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MLS names All-Star team to face Arsenal on July 28

By The Sports Xchange
USA's Clint Dempsey, right, and Matt Besler (5) rush in to hug Gyasi Zardes (9) after he scored a goal against Ecuador in a 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer quarterfinals on June 16. Dempsey and Besler are on the 2016 Major League Soccer All-Star team for a match against Arsenal. File photo by Jim Bryant/ UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/7c43f1deed08e30d4430ce74c3ff3e15/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
USA's Clint Dempsey, right, and Matt Besler (5) rush in to hug Gyasi Zardes (9) after he scored a goal against Ecuador in a 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer quarterfinals on June 16. Dempsey and Besler are on the 2016 Major League Soccer All-Star team for a match against Arsenal. File photo by Jim Bryant/ UPI | License Photo

Major League Soccer announced Sunday the 26-man roster for the 2016 All-Star Game on July 28 against Arsenal in San Jose, Calif.

Included are 24 players selected by coach Dominic Kinnear of the San Jose Earthquakes with input from fan and player voting and also two commissioner's picks. The roster was evenly divided with nine midfielders, eight defenders, seven forwards and two goalkeepers.

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U.S. and Canadian national team standouts on the roster include Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey, Colorado Rapids midfielder Jermaine Jones and Orlando City SC forward Cyle Larin. International players such as Montreal's Ignacio Piatti and Portland's Liam Ridgewell also make up the team.

Other notable members of the squad are 2015 MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco, Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe, Orlando City SC midfielder Kaka and Montreal forward Didier Drogba.

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Montreal had the most players selected with three -- Drogba, Piatti and defender Laurent Ciman of Belgium.

Sixteen of the 26 MLS selections will appear in their first All-Star game. Two of them are rookie fullbacks Keegan Rosenberry of Philadelphia and Brandon Vincent of Chicago.

Several top players were left off the team, notably Portland's Diego Valeri and Fanendo Adi, New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Steven Gerrard. Adi and Wright-Phillips each have nine goals this season. Gerrard's seven assists rank among the league leaders.

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The 2016 MLS All-Star Game roster is as follows:

Goalkeepers (2): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)

Defenders (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Andrew Farrell (New England Revolution), Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers), Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union), Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire) and Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)

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Midfielders (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Kaka (Orlando City SC), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Andrea Pirlo (New York City FC) and Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)

Forwards (7): Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), David Villa (New York City FC) and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

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