Youth, experience join All-Star ranks
Bobby Convey, Alecko Eskandarian, Ben Olsen and Freddy Adu were named Monday as reserves for the Eastern Conference team for the 2004 Sierra Mist All-Star Game, to be held Saturday, July 31, at RFK Stadium. This year, the All-Star Game returns to an East vs. West showdown for the first time since 2001. D.C. United head coach Peter Nowak will lead the Eastern Conference in an attempt to re-establish their dominance, as they hold a 3-1-1 edge in inter-conference matchups. The League's mid-summer showcase will again be televised live on ABC Sports, beginning at 2 p.m. ET.
"These nominations are well-deserved for Bobby, Alecko, Ben and Freddy," said United technical director Dave Kasper. "In their own way, they have each had a solid impact on United's first half of the MLS regular season."
Convey, who is making his second All-Star Game appearance after being selected to the Eastern Conference team in 2001, has established himself as a leader for United since joining the club in 2000 at the age of 17. Now in his fifth season with the Black-and-Red, Convey has become a fixture in the midfield.
Eskandarian, now in his second year with United, has become a formidable threat at the forward position this season following a rookie campaign in 2003 in which he scored three goals. In 14 games for United this season, the University of Virginia product has notched six goals, four of which came during a two-game home stretch against the Columbus Crew and Metrostars. His tenacious finishing has earned him Sierra Mist Goal of the Week Honors three times this season. Currently, the Montvale, N.J., native currently sits second on the team with 12 points.
For Ben Olsen, this season marks the fourth time in his seven year MLS career that he has been selected as an Eastern Conference All-Star. As the heart and soul of the team, Olsen spent his early time with United running rampant on the right flank. This season, he has transitioned to a central midfield role where he continues to maintain his ferocious work ethic and unmatched intensity for the Black-and-Red.
In his rookie MLS season, Freddy Adu was chosen as the Commissioner's Pick to join the Eastern Conference team in the 2004 Sierra Mist All-Star Game. Drawing attention wherever United travels, 15-year-old Freddy Adu is widely recognized as one of the most talented young soccer players in the world today. On April 3, he became the youngest professional athlete in the history of modern American team sports when he took the field at RFK Stadium against the San Jose Earthquakes. In 16 appearances (six starts) for United this season, the young star has tallied two goals and one assist for a total of six points. His goal against the L.A. Galaxy on May 19 earned him Sierra Mist Goal of the Week honors.
Four of the seven reserves on the Eastern Conference roster are United players. Including Eastern Conference starters Jaime Moreno and Ryan Nelsen, United will have a League-high total of six players at the event.
Tickets for the 2004 Sierra Mist All-Star Game are still available, with individual ticket prices ranging from $25 to $60. For more information and group discount pricing, visit the newly-redesigned www.dcunited.com or call D.C. United at 202-587-5000. Tickets are also available through TicketMaster at www.ticketmaster.com, TicketMaster outlets, charge by phone (202-432-SEAT) and at the RFK Stadium box office.