San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski and defender Steven Beitashour were among 11 players named to the MLS All-Star team toady. The All-Star selection is Wondolowski’s second and Beitashour’s first. The two Earthquakes will now be available for selection to suit up on Wednesday, July 25 when MLS hosts defending European Champion Chelsea FC at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Wondolowski leads the race for the 2012 MLS Golden Boot with 14 goals in 17 starts for San Jose. The Earthquakes MVP also leads the league in game-winning goals this season with 7. As reward for his hot start to 2012, Wondolowski has been named MLS Player of the Month in April and June, becoming one of five players in league history to earn the recognition twice in the same season.
Beitashour is tied for fourth in MLS with 6 assists, the most by any defender in the league. He has assisted on two game winning goals for the Earthquakes so far this season, and was the asssits leader for San Jose in 2011. The third-year defender has also proved to be an iron-man for the team, as he is only one of two players — defender Justin Morrow is the other — to play in all 19 Earthquakes matches thus far this season.
Midfielder Marvin Chavez, arguably the Earthquakes most valuable player over the first half of the season, was in the mix going into the last day of fan voting, but lost out to Dwayne De Rosario and Graham Zusi for a spot on the First XI. He is still eligible for selection via league and player association voting.
The First XI received the most votes at their respective positions from combined fan voting on three platforms – online at MLSsoccer.com, via text message, and via Twitter. The ballot consisted of six players from each club, as chosen by a panel of media members. The First XI are not necessarily included on the game day roster. MLS All-Star coach Ben Olsen will select the roster based on player availability and tactical considerations, but all First XI players are All-Stars.
2012 MLS All-Star First XI – As voted by fans
Goalkeeper: Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
Defenders: Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Heath Pearce (New York Red Bulls)
Midfielders: David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)