(July 5, 2007) – Two Kansas City Wizards standouts have been selected to the 2007 MLS All-Star First XI. Defender Jimmy Conrad, captain of the Wizards and current United States International, has been chosen to his fourth consecutive MLS All-Star team. Forward Eddie Johnson, ML S’ leading goal scorer and current United States International, has been named an MLS All-Star for the second time. Kansas City is one of only three teams to have two or more players selected to the First XI.
“It’s a great honor for both Jimmy (Conrad) and Eddie (Johnson) to be voted as the two of the best performers in Major League Soccer,” Head Coach Curt Onalfo said. “I think it says a lot not only about those two, but also about the way we play as a team to put all of our players into positions to perform at a high level.”
Conrad, 30, has become a mainstay of the MLS All-Star game in recent years. He has been selected to and started in each of the last three All-Star games. In 2004 when the Wizards were a member of the MLS Western Conference, he started the East vs. West affair for the West, playing all 90 minutes. MLS began scheduling international opponents to play against the top players in the league in 2005 with Fulham FC of the English Premier League. Conrad played all 90 minutes again in the MLS’ 4-1 victory over Fulham. Conrad then started and played the opening 45 minutes last year as MLS defeated English giant Chelsea 1-0.
Johnson, on pace to have his best MLS season, will appear in All-Star competition for the second time. The 23-year-old forward has posted a historic first nine MLS matches. He is on pace to shatter his previous high of 12 goals on a season and has already matched his career high in assists for a year with 3. Johnson set an MLS record by recording hat tricks in back to back games for the Wizards May 26 (4-3 Kansas City road win over New England) and June 2 (3-2 Kansas City home win over New York). He currently leads MLS with five game-winning goals. Johnson has also had a strong season for the U.S. National Team, playing in nine matches (seven starts) and scoring two goals.
The First XI players are determined by online fan balloting comprising 25 percent of the total vote, with MLS coaches and GMs (25 percent), media (25 percent) and players (25 percent) accounting for the remainder. Johnson received the third-highest vote total. Conrad received the highest vote total among defenders.
On July 10, Revolution head coach Steve Nicol and his staff will select five additional All-Stars, who will join two other Commissioner selections to comprise the MLS 18-man roster. Nicol earned the honor of coaching the MLS side by leading his team to the highest points per game average in the League through games on June 25 (Week 12).
The First XI is not necessarily the starting 11, as Head Coach Steve Nicol will select the starters based on player availability and tactical considerations. The First XI selections are below:
2005 DAL Injured - Did Not Play
2005 All-Star selection (injured did not play)
In 2004, became the youngest player in MLS history to either have or share the league lead in goals (12)
2004 Team Golden Boot Winner
2004 MLS game-winning goals leader (7)
2004 Tied for first in multi-goal matches (3)
27 career appearances
11 career goals
4-time MLS All-star (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
3-time MLS Best XI selection (2004, 2005, 2006)
3-time MLS Defender of the Year Finalist (2004, 2005, 2006)
2005 MLS Defender of the Year
2004 Team Defender of the Year
1 goal (game-winner vs. Mexico 2/7/07)
MLS First XI
Goalkeeper: Matt Reis (New England Revolution)
Defenders: Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
Midfielders: Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Dwayne De Rosario (Houston Dynamo), Christian Gomez (D.C. United), Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution), Juan Toja (FC Dallas)
Forwards: Juan Pablo Angel (Red Bull New York), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards)
With each voting category counting for a quarter of the total votes, the formula used for determining the starters involved assigning 25 total points to each category for a possible total of 100 points. Therefore, if a player received 50 percent of the votes in any category, he would earn 12.5 points for that category. The voting totals were as follows.
|Juan Paublo Angel||4.050||18.243||15.336/19.079||56.738|
|Dwayne De Rosario||5.336||7.432||9.878/17.763||40.410|
2007 MLS First XI:
Juan Pablo Angel Forward New York Red Bulls Born: October 24, 1975
The 31-year-old Colombian national team player has set the League on fire since arriving as one of New York’s Designated Players from English Premiership team Aston Villa. Angel brings to MLS a wealth of international experience, including time at Atlético Nacional in Colombia and River Plate in Argentina. Brilliant at set pieces, an excellent reader of the game and armed with a world-class goal-scoring instinct, Angel scored an astounding nine goals in his first seven MLS games. He is tied for the League lead in goals scored and has led the Red Bulls to one of the best records in MLS.
Jonathan Bornstein Defender Chivas USA Born: November 7, 1984
The Chivas USA defender had a stellar rookie season in 2006, logging the most minutes of any field player in the League and taking home the MLS Gatorade Rookie of the Year award. In addition to his huge defensive contributions, he managed six goals during the course of the season, leading all rookies in scoring. His superb 2006 season prompted an international call-up from former Chivas USA coach Bob Bradley, and early 2007 marked his first appearance for the national team. Bornstein was an important piece of the Gold Cup championship team and is currently with the U.S. squad at Copa America. This is the first MLS All-star appearance for the 22-year-old.
