Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall, defender Corey Ashe, and midfielders Geoff Cameron, and Brad Davis were named MLS All-Stars on Monday. The quartet will be among the 22 MLS All-Stars confirmed on the gameday roster that will compete against Manchester United in the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 27 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
“It’s always an honor to be picked to represent MLS with other players from around the league,” said Davis, who earned his fourth All-Star selection. “I’m very happy for the other guys on our team who are going as well. We’ve all put in a lot of hard work, and it’s good to be recognized. Having played last year and losing 5-2, it’s a great opportunity to go back and try and get a win against Manchester United.”
All-Star Head Coach Hans Backe of the New York Red Bulls selected the roster. Because of the competitive format -- MLS vs. the World -- of the All-Star Game, MLS asked Backe to select from among all available players, and he constructed a dynamic, balanced roster loaded with the league’s top talent. Backe will discuss his selections at approximately 5 p.m. CT today on MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio podcast (also available on iTunes).
The four Dynamo players will join the All-Star squad following Saturday’s match against Chivas USA and will return to Houston in time for the Dynamo’s July 30 match against the Seattle Sounders at Robertson Stadium.
“Watching last year’s All-Star Game as a fan was a great experience,” said Hall of his first All-Star selection. “This year, it’s surreal to have the opportunity to participate in the match, representing our league against one of the best clubs in the world.”
Davis, 29, leads Major League Soccer with nine assists and has added three goals, including a free kick on Saturday that is currently up for MLS Goal of the Week. Davis will be playing in his third consecutive All-Star Game; he scored against Everton in 2009 and hit the post against Manchester United last year.
Hall, 26, has impressed in his first year as the Dynamo’s starting goalkeeper, posting a 1.15 GAA while playing every minute of the MLS regular season. He has been named to the MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week three times this season, most among goalkeepers, and could be up for the honor again this week after a standout performance against Kansas City last Saturday.
Cameron, 26, earned his second All-Star selection but his first while playing midfield. After missing half of last season due to injury, the fourth-year professional has notched three goals and three assists in the 2011 campaign while starting most matches as a central midfielder. Cameron was named to the MLS First XI and MLS Best XI in 2009 as a defender, starting in the All-Star Game against Everton.
“It’s an honor to be chosen,” Cameron said. “I’m really excited, and I appreciate the opportunity to play against Manchester United and be able to represent Major League Soccer and the U.S.”
Ashe, 25, is making his first appearance on an All-Star roster at a new position. After playing his first four years as a professional in midfield, Ashe moved to left back early in the 2011 season and has been integral to a Dynamo defense ranked in the top half of the league. He has made 15 of his 17 starts as a defender.
“It’s obviously an honor to be selected to participate in the All-Star Game,” Ashe said. “I’m definitely happy to have this opportunity, and I want to thank everybody who has been in my corner, including my coaches, teammates, and fans in Houston and all over the U.S.”
The roster is below, followed by bios of each player, listed in alphabetical order by last name. Players are listed by the position they are most likely to play in the All-Star Game, which is not necessarily the position they play for their respective clubs.
2011 MLS All-Star Gameday Roster
Goalkeeper: Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Faryd Mondragón (Philadelphia Union)
Defenders: Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Bobby Convey (San Jose Earthquakes), Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy), Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls).
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Jack Jewsbury (Portland Timbers), Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution), Nick LaBrocca (Chivas USA)
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Omar Bravo (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Inactive All-Stars (Note that another six inactive All-Stars will be chosen via player voting):
Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Rafa Marquez (New York Red Bulls), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
Born: March 14, 1986
A speedy wide player who is capable of playing both in midfield and defense, Ashe is earning more playing time this season than at any time during his five-year career with Houston. Ashe has already made 17 starts for the Dynamo, which is just two short of the career high (19) he set in 2010. The University of North Carolina product made an immediate impact as a rookie for the Dynamo in 2007, earning 22 appearances for the team, mostly as a substitute. This is his first All-Star selection.
Born: July 11, 1985
The versatile Dynamo star is a commanding presence in the Houston lineup, using his 6-foot-3 frame to help anchor the midfield. In addition to his defensive prowess, Cameron has notched three goals this season, tying his career high, and added three assists for the Dynamo. The Attleboro, Mass. native joined the Dynamo in 2008 as an unheralded third-round selection but made 23 appearances in his rookie season. He has been a regular starter every year since, scoring nine goals and contributing 11 assists in his four-year MLS career. This is Cameron’s second MLS All-Star selection.
Born: Nov. 8, 1981
One of Houston’s most consistent performers, Davis currently leads the league in assists with nine. He has recorded 12 assists each of the past two seasons, while also being among the club’s leaders in games and minutes played. Davis was the third overall pick in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft after starring at Saint Louis University, and he has played for four different teams in MLS. Since joining the Dynamo in 2006, he has scored 21 goals, and contributed 58 assists in the regular season and playoffs combined. This is the fourth time he has been selected as an MLS All-Star.
Born: May 12, 1985
Hall has stepped in as the No. 1 goalkeeper for the Dynamo and has impressed in early outings, posting a 1.15 GAA in 20 starts. Due to his stellar play in goal, Hall has been named to MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week three times, a league high among goalkeepers. After playing the 2007 and 2008 seasons with Danish club Esbjerg, Hall signed with Houston in the 2009 season. The Washington native also trained with the United States U-23 national team prior to the 2008 Summer Olympics. This is Hall’s first MLS All-Star selection.
The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer club that has won two MLS Cup championships in its first five seasons and represented the United States in international competition four consecutive years from 2007-10. For more information, log on to www.HoustonDynamo.com or call (713) 276-7500.