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Philadelphia Union shut out of MLS All-Star Game because “it’s a popularity contest” and nobody likes them

Jul 19, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT


In general, complaining about all-star selections is a fruitless exercise. When fans are involved, the players having the best seasons are rarely picked anyway. Besides, there are typically way more gripes than there are available spots.

But still …

The Philadelphia Union sort of have a right to be annoyed that nobody on their team was voted by fans or picked by the coach or commissioner for this year’s MLS All-Star Game on July 31 in Kansas City.

Just take a look at some of the numbers:

  • Jack McInerney has scored 10 goals, led the MLS Golden Boot race for a good chunk of the season (he doesn’t anymore, in part because he missed the last three games because of US national team duty) and was named the league’s player of the month the first two months of the season.
  • Sebastien Le Toux leads the league with nine assists, which I’m told is an important category. He also has three goals.
  • Conor Casey has seven goals and four assists in just 1,086 minutes, one of the top five ratios in the league.
  • Sheanon Williams is tied for third in the league with seven assists, and he’s doing it all from defense, where he remains one of the league’s best right backs.
  • Amobi Okugo has three goals and three assists from defense and has joined McInerney as one of the league’s top breakout players

So what did manager John Hackworth think of the snubs?

“Certainly we have guys that have made a case for being all-stars,” he said during his weekly press conference Wednesday. “But, at the same time, the all-star game is interesting because it’s a popularity contest. I think about the Sons of Ben chanting during the game that nobody likes us. So it really doesn’t have anything to do with respect.”

A Union player could still be subbed onto the team as a late fill-in. But if that doesn’t happen, it would mark the first time in the franchise’s four-year history that no one on Philly played in the all-star game.

“It will always be in the back of our minds, at least for this season,” Williams said. “We have players that deserve to be in the game, so it’s tough. … It will be motivation for the second half of the season to show we have good players capable of doing good things.”

Hey, whatever works for added motivation, right?

  1. OneManWolfpack - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    It really is ridiculous that The Union don’t have any least one player. If the All Star game is really just a showcase for the MLS, you would think the league would want to highlight its best players. Hard to argue that at least Mac and LeToux aren’t in the top half of the MLS this season.

  2. Mike - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    The fact that Jack Mac or LeToux weren’t added is exactly why there should not be ALL-Star games where you leave it up to the fans for the most part to decide who gets in and who is left out. Or, even better, have enough spots for 1 person per team to be elected by its own fan base and or team/coaches. There will always be snubs and what not and I get that…but Jack Mac rightfully deserves to be on this years team, he’s missed the past month with the honor of being called up to the USMNT (which is a great honor) and STILL only 2 goals behind the leader…that’s saying something.

  3. bpmangan - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Le Toux, Williams, Casey, Okugo even Parke have an argument but McInerney should be behind only Marco DiVaio and maybe Mike Magee to start for the All-Star team. I expect he’ll get Wondo’s spot due to Gold Cup, but McInerney has had a far better season than Wondo. He should have definitively been in that spot well ahead of Wondo.

  4. Sth - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Wow MLS. Great job assuring that you’ll get a big old ’0′ Neilsen rating in the Philly market, just a year after everyone fawned over PPL Park.


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