The SBI MLS All-Star All-Snub Squad

Nick Rimando (

When New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe named the game-day roster for the 2011 MLS All-Star Team, there were destined to be players who many MLS fans felt were snubbed. It happens every year, but this year there seemed to be more snubs than usual.

It is clear that some of Backe's selections were made with more consideration toward building a team capable of beating Manchester United rather than rewarding the league's best players through the first half of the season. While that is his prerogative having been given that power by MLS, it can't be denied that some of Backe's picks were far less deserving than some other players who went ignored.

In some cases, like the Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas, CONCACAF Champions League commitments left them out of consideration for the All-Star Game, but as two of the top teams in MLS, they clearly had players deserving of being on the team, and while it might not be fair to say they were snubbed, there are still plenty of them who were deserving of all-star designation.

So what would a team look like of all the most deserving players who didn't make the MLS All-Star Game roster? Here are my picks:

The SBI MLS All-Star Snub Squad

GK– Nick Rimando, Kevin Hartman

D– George John, Nat Borchers, Carlos Valdes, Chad Marshall, Omar Gonzalez, Jan Gunnar Solli, Sheanon Williams, Todd Dunivant, Alain Rochat

M– Brek Shea, Osvaldo Alonso, Eddie Gaven, Daniel Hernandez, Mauro Rosales, Joel Lindpere, Davide Chiumiento.

F– Charlie Davies, Eric Hassli, Luke Rodgers, Fredy Montero


Of course, by naming this group, we've left ourselves open for the All-Snubbed from the All-Snub Team squad, but I'd say this group is a pretty fair representation of the best players in the first half of the season who were NOT chosen by Hans Backe.

What do you think of this group? Who are you happy to see make this group? What player isn't on this list that you feel should be?

Share your thoughts below.

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87 Responses to The SBI MLS All-Star All-Snub Squad

  1. Jared says:

    Omar Gonzalez a snub? I thought he was injured.

  2. Matt says:

    I think I might take this team over the actual All-Star team… They look about even to me, as Hernandez, John, Borchers, Shea, Rosales were all major snubs (still can’t believe Corey Ashe is an MLS all-star… embarrassing)

  3. K says:

    Where’s Frei?

  4. Kissel says:

    Divies = cheating twat = deserves nothing

  5. Sandra Rodriguez says:

    I also think Alvaro Fernandez from the sounders deserves a nod..

    Him, Rosales, Alonso and Montero this season have been amazing.. dont know what we would do without him

  6. Galaxy says:


  7. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Divies? Oh, I get it. That’s clever.

  8. Jim says:

    Couldn’t toss Dominic Oduro in there? Just saying

  9. WK says:

    I’d add Jon Busch to the GK’s- if it weren’t for him the Quakes would be battling for last spot in the west this season. Lindpere and Alonso are for sure the biggest snubs at MF too.

  10. MattJack says:

    Ives, you have a few guys that are “Injured” and made the all-star team on this list.

    Shea, Omar, etc..

    (SBI-Shea was left off because of CCL, not injury (he just played and I haven’t seen anything about an injury). Omar Gonzalez still deserves to be on the team so I put him here.)

  11. Stefan Frei . . . . if he was on a better team he would be recognized as one of the best goalies in the league . . . but TFC are pretty poor so that’s not the case

  12. Brokenbil says:

    Those all seem like good choices to me, Ives.

    I’m surprised Marquez isn’t included with the other high-profile players on the roster. (What exactly is an “Inactive All-Star?”) Also, it would have been cool to see John Rooney see some playing time against his older brother Wayne.

  13. Alex says:

    that exactly why I believe all-star games should go back to its original format. East vs West or international mls players vs usa/canada born players.

    If MLS wants to raise extra money by attracting fans to see European teams…make it a seperate event

  14. Mikey says:

    Charlie Luganis

  15. KCB says:

    This squad would beat the “All-Star” squad.

  16. JZ says:

    As poor as TFC have been and are, Richard Eckersley is a great player. Surely one of the best fullbacks in the league.

  17. Mikey says:

    Doesn’t matter if they’re injured. This list isn’t about playing, it’s about recognition.

