NEW YORK (July 15, 2012) – Philadelphia Union captain and central defender Carlos Valdes has been selected to represent the Major League Soccer All-Stars against UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea FC in the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 25 at PPL Park, the League announced today. Valdes was one of two selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, the other being defender Ramiro Corrales of the San Jose Earthquakes. The midseason showcase will be broadcast live on ESPN2, TeleFutura and in Canada on TSN and RDS starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.
This is Valdes’ first ever MLS All-Star selection and the club’s third in history. Former Union All-Stars include Sebastien Le Toux in 2010 and fellow Colombian Faryd Mondragon in 2011.
Valdes joined the Union in 2011 from Independiente Santa Fe and helped anchor a defense that finished the regular season tied for second in goals against average (1.06) with 10 shutouts. He started in all 34 games for the Union last year, including two games in the playoffs. The Colombian captain has continued his iron-man efforts this season, starting every game in 2012. Valdes netted the game-winner in stoppage time in Saturday's 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact.
He has made four appearances for the Colombian national team, scoring one goal.
Because of the competitive format -- MLS vs. the World -- of the AT&T All-Star Game, MLS asked All-Star head coach Ben Olsen to select from among all available players, and he constructed a dynamic, balanced roster loaded with the League’s top talent. Olsen selected all eleven of the original fan-voted All-Stars.
In addition to 12-time All-Star Donovan, the roster also features prominent All-Star veterans such as David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United) and Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC). Nine roster selections are MLS All-Stars for the first time.
The 2012 MLS All-Star gameday roster is below. Players are listed by the position they are most likely to play in the All-Star Game, which is not necessarily the position they play for their respective clubs.
2012 MLS All-Star Gameday Roster
Goalkeeper: Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA), Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
Defenders: Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Ramiro Corrales (San Jose Earthquakes), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Heath Pearce (New York Red Bulls), Carlos Valdes (Philadelphia Union)
Midfielders: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)