Captain Jay DeMerit selected to MLS All-Star First XI

First MLS All-Star team selection for DeMerit

VANCOUVER, BC - Major League Soccer announced today that Vancouver Whitecaps FC centre back and captain Jay DeMerit has been selected by the fans to the 2012 MLS All-Star First XI. DeMerit was one of four defenders voted for by the fans via online, text, and Twitter.

The United States international has been instrumental in helping Vancouver to a league-leading nine shutouts and a regular season record of 8W-4L-6D, with the ‘Caps currently tied for third overall in the Western Conference standings. Having played in all but one game this season, the native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has also contributed offensively with the match winner at Chivas USA on March 17.

DeMerit became the club’s first MLS signing in November 2010, coming to Vancouver after six seasons with England’s Watford FC. This is his first MLS All-Star team selection.

The 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will be held at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, July 25, at 5:30 p.m. PT. The 2012 MLS All-Stars will take on current UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea FC in a re-match of the 2006 event when the MLS All-Star team defeated the English Premier League club 1-0 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. MLS and Philadelphia Union will host five days of festivities, culminating in the kickoff of MLS’ best against the best team in Europe. The All-Star match will be broadcast live on TSN and RDS, and in the United States on ESPN2 and TeleFutura

The First XI are not necessarily included on the game day roster. MLS All-Star coach Ben Olsen will select the roster based on player availability and tactical considerations, but all First XI players are All-Stars.

Two selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, and Olsen’s complete 18-man game day roster, will be announced on Sunday, July 15, during ESPN’s broadcast of the New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders FC game that begins at 1 p.m. PT.

Under the CBA, a total of 32 players will be named All-Stars. After the game day roster, the remaining players receiving the All-Star honor will come from voting among MLS players and will be announced July 25.

The First XI received the most votes at their respective positions from combined fan voting on three platforms – online at MLSsoccer.com, via text message, and via Twitter. The ballot consisted of six players from each club, as chosen by a panel of media members.
 
A 4-4-2 formation was selected for this year’s First XI. Bios for the 11 All-Stars named today are at the bottom of this release.
 
2012 MLS All-Star First XI – As voted by fans
 
Goalkeeper: Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
 
Defenders:
Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Heath Pearce (New York Red Bulls)
 
Midfielders: David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
 
Forwards: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)