The Fire played to another draw and I just couldn't get myself to do another Ranking the XI for this week.
A win or even a loss would help spice that up a bit, no?
So instead, in honor of All-Star week, I figured I would submit to you the All-Star Challenge! The rules of this exercise are simple: It's an East vs West game; you must pick a Starting XI with one person from each team; and just to make it more challenging, the squad must be a basic 4-4-2.
Because there are 10 teams in the East, you must pick two from Sporting Kansas City because they are in first. Because there are nine teams in the West, you must pick two players from Seattle and Real Salt Lake since they are first and second, respectively.
This led to some incredibly difficult decisions and a whole bunch of players got snubbed, but I found it to be quite a fun challenge. So without further adieu, here are my squads.
GK: Tally Hall (Dynamo) – Houston has had a rough year and Hall has to do a lot with some leaky D in front of him.
D: Bobby Boswell (DC United) – This team is having a great year and most of the back four has been great. Boswell has been a standout.
D: Matt Besler (SKC) – Missed time because of the World Cup, but it is clear to see the defensive quality increase for Sporting when Besler is in the back.
D: Amobi Okugo (Union) – Tough to pick a player off this squad. Would've liked Edu, but considering him a D is cheating a bit.
D: Giancarlo Gonzales – Like DC, a team full of defensive candidates. I prefer Gonzales over Waylon Francis and Michael Parkhurst to this point.
M: Lee Nguyen (Revolution) – They have gone cold but Nguyen has been incredible for most of the season.
M: Harry Shipp (Fire) – Someone had to make it and Shipp has been the most consistent Fire performer this season.
M: Justin Mapp (Impact) – An awful defense and cold strikers leaves Mapp as the sole option to represent Montreal.
M: Benny Feilhaber (SKC) – Surprisingly it is Feilhaber and not Graham Zusi as Sporting's second representative. The Brazilian-American has been playing his best soccer.
F: Bradley Wright-Philips (NY) – Thierry Henry has a whole lot to do with it but how do you not get the goal-scoring machine on the team?
F: Jermaine Defoe (TFC) – The highly touted Toronto side has not had a whole lot of individual glory. Defoe has clearly been a difference-maker though.
GK: Nick Rimando (RSL) – Rimando remains the cream of the crop among goalkeepers and with RSL getting two spots, he is an easy choice.
D: Deandre Yedlin (Sounders) – With Seattle getting two spots, the young right back gets a nod. His speed is uncanny but he can still make some mistakes.
D: Drew Moor (Rapids) – One of the best defensive sides all year has been anchored by this man. Shane O'Neill is coming on strong, but Moor is a leader.
D: Zach Loyd (FC Dallas) – The team has had its struggles defensively but Loyd seems to improve every game. Another standout performer for me.
D: Victor Bernardez (Earthquakes) – I've always had a thing for Victor Bernardez and with Clarence Goodson in and out, Bernardez beats out his teammate.
M: Pedro Morales (Whitecaps) – One of two Morales' to make my midfield. Pedro has been huge for the solid Whitecaps. Just watch his dribbles against FC Dallas.
M: Javier Morales (RSL) – The elder statesman can still ball. I thought there could be a drop off this year, but he keeps scoring and assisting at will.
M: Landon Donovan (Galaxy) – The LA Galaxy may once again be the best team in MLS and he is a big reason. He can still create and passes even more now.
M: Diego Valeri (Timbers) – Disappointing Portland would normally have a plethora of players to choose from, but Valeri was an easy call.
F: Erick Torres (Chivas) – If you have to pick one player from Chivas USA, you always pick Cubo.
F: Clint Dempsey (Sounders) – Could've picked his strike partner Obafemi Martins, but Martins' success has a lot to do with Dempsey. He's been solid.
What would your team be within the constraints? Are my teams piles of garbage? Share in the comments!