Major League Soccer released the stats for the first week of voting for the AT&T MLS All-Star Fan XI. Here's how the numbers look and, as you could probably guess, fans voting remains as brilliant and indicative of actual success as always.
Oh, look. Luis Robles isn't even in the Top 5. That seems fair. Who is doing the voting for this? Jurgen Klinsmann?
Outside of Damien Perrinelle, none of the Red Bulls' defenders really deserve to be in the top 5 (although Kemar Lawrence not even being on the ballot makes the 2015 All-Star Game meaningless). And Perrinelle's impact on the field is too subtle for your run-of-the-mill MLS fan to understand which is why you see a bunch of United States National Team players in the top 5 (and some Sounders guy, of course, because they have a lot of fans).
Someday Lloyd Sam will be the recipient of a little respect from somewhere. Today is not that day. However, you should read his interview with FourFourTwo.
Yet again, we get it. The Seattle Sounders and the USMNT are very popular. Also, David Villa played for Barcelona and has scored as many goals this season as Mehdi Ballouchy, so you're obviously obligated to vote for him. However, if you're not aware of what Sebastian Giovinco is doing in Toronto and are somehow of the opinion that he doesn't deserve your vote, perhaps you shouldn't be allowed to decide on the Best XI for MLS, let alone anything. He shouldn't be in fourth, he should have all of the votes.
Fan votes are exceedingly stupid. MLS, in one of their bids to be the "league of the future for millennials, robots, and you" insist on using them for everything: Player of the Week, Save of the Week, the All-Star Team, Player of the Year, etc. They'd settle the winner of MLS Cup via a fan vote if it was possible.
And it's not enough that stupid fan votes are going to be used to determine placement in the All-Star Game. The league (in all of their wisdom to reward players with the honor of an All-Star selection by putting the decision in the hands of the most fair, unbiased, and judicious people possible) have decided to allow votes to be done via the video game FIFA 15. And not just voting, oh no, that wouldn't be arbitrary enough!
From May 27 until July 3 each time you score a goal with in FIFA 15 using an MLS forward that is also on the Fan XI ballot (see below), that player will earn an All-Star vote. One goal equals one vote and you may score as many times as you want in any game mode.
Sounds cool and hep! Totes amazeballs!
Some part of me wants to crack open FIFA, play for a month straight, and score thousands of goals with Bradley Wright-Phillips. He'll get a spot on the All-Star team that will take on
a top opponent from overseas Tottenham at one of the league's best arenas Dick's Sporting Goods Park. But I won't because do you know why? Can you guess?
The All-Star Game is dumb. It's an outdated exercise that is meant to showcase the league's talent and growth, but does it really need to exist anymore? Perhaps the league should focus on the actual opportunities to garner some respect such as the CONCACAF Champions League, the competition a team from MLS has yet to win in its current iteration. In fact, I'm happy when Red Bulls players aren't selected en masse to the All-Star Game roster. It's another stupid, meaningless friendly in an already congested summer schedule that would only serve to make the players on my team more fatigued and have a higher potential for future stress injuries following a cross country flight and a match played on auto-pilot.
[/puts away talking points from five years ago]
Look, if you want to care about the All-Star Game, then go right ahead. I can't stop you. But it doesn't matter that the league's fans don't value, appreciate, nor rate New York Red Bulls players. This isn't a new thing. Life is a popularity contest that the overwhelming majority of people lose, and "people" extends beyond yourself and includes everything you like and with what and whom you identify.
I almost respect Red Bulls fans for not caring enough to vote in passionate, chest thumping blocks. Outside of a few people, it's a pretty smart, savvy fan base that doesn't care about dog and pony shows as foolish as online votes for awards and "honors" that are ultimately meaningless and detract from the ultimate goal. Be the fan who sees through all of the bread and circuses. Don't root for "Team MLS" and #MLS4Whatever, root for your own team to do well and win meaningful competitions. Ignore the All-Star Game.
Of course most of this rant is all for naught because I'm sure that when the league decides to add more players to the roster, a few Red Bulls will be on it. The league loves the Red Bulls and never misses an opportunity to reward them with accolades and hard earned respect.