    I like the list Ives. Only omission is Alvaro Fernandez

    (SBI-Far too many invisible games to make this squad. When he’s on, he’s great, but I’d give Marco Pappa the nod before Fernandez.)

  18. Pej says:

    Rochat is one of the best leftbacks in the league, but has had to play in the middle a lot. I would’ve liked to have seen him acknowledged as a rep from Vancouver.

    (SBI-He was on the list originally, but there were just so many good CBs that I dropped him. As far as LBs go, he’s one of the best in the league)

  19. DCUPedro says:

    One dive negates his 7 other goals in limited minutes? OK, whatever. He’s the most dangerous player in MLS on the counterattack and has created a ton of chances for DCU, both for himself and others.

    I understand wanting to knock the guy for a couple of weeks, but its time to move on.

    Forwards sometimes go to ground easily every now and then. Get over it already. He isn’t an enemy of the state.

  20. Matt (NEF) says:

    Agree with Rosales and Alonso being all stars.

    Montero and Fernandez have been to streaky in my opinion.

    I also think that Hurtado was starting to look like his old self and then he gets hurt.

  21. Colin says:

    He’s still picking balls out of the Toronto goal…

  22. Colin says:

    I dunno, I could totally see it. Charlie Davies as Will Smith, Ben Olsen as Gene Hackman. They’re already in DC so that helps…

  23. Lafemmeloca says:

    Still snubbing Jason (@J_Hernandez_21). He has been a rock on the backline for @SJEarthquakes make amazing saves & keeping Clean Sheets.

  24. Jeremy says:


  25. Aquaman says:

    Yeah, but who would be Jack Black?

  26. mistadobolina says:

    i bet this team could beat Backe’s team! at least the Defense is better.. but lets not get out of hand here… the real “All-star” team in this sport is getting an International Call Up!

  27. Mark Rodgers says:

    Danny Califf. Gets overlooked next to the equally overlooked but more heralded Williams and Valdez. A rock in the back line all year for the Union.

  28. crew96 says:

    Will Hesmer

  29. Goob says:

    One? Try 2 dives. One against LA to steal points and the other against RSL to steal points. The RSL dive should have been considered a felony.

    Fabian Espindola should also be considered for snub status. He has been pretty good so far.

  30. Andrew says:

    This is a very good team. They could absolutely compete against the “all star” team. It makes me wish for an all-MLS all star game.

  31. djs says:

    Excellent list, Ives. I don’t have any major gripes, but if I were to add an additional player at each position, these would be my suggestions:

    GK — William Hesmer

    D — Drew Moor

    MF — Brad Evans

    F — Fabian Espindola

  32. Eurosnob says:

    Dude, 2 dives by CD9 over half a season does not seem to be excessive to me. Some players dive more within a course of a single game.

  33. chris says:

    I kind of wish MLS would go back to a East vs West game or International vs US game or maybe even a FMF vs MLS allstar game. That would be sick and i actually think players would play hard to beat mexico.

  34. Gov says:

    his distribution is poor

  35. HandofFrings says:

    (SBI-Try reading the post next time.)

  36. Carl says:

    Ives, Kevin Hartman on your list? He has had some awful errors. Will Hesmer has been much, much better than Hartman this year.

    (SBI-He had one bad blunder against RSL. Has otherwise been outstanding. Hesmer has had some great games, and had a solid season, but I wouldn’t agree on him having a “much, much better season”.)

  37. kfly says:

    No. Just saying.

  38. rees says:

    Zach Loyd. Dude has been nothing short of fantastic for Dallas. He replaced Heath Pearce and the back line hasn’t missed a beat. He looked good in his first cap. He’s been great going forward, good touch, good positioning. Why people are overlooking this guy is beyond me.

  39. Patrick says:

    I like Montero a lot, but I don’t think he’s been solid enough in the first half to merit an snub-star selection.

  40. Kevin_amold says:

    Diving’s part of the game. Until it’s treated with significant suspensions (aka the penalty for diving is worse than the benefit), it’s going to stay part of the game.

    As “The Fog of War” teaches, in order to do good, you may have to engage in evil.

  41. BellusLudas says:

    No one hates diving more than me…if referees would properly punish diving it would disappear from the game. Until they do players will play within “the spirit of the game” per what referees allow.

