2010 marks the first year that I've had the privilege of voting as a media member for the MLS All-Star Game. Media voting marks 25% of the total vote count for the roster, so it's nice for this community to have just a bit more influence than normal.
Last week, Denz from RSL Soapbox wrote about the conundrum that we bloggers face between voting as media members and as fans. Well I don't share any of his mixed emotions.
Black And Red United is indiscreetly a fan blog. That's what it says on my front banner. I don't claim to be an unbiased journalist, as that actually goes against the entire concept behind the SB Nation network.
So what I'm getting at is this: I voted my heart.
D.C. United sitting just a point out of last place in the Eastern Conference isn't going to stop me from voting for some of the team's players to go to Houston to take on Manchester United on July 28th.
Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts (LA Galaxy). This was not a difficult decision as he has allowed by far the fewest goals this season of any starting goalie, and already has nine clean sheets to his name.
Defenders: Omar Gonzalez (LA), Bobby Boswell (Houston Dynamo), Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake). In just his second season, Gonzalez is a legitimate contender for MLS Defender of the Year. Boswell has been the anchor of Houston's defense every match this season, and is still a favorite of mine. Olave single-handedly kept United off the scoreboard when RSL visited last month.
Midfielders: Chris Pontius (DC), Andy Najar (DC), Clyde Simms (DC), Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire), Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC). Here's where my homerism comes in. His stats don't quite show it all the time, but Pontius is well on his way to being among the top American players in the league. Najar is just an enigma, and keep in mind that I sent in my votes the day that I received the ballot (couldn't wait - it was like Christmas morning!), which was before I soured on him a bit. With Shalrie Joseph bouncing in and out of the Revolution's lineup, Simms is worth consideration as one of the top defensive midfielders in the league. The final two choices are a bit more obvious, as Pappa and DeRo are in direct competion for the award of "Most Valuable Player Not On The Galaxy."
Forwards: Edson Buddle (LA), Landon Donovan (LA). The league leaders in goals and assists definitely deserve to start, while other deserving candidates Juan Pablo Angel and Alvaro Saborio will be left out of the lineup thanks to MLS's odd decision to include Donovan as a forward instead of a midfielder.
How did I do as the voting representative of this community? Feel free to post your own votes below.