Three Sporting Kansas City players were chosen on the Fan XI for the MLS All-Star Game against AS Roma, which will be played July 31 at Sporting Park.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
Defenders Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin along with midfielder/winger Graham Zusi were among the 10 players announced Sunday as All-Star selections from the fan vote during halftime of Sporting KC’s match with the Chicago Fire.
“It’s nice to be recognized by the fans,” Zusi said. “You always appreciate what the fans do for you, and without them I wouldn’t be in this position.”
It is the second All-Star selection for all three Sporting KC players.
The Fan XI are not necessarily included on the game-day roster. MLS All-Star coach Peter Vermes will select the roster based on player availability and tactical considerations, but all Fan XI players are All-Stars.
“I’m really excited for this one and hope I can get a chance to play since it’s in Kansas City,” Besler said. “I’m happy Peter’s going to get a chance to coach the team. He’s easily one of the best coaches in the league. I might be in his ear a little bit trying to play. I want to be out there.”
FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez also was picked as part of the Fan XI along with defender Omar Gonzalez.
Midfielders Brad Davis of Houston and Will Johnson of Portland also were chosen along with Fire forward Mike Magee, who traded from the LA Galaxy in late May, along with reigning MLS MVP Chris Wondolowski and French international superstar Thierry Henry.
“I’m very happy and I’m proud to represent Sporting KC,” Collin said. “Hopefully, we’ll have even more players, because some other guys deserve it.”
The 11th player will be announced Thursday upon completion of the All-Star “In the Game” Challenge. From now until Wednesday (at 11 a.m.), fans around the world playing the video game FIFA 13 can vote in their favorite forward by scoring as many goals as possible with that player.