    Bottom line its an unfortunate part of the game.

  42. Manny says:

    f I were to go FCD outside back , I would say Jackson has been great

  43. :P says:

    They’ll lose no matter who’s on the pitch.

  44. JoeW says:

    Go back and look at the LAG video.

    1. Gonzalez (a much bigger guy) put his arm out against Davies in the penalty area. CD went down easily but it was absolutely a callable foul. Definitely contact, definitely initiated by the defender, not legal (as opposed to shoulder-to-shoulder contact).

    2. “steal points”? Ummm… take a look at the two red cards not given that game against LAG players (including the Beckham studs-up scissors tackle on Wolff that was fortunate to not cause injury).

  45. three11stu says:

    With as many teams in the MLS right now, you could easily make an East vs. West All star game. Then, it wouldn’t really be about proving yourself to the world, it would just be about rewarding the best players in the league for their accomplishments that year.

    When you can make an entire team of snubs, you can create an allstar game out of just league players.

  46. no says:

    brad evans?!?! no way you just said that!

  47. No Chicago Fire players even on the All-Snub squad.



  48. chris says:

    Youre right they have had such a great year.

  49. Sandra says:

    +1!!! fernandez+ friberg > evans

  50. mistadobolina says:

    +2 on Drew Moor. he has been the best player this year for the Rapids.. although not really sure if I would line him up vs. Manchester United.

  51. mistadobolina says:

    FMF vs. MLS would be great.. although good luck organizing that!

  52. Oh I’m not frustrated they have no All-Stars or “All-Snubs”. I’m frustrated with how much they suck.

    Quick with the snark-trigger are we?

  53. Good Jeremy says:

    I disagree. Too small of a league without enough talent to make two different all star teams. One team with an average of one player per team plus extra room for the superstars seems good. And the exhibition vs. Euro powers is a lot more fun than watching Heath Pearce match up with Donovan.

  54. Big Dog says:

    Brian Carrol has gone largely unnoticed this year. All year he has been a defensive stopper in front of the back line, and made almost no mistakes in distribution moving forward. He is the most consistent and I would argue most valuable player on the Union this year. The vastly improved defense would likely be only improved without Carrol sitting in front of them.

  55. Good Jeremy says:

    your distribution is poor.

  56. ManicMessiah says:

    I like your list, but think Backe probably picked the team he thinks has the best chance of winning. After all, this is a meaningless exhibition game so you know he wants to win it. #EmiratesCup

  57. Pope Eddie says:

    Thaaaank you, my god people let it go. He is a goal scorer, whether its poached, created, or cheated. All he can do is play for goals like crazy and let the refs call the game.

  58. Rageman says:

    Will Hesmer is my #2 US keeper right now. He’s gone from a solid young keeper into a smart, experienced and reliable keeper.

    Makes few mistakes distributes the ball well. I hope he does/doesn’t become the next Kevin Hartman in the sense that he plays great and never leaves MLS but barely gets noticed by the national team.

  59. Bubba Zanetti says:

    the problem i have with this team is a lot of these players aren’t eligible for the game through champions league and/or injury… because i know a couple of these players were actually voted onto the squad.

  60. bob says:

    How boring would an east v west all-star game be. Maybe if an east team can make a cup final apperance we could go back to the EvW. But I still like MLS going against a european team any day.

  61. jts says:

    Too many broken legs

  62. djs says:

    Yeah, on second thought I’d suggest Fernandez or Marco Pappa instead of Evans, though I do think Evans has had a quietly solid year that’s worthy of rcognition.

  63. kar says:

    Yea, Oduro’s best season as a pro and I wouldn’t put him on the team.

    Pappa and Nyarko haven’t been consistent enough and our defense . . . meh . . .

  64. abc says:

    Or… those other two make him look good by covering for his shortcomings?

  65. Nate Jaqua's Dad says:

    Uh hello, what about Nate Jaqua. He’s played in at least 1/3 of the Sounders games this season. I think he even started a couple times! The goals will come….

  66. Vince Clortho says:

    Don’t drink and dive..

  67. jake says:

    Agree with Joe on the Gonzales call. The other one vs. RSL was a complete dive of course.