Ricardo Clark Midfielder Houston Dynamo Born: February 10, 1983
Houston Dynamo’s 24-year-old midfielder is a rising star in both Major League Soccer and the international level. Clark has the ability of control the tempo of a game from his defensive midfield position. He was a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team during their run to the Gold Cup championship and scored his first national team goal at Copa America. This is Clark’s second consecutive and second overall selection to the MLS All-Star team. He was also named to the Radio Shack Best XI in 2006 after leading Houston on a run to the playoffs and the MLS Cup Championship.
Jimmy Conrad Defender Kansas City Wizards Born: February 12, 1977
The nine-year MLS veteran and U.S. national team standout was named MLS Defender of the Year in 2005 and has earned Radio Shack Best XI honors the past three seasons. This is Conrad’s fourth consecutive and fourth overall selection to the MLS All-Star team. The California native’s excellent form has propelled the Kansas City Wizards to one of the best records in the League. He is a regular starter with Bob Bradley’s U.S. team and had strong performances against Italy and Ghana at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Dwayne De Rosario Midfielder Houston Dynamo Born: May 15, 1978
De Rosario, the 2006 Sierra Mist All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, will be making his second consecutive and second career trip to the MLS midsummer showcase. Considered one of the most exciting players in the League, De Rosario is a two-time finalist for League MVP, two-time member of the Radio Shack Best XI and a two-time winner of the Sierra Mist Goal of the Year. He captured the 2007 MLS All-Star MVP award for his lone goal in the 1-0 triumph over English giants Chelsea. De Rosario, also a member of the Canadian National Team, leads the Houston Dynamo from the attacking midfield slot where his creative attacking skills, superior field vision and ability to apply pressure all over the field have allowed him to become one of the top midfielders in the league.
Christian Gomez Midfielder D.C. United Born: November 7, 1974
The 32-year-old Argentine has been the driving force behind D.C. United’s success on-field since his arrival to MLS in 2004. One of the most talented midfielders in the League, he has a staggering 33 goals and 24 assists in 83 games. A deadly shooter, Gomez has led D.C. United to the playoffs in each of his years in the nation’s capital. He is dangerous on and off the ball, posing a consistent threat to rival defenses. This is his second consecutive selection to the MLS All-Star game and second overall.
Eddie Johnson Forward Kansas City Wizards Born: March 31, 1984
A complete package of speed, strength and skill, two-time MLS All-Star Eddie Johnson is on pace for a career year in 2007. This year he became the first player in League history to record back-to-back hat-tricks (May 26 vs. New England & June 2 vs. New York), and he currently sits tied atop the MLS scoring leader board with nine goals in nine games. Johnson has led the Wizards to a great start this season (6-4-3, 21 pts) in Head Coach Curt Onalfo’s first year at the helm. A seven-year MLS veteran, Johnson, 23, is a dangerous attacking presence and a mainstay for the U.S. Men’s National Team. He was a member of the 2006 FIFA World Cup team and was a member of the U.S. that won the Gold Cup championship in June.
Shalrie Joseph Midfielder New England Revolution Born: May 24, 1978
Joseph, named by Soccer America as the Top Holding Midfielder in MLS in 2006, is an intense and gritty ball winner. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound St. Johns product is the engine in the Revolution midfield, providing a crucial link between defense and offense. The 28-year-old was born in Grenada and moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. as a teenager. In addition to his defensive contributions, he has scored three goals for the Revolution this campaign. This is Joseph’s fourth consecutive and fourth overall selection to the MLS All-Star team.
Michael Parkhurst Defender New England Revolution Born: January 24, 1984
This marks the second selection to the MLS All-Star team for Parkhurst, as he filled in for an injured player in 2005. Parkhurst, 23, is proving to be one of the best central defenders in the American game. He has helped lead the Revolution to the top of the MLS standings and has led his club to the last two MLS Cup Championship games. After a stand-out career for Wake Forest University, he was named MLS Gatorade Rookie of the Year Award in 2005. He earned two caps for the U.S. national team during the squad’s championship run at the 2007 Gold Cup. Off the field, Parkhurst spends much of his free time volunteering, and in 2006 he received the League’s U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award.
Matt Reis Goalkeeper New England Revolution Born: March 28, 1975
A UCLA product, Reis has led New England to the top of the Eastern Conference and to the best points-per-game average in the league. This is Reis’s third consecutive and third overall selection to the MLS All-Star team. He currently ranks second this season in wins with six and is tied for the most shutouts in the League with five. Reis led the League in shutouts and saves in 2005 and 2006. He holds numerous Revolution goalkeeper records and was voted both the Soccer America MLS ‘Keeper of the Year and Revolution Honda MVP in 2006. Noted for his youth soccer coaching, Reis was also awarded the 2005 Revolution Humanitarian of the Year.
Juan Toja Midfielder FC Dallas Born: May 24, 1985
The 22-year-old Colombian has excelled in Major League Soccer with his energetic play and unique rock-star look. In his first season in MLS, Toja has quickly become a fan favorite for Western Conference leading FC Dallas. He arrived from storied Argentine club River Plate prior to the start of the 2007 season and has been a catalyst for FC Dallas’ hot start to the season, scoring four goals in 17 games to date. He has represented Colombia at the Under-21 level and is a likely candidate to receive his first national team cap with his inspirational play in midfield for FC Dallas.