NEW YORK – Fire up your laptops, cellphones and even your video-game consoles. It’s time to make your voice heard.
On Monday, Major League Soccer launched fan voting to determine the "All-Star Fan XI" for the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star vs. AS Roma. This year, beyond the usual digital voting platforms -- online, text message, and Twitter -- MLS is incorporating an innovative integration of game play on EA SPORT FIFA Soccer 13, into the fan voting process.
Here's how the full Fan XI selection process works:
Fans can choose from a pool of 115 players, who were nominated by members of the media.
The 10 players with the highest combined votes from the three traditional voting methods will be named to the All-Star Fan XI.
The 11th player – a forward – will be decided after the general voting window closes on July 2, as part of what is called the AT&T MLS All-Star "In the Game" Challenge. Among remaining forwards on the ballot, the player with whom fans score the most goals in EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer 13 from July 3-July 10 will be named to the Fan XI.
The first 10 players voted to the Fan XI will be announced on Sunday, July 7, on ESPN during halftime of the Chicago Fire-Sporting Kansas City match that kicks off at 3 p.m. ET. The AT&T MLS All-Star "In the Game" Forward will be unveiled on July 11, after the play-in period finishes.
The rest of the MLS All-Star team will be selected by the coach, Sporting KC's Peter Vermes, and MLS Commissioner Don Garber, who is allotted two Commissioner picks each year.
Vermes will select the gameday roster and starting XI for the July 31 match at Sporting Park in Kansas City (9 p.m. ET | ESPN2 and Unimas in the US | TSN and RDS in Canada).
The final list of 32 All-Stars (four goalkeepers, eight defenders, 13 midfielders and seven forwards) will be announced on MLSsoccer.com on July 31.
Here are more details on the four methods of selection available to fans:
1) Online at MLSsoccer.com: Vote for your starting lineup of 11 players, beginning June 10.
2) Via text message (SMS): Text an MLS player’s last name to 22442, beginning June 10.
- Each vote will count equally with those submitted online in determining the Fan XI.
- Message and data rates may apply.
3) Via Twitter: From June 20-21; full details of Twitter voting will be released on MLSsoccer.com in the near future.
4) The AT&T MLS All-Star "In the Game" Challenge: From July 3 at 12 p.m. ET through July 10 at 3 p.m. ET
- The top two forwards who have received the most votes after voting closes are removed from the eligible forward list. Voting for the AT&T MLS All-Star "In the Game" Forward will then take place using FIFA Soccer 13. Fans will be invited to play the game and score as many goals as possible with their favorite player among the remaining eligible forwards. Each goal scored will count as one vote. The player who tallies the most goals will be named to the final spot on the Fan XI.