Major League Soccer on Monday finalized the 18-man rosters of the East and West teams for the 2004 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game to be played on Saturday, July 31 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. East Head Coach Peter Nowak (D.C. United) and West Head Coach Sigi Schmid (Los Angeles Galaxy) named a combined total of 13 reserve selections in addition to the pair of "Commissioner's Picks" (one per conference) selected by MLS Commissioner Don Garber. The League's midsummer showcase will be televised nationally, live on ABC Sports beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
The West reserves include four Kansas City Wizards players (Jimmy Conrad, Chris Klein, Josh Wolff and Kerry Zavagnin), two Los Angeles Galaxy stars (Kevin Hartman and Jovan Kirovski) and MLS' all-time leading goal scorer Jason Kreis (Dallas Burn). Galaxy defender Danny Califf was also named to the squad but will not be able to participate due to injury and will not count against the West roster. Both Jimmy Conrad and Kerry Zavagnin earned their first ever MLS All-Star selection while Chris Klein and Josh Wolff will each make their second career appearances in the mid-summer classic.
The reserve selections in the East are highlighted by four D.C. United players (Bobby Convey, Alecko Eskandarian, Ben Olsen and Freddy Adu) while New England will be represented at the Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game by rookie Clint Dempsey and Pat Noonan, with Columbus picking up an additional spot by the selection of goalkeeper Jon Busch. Adu and Kreis are the respective Commissioner's Picks for the East and West squad.
"Jason Kreis and Freddy Adu personify the theme of the 2004 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game - honoring the past, present and future of MLS," Garber said. "The selection of the League's all-time leading goal scorer in our nine-year history and the inclusion of one of the top youth prospects in the world helps recognize the founders of this League and celebrates the promise the future holds."
With the inclusion of New England and Kansas City players among the All-Star reserves, every one of MLS' 10 teams will be represented on July 31. D.C. United will have a League-high total of six players at the event, followed by Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy with five players each. The Kansas City Wizards (4), MetroStars (3), Dallas Burn (3), New England Revolution (2), Columbus Crew (2) and Colorado Rapids (1) round out the affiliation of all 36 players.
Eight of the 15 reserve selections received their first career All-Star selection, joining 10 other first-time All-Stars from the list of starters unveiled on Friday, July 9.
The 2004 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game is the main attraction of a weekend extravaganza of soccer-themed events and programs, all of which aim to pay tribute to the future of American soccer. Thousands of the 15 million registered youth participants under the age of 18 will have the opportunity throughout the weekend to see, touch and feel the approachable heroes of Major League Soccer past and present. Through clinics, on-field presentations, pre-game and halftime ceremonies, "Soccer Celebration" events for families and youth, player autograph sessions and more, MLS will recognize the importance of youth participation as the future of our sport.
Prior to the July 31 East vs. West contest, MLS will honor its tradition, history and pioneers by hosting an MLS Reunion Match, which will feature players who participated in the 1994 World Cup and then went on to play in MLS. The celebration game will kick off at 12:30 p.m. ET, with two 25-minute halves divided by a 10-minute halftime, with MLS USA stars vs. MLS World heroes. The rosters of those two teams will be announced later this week. The MLS-USA team will be coached by current Honduras technical director Bora Milutinovic, the only manager in FIFA World Cup history to have guided five different nations in the World Cup finals (Mexico - '86; Costa Rica - '90; USA - '94; Nigeria - '98; China - '02). The MLS-World squad will be coached by former D.C. United and current U.S. National Team Manager Bruce Arena.
Also, during the live telecast of the 2004 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game on ABC, Sierra Mist will award one lucky viewer a spot as a contestant in the Pepsi "Play For A Billion" Sweepstakes. The winning sweepstakes code will be announced live during the Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game and the person with the winning number will travel to Los Angeles, Calif. in September to appear on the televised one-hour prime-time special and compete for a chance to win the $1 billion prize. One of the "Play For A Billion" contestants is guaranteed to win $1 million.
The 2004 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game featuring MLS All-Stars and the MLS Celebration Match celebrating the 1994 World Cup offers six levels of ticket pricing, ranging from $25 to $60 for individuals, and $16 to $40 for groups of varying sizes. Tickets are on sale now. For Group Sales information, fan can contact D.C. United at (703) 587-5000 or online at www.dcunited.com and at RFK Stadium advance sales during all D.C. United home games. Individual tickets can be purchased at TicketMaster - (202) 432 - SEAT (metro D.C.); (410) 481 - SEAT (Baltimore & MD); (703) 573 - SEAT (Virginia), online at www.ticketmaster.com and at all TicketMaster outlets including HECHT's, Tower Records and at RFK Stadium.