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The media ballot for the 2009 MLS All-Star Game has finally made its way to my inbox, which means its time to seriously consider which eleven players will be getting votes.
Selecting this year's group isn't easy, nor it should be. There are several worthy candidates in the pool, with only a few positions easy to call.
So what can you do? I am going to list my current ballot and I want each SBI reader to submit the one player they would change and who that replacement would be. Think I have the wrong forward or defender on my ballot? Let me know. Let me state clearly that this ballot is my CURRENT ballot. I will submit a final ballot just before the July 6 deadline.
Here is the SBI MLS All-Star Ballot:
SBI MLS All-Star Ballot
FORWARDS- Conor Casey and Landon Donovan. Yes, Fredy Montero has had a good year, but he went cold for almost two months so he doesn't get the nod. Brian McBride was a lock a month ago, but has also gone cold. Donovan was having a great year before national team duty, as was Casey.
MIDFIELDERS- Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Shalrie Joseph, Brad Davis, Amado Guevara and Paulo Nagamura. Plenty of ways you can go here, but I can't see how anybody can argue against the top three. Guevara has enjoyed a very strong season for TFC and edges out Santino Quaranta, who ha has been the key spark for D.C. United this year, though Chris Pontius merits his share of consideration. Nagamura has been a bulldog in midfield, but has also provided clutch goals. He gets the call ahead of teammate Jesse Marsch and Seattle's Osvaldo Alonso.
DEFENDERS- Geoff Cameron, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Brian Namoff. Cameron has pulled away at the mid-way point for Defender of the Year, while Hurtado is still in the conversation. Namoff has been a rock in the back and D.C. United's steadiest defender, playing every minute of the season. Wilman Conde was on this list before being sidelined recently with an injury.
GOALKEEPER- Zach Thornton. Seattle fans will clamor for Kasey Keller but Thornton has more saves, shutouts and victories. He's made more tough saves than any other goalkeeper as well. Pat Onstad is putting up insane numbers, but faces much fewer shots.
Here is the lineup:
That is eleven players representing nine teams. Only Houston and Chivas USA have multiple selections. No surprise they are currently the top two teams in MLS.
Now it is your turn. I'm NOT asking you to give me your All-Star Ballot. I want to know which one player on my ballot you think should come off, and what player you would replace him with.
Share your suggestions below.