Three for Thursday: All-time MLS All-Star starters
With the AT&T MLS All-Star Game vs. Manchester United just around the corner (July 27; Red Bull Arena: ESPN2/Galavisión/TSN), and with MLS Commissioner Don Garber getting ready to make his two picks on Saturday, we thought it'd be a good time for us to take a look at some all-time All-Star standouts.
Here we present the three players who have made the most All-Star Game starts during the league's 15-year history.
No player in MLS history has started more All-Star Games than the former Kansas City standout. Though he lined up in every summer classic from 1996 to 2003 (including as a US national team player in 2002), the 1999 edition stands out as the most memorable: The Serbian-born US international collected MVP honors after tallying twice for the West in a wild 6-4 win over the East. He also scored in 1996's inaugural edition and added another goal two years later to help the MLS USA All-Stars trample the MLS World All-Stars, 6-1. In addition to his four goals, Preki boasts six All-Star assists.
With seven All-Star Game starts to his name, Agoos is a true veteran of the league's summer classic. The former D.C. United, San Jose and NY/NJ defender played in every All-Star Game from 1996-2004 (in 2002 with the USMNT), starting in all but two and tallying assists in 1998 and 2001. There's no questioning Agoos' All-Star credentials, either: Like Preki, Agoos was named to the MLS All-Time Best XI during the league's 10-year anniversary in 2005. He also owns five MLS Cup rings, a feat matched only by Colorado's Brian Mullan.
The recent Hall of Fame inductee participated in the All-Star Game for 11 years straight from 1997-2007 (including with the USMNT in 2002), appearing in the starting lineup in seven of those games. After announcing his retirement at the beginning of the 2007 season, Pope was selected to the 07' All-Star roster by league commissioner Don Garber, who also used one of his picks on LA's Cobi Jones, also retiring.
Top all-time MLS All-Stars
Eddie Pope (11 selections, 8 appearances, 7 starts); Landon Donovan (10 selections, 9 appearances, 4 starts); Jeff Agoos (9 selections, 8 appearances, 8 starts); Preki (8 selections, 8 appearances, 8 starts); Cobi Jones (9 selections, 8 appearances, 5 starts); Pablo Mastroeni (9 selections, 5 appearances; 3 starts); Brian McBride (8 selections, 7 appearances, 6 starts).