Real Salt Lake’s Will Johnson and Chicago Fire’s Bakary Soumare
added to MLS All-Star Roster
Joseph and Ching replaced for health and injury concerns
NEW YORK (Saturday, July 25, 2009) – Real Salt Lake midfielder Will Johnson and Chicago Fire defender Bakary Soumare have been added to the 2009 MLS All-Star Team roster as replacements for Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching and New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph.
The 22-year-old Johnson replaces Joseph, who has been diagnosed with bone bruising in his right knee. Johnson was a member of Canada’s Gold Cup roster and helped lead the Canadian squad to the Gold Cup quarterfinals, where they fell to Honduras.
Soumare, a 23-year-old defender from Mali, will replace Ching on the roster, as the Dynamo star striker is being given rest after a grueling stretch of games with the U.S. National Team. Ching has played in four of five Gold Cup games as the U.S. men advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final where they will face Mexico on Sunday, July 26. Now in his third MLS season, Soumare has become one of the League’s most outstanding defenders. He has started 14 games this season helping lead Chicago to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
This will be the first All-Star appearance for Johnson and Soumare, but not the first League accolade for either. Last season Soumare was named to the League’s Best XI, while Johnson won the MLS Goal of the Year.