17 July 2006

MLS All Stars: The Right Picks

Yes, I'm a homer. And so is, I imagine, our head coach. That being said, I can't disagree with his choices for the all-star game. Freddy Adu has had one hell of a year, and pairing him with Josh Gros has been nothing but money for DC. As for Bobby Boswell, in addition to having a solid season to follow his strong rookie outing, he also adds the entire "Yeah, everytime European teams come to the USA, I get a goal" mystique to the team. So Nowak's selections of those DC players don't make me feel embarrassed one tiny bit. In fact, Nowak did a great thing by not picking even more. Ben Olsen and Brian Carroll have both had great years in the center of the midfield, but Pablo Matroeni is probably the correct choice. Piotr also passed by Alecko Eskandarian to pick Brian Ching and Nate Jaqua, and that seems like the right idea.

The fact that Don Garber would then add Alecko the mix is too perfect. Now, I'm not convinced that this team has all the chemistry and compensating abilities to be a better match-up against Chelsea than DC United's Best XI, but it does correct some of the difficulties seen when only the top XI were named. For one thing, there's a second holding midfielder. In my book, that qualifies as, oh, say, a little important.

The only choice I disagree with is Joe Cannon. I think there were a couple of other options to have used there, and Cannon is debatable. Sala comes to mind, for one. Yes, he's tailed off recently, but I feel like he did enough truly excellent work to have merited Nowak's choice.

Still, I like to see so many of the black and red rewarded for what has been an excellent first half of the season. I wouldn't even mind if Piotr decided not to play a few of them (Boz's knee) but just let them enjoy the bench.