It's All-Star voting time! MLS released the ballot for the fan vote, as voted on by media, lending eight spots per team for the fan vote. That makes for a grand total of 192 players on the official All-Star ballot.
They nailed it for the most part, but there were clearly a couple of tough decisions in the case of some teams. Here are five players who arguably also had a case to be on the ballot:
Eddie Segura (LAFC)
For a team exploding with talented players, there was always going to be a snub or two from LAFC. They've started 2019 at a record-setting pace matched by few teams in league history – their entire starting XI could have been on the All-Star ballot.
But there could only be eight. Segura, the club's only ever-present field player this season, might be the most notable snub.
The attack (rightfully) gets a ton of Carlos Vela-led headlines but, the defense has also been near-tops in MLS, with the fewest goals conceded and expected goals against. Segura ranks eighth among defenders in tackles and third in passes completed.
Matias Vera (Houston Dynamo)
There's an underlying theme for the first two on this list: Quietly two of the most underrated signings of the offseason.
Last season, we spoke ad nauseam how vital holding midfielder Juan David Cabezas was to the success of the Dynamo. Without him as part of the foundation, like a house of cards, the team would crumble. This winter, the Dynamo went out and signed Vera, someone who could play alongside Cabezas but also an insurance policy in the case Cabezas was unavailable.
Well, Cabezas hasn't started a single MLS game this season, first due to injuries, then due to the difficulty of breaking into the XI ahead of Vera or Boniek Garcia. The Argentine is a big reason why the Dynamo have the second-highest PPG in MLS.
Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union)
Aaronson was given his chance when star teammate Marco Fabian served an early-season red-card suspension and he hasn't looked back since, earning a spot in the starting lineup even when the Mexican international is available.
The 18-year-old Homegrown has started 10 of the club's last 11 games, even two of the three Fabian has started, showing that he can play a bit deeper in midfield than previously accustomed. With Philly leading the Eastern Conference, similar to Segura's snub with LAFC, there are more deserving candidates than available spots.
Miles Robinson (Atlanta United)
Heading into 2019, Robinson played a grand total of 272 MLS minutes in two seasons after being selected No. 2 overall by Atlanta in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. Now, it's hard to imagine this current version of ATLUTD without him.
Robinson has started all but one of Atlanta's matches and he has been a constant bright spot, shining even when the Five Stripes endured a difficult start to the season. Now, as Atlanta hit a level of form we're more accustomed to seeing, Robinson has been solid throughout it all and earning high praise from new head coach Frank de Boer.
James Sands (NYCFC)
Speaking of young players unexpectedly turning into vital members of their teams, Sands has started all but one of NYCFC's games this season. First he was playing in midfield, then at center back as part of a back three.
For a Homegrown 18-year-old to play so regularly on a deep and talented team is an achievement in and of itself. It's made even more impressive considering Dome Torrent's penchant for rotation. No matter what the system, formation or teammates, Sands has been a constant for NYCFC in 2019.