  68. Jeremy says:

    LOL nice…hey he did manage to score in the Open Cup though. He only blew about 5 clear cut chances throughout the rest of the game, but he sure was trying hard out there.

  69. Dulliwhig says:

    He is consistently good at defending, but has a rather limited offensive skillset. MVP over Mondragon or Valdes?

  70. solles says:

    vague sarcasm usually draws snark in return. One of the beauties of the internets.

  71. PD says:

    Lou Farigno

  72. PD says:

    Agreed. Folks need to move on. Until they make diving a fineable defense it’s as much a part of the game as a defender taking down a breakaway for a sure red card, holding a jersey on a freekick or “cramping” in the last 10 minutes of a game when you’re up a goal.

    it’s not “legal”, it’s not classy, but it’s still part of the game.

  73. PD says:

    Actually it’s a tough call IMO. Every keeper at this level should be a good shot stopper, and any keeper at any level will tell you that the more shots they see the greater chances they have of flashy heroics.

    BUT — organizing and motivating a defense to shut down shot opportunities before they develop, stopping the few shots that get through that’s a completely different kettle of fish. Nerves are different, tactics are different sharpness if different.

    Until Frei plays with a team where he’s not getting shelled for 90 minutes it’s difficult to say if he’s that kind of keeper. not saying that’s his fault, but it’s why I give the nod to Mondragon (or Rimando in this case).

  74. PD says:

    but no one went to those games…

  75. PD says:

    snark-trigger… I love it

  76. Scott A says:

    I’m hoping for a post about who was snubbed from the All-Snub Suad.

  77. Scott A says:

    Squad too.

  78. joe g says:

    Conor Casey

  79. Edwin in LA says:

    I know I am all late on this but I think the biggest snub of the snubs, I can’t believe you have 5 Center backs in this team Ives, is Juninho.?

    Papa and Hainault might make a case but of all the ones left of the All-Snub team I think Juninho is the most deserving of being in the All-Snub team lol

  80. Vlad says:

    Tisk tisk. SBI out of all people should know that the Dallas and Seattle players aren’t available for the ASG. Also, remind me exactly what Solli has done other than gotten beaten on every 1v1 situation in every game. See every Red Bull game since May for more details or perhaps just the 1st Chivas-RB game… The roster is fine, get over yourself

  81. Big Dog says:

    I think hes making both of them look good. Just look at how few shots Mondragon has faced from deep. Also, Valdes is always too far up the field. He couldn’t do this without Caroll on the pitch.

  82. Edwin in LA says:

    Solli is in the top 5 in assists in the LEAGUE he has the most out of all defenders, nearest defender has half the assists he has. I doubt he has gotten beaten that bad. I’ll go back to the highlights but I’m sure the whole Red Bulls team had a horrible game vs Chivas, I just saw him play LIVE on the 10th row and he did pretty good vs the Chivas offense, Jorge Flores got 1 shot off but that was just a good combination of passes that lead to that

  83. Edwin in LA says:

    Juninho people, Juninho!

    How is he not on the All-Snub team.

    They guy that sticks out as not really deserving of the “All-Snub” team is Chad Marshall.

    I mean after Ream, Olave, Besler, and Gonzalez on the actual All-Star roster, you have Borchers, John, Valdez Gonzo again even tho he is already RECOGNIZED in the MLS First XI All-Stars. Why a 8th or even 9th CB to be recognized?

    How many CBs should be All-Stars and All-Snubs? lol

    I mean there’s 36 starting CBs do we need to recognize an actual 1/4 of them?

    I just think Juninho would be a much better option than a 5th CB on this imaginary team of stars that have been snubbed?

  84. Rees says:

    Jackson only played a few games at outside back. Loyd has brought stability to the position. Your argument for Jackson may hold more water if you planned to play him at right midfield.

  85. Ron says:

    Dunivant and Gaven are average MLS 1.0 players…Agree with the others. Ricketts is injured, but he is the best keeper in MLS.

  86. Ron says:

    Juninho disappears without Beckham in the middle. Hainault should be here. Marcito Pappa is an all-star calibre player playing on a lousy team.

  87. says:

    ditto for Hesmer and the Crew