NEW YORK — Major League Soccer launched fan voting for the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star game at MLSsoccer.com and via text messaging.
A panel of media members nominated a total of 108 players – the top six per team – to the fan ballot.
Toronto FC players Stefan Frei, Tony Tchani, Julian de Guzman, Javier Martina, Joao Plata and Maicon Santos are all on the ballot.
Fans can also vote by sending a player’s last name via text message to 22442. An innovative Twitter vote will occur June 17-20 (details below).
The players with the highest combined votes from these three voting methods will become the first 11 All-Stars – known as the All-Star First XI. The player who receives the most text votes by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 5 will automatically earn a spot among the All-Star First XI.
All-Star Head Coach Hans Backe of the New York Red Bulls will choose the gameday roster and the starting lineup against Manchester United on July 27. The first marquee MLS event ever to be held at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., will be broadcast live on ESPN2, Galavision, and TSN (in Canada) at 8:30 p.m. ET.
A total of 32 All-Stars are named each year, per the collective bargaining agreement. Media, fans, players, the All-Star coach and MLS Commissioner Don Garber all contribute in the All-Star selection process.
The 32 players named 2011 AT&T MLS All-Stars will be selected in four phases:
1) Ballot creation: A select media panel determined the field of players – six players per team – who are most deserving of consideration for this year’s All-Star Game. Those 108 players are eligible for fan voting.
2) Fan voting: Through July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET, fans will select the “First XI” All-Stars. Fans can vote via any of three digital platforms.
a. At MLSsoccer.com: Vote for your starting lineup of 11 players, beginning June 8.
b. Via text message (SMS): Text an MLS player’s last name to 22442 (Each vote will count equally with those submitted online in determining the First XI. The player who receives the most text votes will automatically earn a spot among the First XI.)
c. Twitter: One vote per tweet between June 17-20. A vote will only be valid if the following conditions are met within one Tweet: An MLS player’s Twitter handle (i.e. @juanagudelo17), OR an MLS player’s full name with no space between first and last (i.e. landondonovan) appears in the Tweet AND the Tweet contains @MLS AND #MLSAllStar.
The First XI will be announced on Sunday, July 10, likely on ESPN during halftime of the Portland-Seattle game that begins at 4 p.m. ET.
3) Coach & Commissioner selections: The MLS All-Star head coach will select the gameday roster. Players named to the First XI are eligible for selection to the gameday roster by the coach. MLS Commissioner Don Garber will select two All-Stars; the coach will decide if those two are selected for the gameday roster.
The coach and Commissioner selections will be announced on Monday, July 18.
4) Player selections: Once the final gameday roster has been announced, voting by MLS players will determine the remainder of the 32 All-Stars named annually per the CBA (known as the “inactive roster”).
The final list of 32 All-Stars (4 goalkeepers, 8 defenders, 13 midfielders and 7 forwards) will be announced on MLSsoccer.com on July 25.