Three Bruin Alums Named To MLS All-Star First XI
July 10, 2008
UCLA alumni Matt Reis (New England Revolution), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards) and Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew) were announced on Thursday as members of the Major League Soccer All-Star First XI and will play West Ham United in the 2008 Pepsi MLS All-Star Game on July 24 in Toronto. The First XI received the most votes at their respective positions from four groups - fans, players, media and coaches/general managers.
Starting goalkeeper Reis will be making his fourth consecutive All-Star appearance. Reis leads the league in wins (10) and ranks second in saves (65) and shutouts (five). In 2006, he was selected by Soccer America as the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. During his senior season at UCLA, he earned All-America honors and was selected the Defensive MVP at the 1997 NCAA Championships.
Conrad, who, along with Reis, was a starter on UCLA's 1997 NCAA Championship team, is making his fifth consecutive All-Star appearance. Conrad was the 2005 MLS Defender of the Year and a member of the United States' World Cup team in 2006. This season, he leads the Wizards in scoring with three goals and has led the team to a league-best six shutouts.
Hejduk earns his sixth All-Star selection in his eighth year in the league. The three-time World Cup team member has led Columbus to the second-best record in the league this year. Hejduk was an All-American defender at UCLA in 1994.
On July 15, All-Star Team coach Steve Nicol (New England Revolution) and his staff will select five additional All-Stars, who will join two Commissioner selections to complete the 18-man game-day MLS roster.
The First XI is not necessarily the starting lineup. Nicol will select the starters based on player availability and tactical considerations. If First XI selections are unavailable due to injury, international duty or other commitments, Nicol will select alternates for the game day roster, but all First XI players are All-Stars. The First XI selections are below:
2008 MLS All-Star First XI
Goalkeeper: Matt Reis (New England Revolution)
Defenders: Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
Midfielders: David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago Fire), Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
Forwards: Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)