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June 8, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Fan voting open for 2012 MLS All-Star Game (Friday links)

allstar 2012.jpgFans get to pick the first 11 players of an MLS All-Star team that will face Chelsea in a July 25 exhibition at PPL Park and voting opened this morning on the league website.

So go ahead and pick your goalkeeper and 10 field players of your choice.

Each MLS team has six nominees, and Sounders FC’s are forwards Fredy Montero and David Estrada, midfielders Osvaldo Alonso and Mauro Rosales, defender Jeff Parke and goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.

The All-Star First XI will be revealed during the ESPN broadcast of a July 8 between between Chicago and Los Angeles. The rest of the gameday roster will be chosen by All-Star head coach Peter Nowak and announced during the ESPN broadcast of a July 15 game between Seattle and New York. The league will also select a number of inactive All-Stars (primarily for bonuses).

On to some links:

* * *

— The U.S. men’s national team kicks off World Cup qualifying today with a 4 p.m. home game in Tampa, Fl., against Antigua & Barbuda, a colossal mismatch. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann will have a decision to make at left back with Fabian Johnson and Edgar Castillo out injured.

— I won’t spoil any Euro ’12 results until the evening (it’s been good fun), but here are some other stories from the tournament: there was some racist heckling at a Dutch practice, Ukraine had some players get over some possible food poisoning, and apparently there are a bunch of animal prognosticators.

— On the local scene, the Sounders Women host the Vancouver Whitecaps Women at 7 p.m. tonight at Starfire. Midfielder Veronica Perez was recently named to the W-League Team of the Week.

— Also, the Kitsap Pumas are gearing up for a big PDL game against the Timbers U-23s.

Brad Evans was a guest on the AzKicksIt podcast and see if you can find Servando Carrasco in this music video by the Cal men’s soccer team a couple years ago (dug up and passed along by a reader). Hint: pay attention around the 1:23 and 2:04 marks.

— Around the league, Osvaldo Alonso was quoted in this story about soccer in Cuba, David Beckham made an early cut in his attempts to make Great Britain’s Olympic soccer team, and here’s the latest from MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio.

— Lastly, FIFA is making headlines again and not for good reasons.

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