Thierry Henry and David Beckham were among 11 players voted by fans of Major League Soccer (MLS) to the All-Star First XI team which is set to face English Premier League Champions, Manchester United, on 27 July 2011 at Red Bull Arena, New Jersey, USA.
The First XI team, which includes USA star Landon Donovan in addition to the stand-out European names of Henry and Beckham, also features US goalkeeper Kasey Keller and defender Rafa Márquez. The team was announced at half time in Sunday’s match between Portland and Seattle.
The decision to play David Beckham will pit England’s most capped former captain against the Manchester United club with which he won six Premier League titles and one UEFA Champions League. Beckham’s naming to the First XI came on the same day as his wife Victoria gave birth to his fourth child, and first daughter, Harper Seven, making it a day for all-round celebration in the Beckham household.
The MLS All-Star First XI to face Manchester United was chosen based on fan votes, gathered online, by text message and using the social media website, Twitter. Though the final decision regarding the precise starting lineup will be made by officials, and depends upon availability and fitness, the First XI chosen by fans are all now officially considered All-Stars, and the starting team will be made up primarily of those players selected, though tactical changes are possible.
Players from LA Galaxy and New York made up the bulk of the fans vote, with four LA players, and three from New York named to the All-Star Firxt XI.
A further two players will be added by MLS Commissioner Don Garber on July 16 2011, before the final squad to face Manchester United is announced on July 18 2011.
The MLS All-Star v Manchester United match will take place on the evening of Wednesday 27 July 2011 at Red Bull Arena, New Jersey, USA. Kick-Off is at 20:30 EST (Thursday 28 July 2011, 01:30 BST; 02:30 CET).
MLS All-Star First XI
- Goalkeeper: Kasey Keller (SEA)
- Defenders: Omar Gonzalez (LA), Sean Franklin (LA), Rafa Márquez (NY), Tim Ream (NY)
- Midfielders: David Beckham (LA), Jack Jewsbury (POR), Brek Shea (DAL)
- Forwards: Landon Donovan (LA), Thierry Henry (NY), Chris Wondolowski (SJ)