Thursday, June 2, 2011

MLS Names Backe All-Star Coach; Announces Voting Structure

Major League Soccer announced Thursday New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe has been named the head coach for the 2011 All-Star Team that will face England's Manchester United July 27 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

The league broke from the tradition of naming the head coach of the league's best teams for what they called "competitive considerations".

MLS also announced a four-tier approach to naming the players who will take part in the game.

First, a panel of select media members will choose six players per team they feel are deserving of being considered for the team and the 108 players involved will be named to the All-Star ballot next Wednesday.

Stage two, taking place from next Wednesday through July 5, will be when fans will be able to vote for the First XI All-Stars, either at, by texting via their cell phone, or on Twitter

In another change, while fans get to choose the First XI players, Backe will make the final decision on who of the group is placed on the 32-player (four goalkeepers, eight defenders, 13 midfielders, seven forwards) roster for the game.

The First XI players will be announced July 10 at halftime of the Portland Timbers-Seattle Sounders from JELD-WEN Field in Portland on ESPN.

In stage three in July 18, MLS Commissioner Don Garber will choose two players for consideration on the roster, but Backe again will have the final say on if those players make the roster.

Finally, MLS players will vote to determine the final 21 players for the roster with the final roster to be announced July 25 on

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