the All-Star game later this month? Given that the First XI is determined by fan voting, and the rest of the roster will be decided upon before the end of next week, the answer seems clear by the actions of fans across the nation. Yes, is the collective cry, more Earthquakes please!