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Connor Lade named to MLS Homegrown Game roster

The seldom-used left back will join 19 others in an exhibition two days before the All-Star Game.

USA TODAY Sports

The hate on the All-Star Game is legion, but that hasn't stopped MLS from doubling down on the event, inaugurating the Chipolte Homegrown Game as the league's answer to MLB's Futures Game or the NBA's Rising Stars Challenge.

In it, a team of MLS homegrown players -- players that came through a team's academy system -- will take on the Portland Timbers' U-23 squad. And Connor Lade is on that list.

Lade, who signed with the team in 2011 after completing his senior year at St. John's, had a breakout season in 2012, making 22 starts in 26 appearances, providing a spark the Red Bulls lacked and earning a call up to the national team. He hasn't found his form since, though, making nine starts combined in 2013 and 2014.

He'll join DeAndre Yedlin, Erik Palmer-Brown and Shane O'Neil, among others, in the defensive corps. No word on why Matt Miazga was left off, but that's probably a good thing.

Picks were made "based on availability, injuries and other criteria" according to MLSsoccer.com, with some help from Director of Player Programs Alfonso Mondelo, who will coach the team.

The rest of the squad...

Goalkeepers (2): Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Matt Lampson (Columbus Crew)

Defenders (6): Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC), Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids), Karl Ouimette (Montreal Impact), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

Midfielders (6): Steven Evans (Portland Timbers), Wandrille Lefevre (Montreal Impact), Chris Ritter (Chicago Fire), Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire), Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)

Forwards (6): Caleb Calvert (Chivas USA), Bradford Jamieson (LA Galaxy), Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)