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Atlanta dominates MLS All-Star Fan XI, champion Toronto FC shut out in fan vote


Toronto FC's disappointing league season has been reflected in the fan vote for the 2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI.

The online fan choice for first 11 players for the Aug. 1 all-star game in Atlanta against Italian champion Juventus does not feature any TFC players. The home town vote appears to have won the day with six players from league-leading Atlanta United (10-3-4) chosen.

Defending MLS champion Toronto (4-8-3) stands 19th after Sunday's 2-1 loss at New York City FC.

The six Atlanta players chosen are goalkeeper Brad Guzan, defenders Michael Parkhurst, midfielders Miguel Almiron, Ezequiel Barco and Darlington Nagbe and forward Josef Martinez.

Los Angeles Galaxy star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic also makes the team, as do Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City and Portland's Diego Valeri. Sweden's Ibrahimovic has seven goals and three assists in 11 appearances since entering the league this season.

The Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps also were shut out although former Impact defender Laurent Ciman, now with expansion Los Angeles FC, gets in.

Mexican star Carlos Vela got into the Fan XI via the EA SPORTS "More Than a Vote" Challenge which decides one all-star player. Fans scored more than two million goals for the LAFC star in "EA Sports FIFA 18" to get Vela into the lineup.

Toronto star Sebastian Giovinco finished in the top five in the EA Challenge.

The rest of the MLS all-star game-day roster will be chosen by Atlanta coach Gerardo (Tata) Martino with two commissioner's picks. Giovinco, who has three goals and seven assists this season, could well get the nod given his status in the league and former ties to Juventus.

Martino will select the final starting 11.

Toronto captain Michael Bradley was part of the All-Star Fan XI last year while Giovinco made the initial 11 list through the EA Challenge.

Toronto's Jozy Altidore and Montreal's Ignacio Piatti also made the 2017 final all-star roster.

Giovinco was part of the 2016 Fan XI along with Montreal's Ciman and Didier Drogba while  Vancouver's Kendall Waston was a coach's pick. Bradley, a Fan XI selection, and Giovinco, a coach's pick, did not play in the 2015 all-star game due to injury.

Goalkeeper David Ousted, then with Vancouver, Altidore and Ciman all made the 2015 all-star roster as did Colorado's Clint Irwin, now backup 'keeper in Toronto, and Drew Moor, also with TFC.

 

2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI

Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)

Defenders: Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles Football Club), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Forwards: Josef Martinez (Atlanta United), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L.A. Galaxy), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club (EA Sports "More Than a Vote" Challenge)

 

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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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