Well, how about that? All-Star voting season sure snuck up on us quickly this year didn't it? Today marks the opening of online voting to help determine which players are going to be representing the league in its annual challenge against a popular team from Europe that is barely in preseason form. This year, the lucky contestants are Arsenal, and it's up to the masterful planning and tactical wizardly of one Dominic Kinnear to figure out how best to defeat them with the players we choose. Well, we MOSTLY get to choose. There are a few paths to that vaunted all-star bonus.
First, of course, there is the online voting in which members of the media nominated 160 players., you get to select a GK, 3 defenders, 4 midfielders, and 2 forwards. Hang on wait a minute, you are no doubt thinking. That's not even a full starting 11. This is true, because the third striker will be selected by way of FIFA 2016. This unapologetically corporate stunt involves you, the fan, scoring goals within the FIFA 2016 game modes with MLS players. If the player you SCORE with is on the MLS All-Star Ballot, they get a vote for each goal that you tally. Knowing how FIFA tends to go down this means that whichever player is the fastest will wind up on the all star roster. So fun.
Furthermore we have a couple of Commissioner's picks that are available. Two players can be selected by Don Garber to represent the league. Last season, he famously used these picks on Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard (neither of which had played a single match in Major League Soccer at that point, thus denying a potential all-star bonus to a player both more deserving, and in greater economic need of one). We aren't likely going to know who these picks are going to be used on until we figure out which "big name" players make the move in the summer transfer window.
Finally, for the remaining roster slots, Kinnear himself can fill them with any players that he chooses provided that they have received at least two votes in the online balloting. Usually the coaches use these slots to fill out the roster with members of their own team with which they are far more familiar and who appreciate the extra money.
Anyway, here's the link. If anything about this actually interests you, go ahead and cast your votes.
Just score lots of goals with Mike Grella on FIFA all right?