Sounders fans apparently refusing to stuff All-Star Game ballot box

Drew Hallowell

No Sounders appear to be in position to nab one of the 10 fan-selected spots on the team.

Despite having the largest fan base and the fifth best points-per-game average in MLS, the Seattle Sounders are not doing particularly well in the All-Star fan voting. DeAndre Yedlin ranks the highest of any of the six Sounders nominated, and he currently is sixth among defenders. Eddie Johnson is the only other player to merit a mention, and he ranks seventh among forwards.

Here are the recently released rankings:

Top 5 Goalkeepers

Top 7 Defenders

Top 7 Midfielders

Top 7 Forwards

1. Luis Robles (NY)

1. Matt Besler (SKC)

1. Graham Zusi (SKC)

1. Chris Wondolowski (SJ)

2. Jimmy Nielsen (SKC)

2. Omar Gonzalez (LA)

2. Mike Magee (CHI)

2. Thierry Henry (NY)

3. Raul Fernandez (DAL)

3. Aurelien Collin (SKC)

3. Kyle Beckerman (RSL)

3. Robbie Keane (LA)

4. Troy Perkins (MTL)

4. Matteo Ferrari (MTL)

4. Will Johnson (POR)

4. Landon Donovan (LA)

5. Nick Rimando (RSL)

5. Jamison Olave (NY)

5. Tim Cahill (NY)

5. Marco DiVaio (MTL)

6. DeAndre Yedlin (SEA)

6. Patrice Bernier (MTL)

6. Jack McInerney (PHI)

7. Michael Harrington (POR)

7. Justin Mapp (MTL)

7. Eddie Johnson (SEA)

The cause of this seemingly counter-intuitive voting table can be any number of things, but at least one explanation would seem to be that this game is really seen as a glorified friendly. And frankly, that's what it is. Sure, it was cool that the MLS All-Stars happened to beat Chelsea in last year's game, and it was even cooler that Eddie Johnson scored the game-winner, but does anyone really believe that the result earned MLS respect?

Of course not.

This is a game that is played in the relative middle of the MLS season that is really nothing more than a chance to sell some extra tickets and maybe draw a halfway decent TV rating. It is not a competitive match to any greater degree than any other friendly that a MLS team plays against a big-name opponent.

Given all that, it's shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Sounders fans are not exactly stuffing the ballot box. We here at Sounder at Heart like to take credit for popularizing the "Trophies not friendlies" ethos and that would seem to have carried over to the voting box.

It's also worth pointing out that just because the Sounders aren't doing well in the fan voting that they will be shut out of the game altogether or even the starting lineup. The bulk of the roster as well as the starters are actually picked by the coaches, and while the fan voting is basically a popularity contest (vote here), there's at least some modicum of meritocracy to those honors.

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