With the 2016 MLS All-Star Game in San Jose only two months away, the league has opened up fan voting for the MLS roster that will face Arsenal on July 28 at Avaya Stadium. A total of 160 players -- 8 from each of the 20 teams -- are eligible for fan selection. The ten highest vote-getters will be named to the All-Star Fan XI.
The remainder of the roster, which won't be announced until closer to July 28, will be made up of selections from EA Sports FIFA video game participants, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, San Jose Earthquakes and MLS All-Star head coach Dominic Kinnear, and MLS players. 32 total selections will be made of which 23 will be named to the game-day roster.
The fan ballot, which opened up to voting this week, was created by members of the media that cover the league, with each member submitted a best-eight list for each of the 20 MLS teams. The top eight media vote-getters from each team was then compiled into the 160 players on the fan ballot. At least 20 players from each of the four primary positions were selected -- 20 forwards, 20 midfielders, 20 defenders, and 20 goalkeepers -- with 80 additional players selected based on number of votes collected.
From the San Jose Earthquakes were selected goalkeeper David Bingham, defenders Victor Bernardez and Marvell Wynne, midfielders Fatai Alashe, Simon Dawkins and Alberto Quintero, and forwards Chris Wondolowski and Quincy Amarikwa. The most notable omissions are midfielders Anibal Godoy -- the main engine in the center of the park for the Quakes -- and Shea Salinas -- the dynamic winger that is continuing the strong effort he gave the team in 2015.
Media members were invited to make their selections in mid-May, so only the latest round of games were not considered. Godoy, especially, is a worthy All-Star from the Quakes. The Panamanian is second only to Wondolowski as team MVP.
Fan voting will end on July 4, after which the additional selections will be made by Garber, Kinnear, and the players. The total roster size of 32 players is mandated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and the league -- many of that number will be designated as inactive All-Stars for the game.
The 2016 MLS All-Star game will mark the most significant event to date at Avaya Stadium, the home of the San Jose Earthquakes opened in early 2015. Tickets for the match against Arsenal are already sold-out, and demand is expected to be high as the game approaches in late July.
Which of the 8 Earthquakes choices will you be voting for? Are you upset not to see Godoy among the candidates? Who else from the Quakes deserved to be on the list? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.