Twellman Snubbed By His Own Coach

Twellman Snubbed By His Own Coach

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 10, 2007

Maybe it was a little too much of the out-of-sight-out-of-mind theory as to why MLS All-Star coach Steve Nicol snubbed his own star forward for next week’s All-Star game against Scottish champs Celtic FC.

The league and Nicol announced the remaining of the All-Stars today and overall I have to say I am a bit shocked at the list. Sure the league wants its bigger names on the lineup but certainly they have snubbed some of their best from this season. I know Taylor Twellman hasn’t played much because of national team duty and I am sure Nicol didn’t want to show any favoritism in picking him over someone else but the fact remains (and I hate sounding like Eric Wynalda) Twellman deserves to be an All-Star this season.

The remaining All-Stars were (as picked by Nicol):

Kevin Hartman (goalkeeper, Kansas City Wizards), Ronnie O’Brien (midfielder, Toronto FC), Pablo Mastroeni (midfielder, Colorado Rapids), Landon Donovan (forward, Los Angeles Galaxy) and Brian Ching (forward, Houston Dynamo)

Commissioner Don Garber then picked two picks of his own that I had no problems with because they are two of the original MLSers in Eddie Pope of Real Salt Lake and Cobi Jones of the LA Galaxy.

No, my problems are with Nicol’s picks. You can make a case for Hartman but I honestly don’t buy it or the Wizards but I won’t go into that at the moments. I thought Pat Onstad should have made the roster but that is my own feelings on the goal-keeping situation.

Ronnie O’Brien and Pablo Mastroeni are another two picks that I shake my head at. I like O’Brien and I respect that pick a little more than I do the Mastroeni pick. I feel as though the league may have overlooked a Pablo Ricchetti from Dallas or Schelotto from Columbus. Mastroeni is a defensive pick in some regards and I understand that but I just think we could have looked at players who have actually played better this season than Pablo. And please save me from the excuse that its Colorado’s only player and that the game is in Colorado. If the Rapid fans actually wanted Pablo in the game they would have done enough to vote him in.
Then there is the selection of Landon Donovan and Brain Ching. I understand in a way that the league has to have Donovan at the All-Star game and in a way I am fine with it. But I do feel that a player like Twellman or even Chivas’s Maykel Galindo have had much better seasons than Ching. It’s not like the Dynamo don’t already have enough players on this roster that haven’t exactly carried their weight this season. Don’t get me wrong here either, I like Ching but I think this selection is a wasteful one that isn’t based at all on how well he has done this season as a whole and not in the last two weeks.

This goes to show that the league still does not understand the concept of the All-Star game in my eyes. They continually select the wrong players to represent them against clubs from around the world. Sure, they have been successful but I always feel that they make themselves look bad when they select a guy that has scored 4 goals in 12 games over a guy that has scored 7 goals in only 11 matches. To me it just doesn’t add up.

The Complete MLS All-Star roster looks like this:
Goalkeepers: Matt Reis (New England Revolution), Kevin Hartman (Kansas City Wizards)

Defenders: Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake)

Midfielders: Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Dwayne De Rosario (Houston Dynamo), Christian Gomez (D.C. United), Cobi Jones (Los Angeles Galaxy), Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Ronnie O’Brien (Toronto FC), Juan Toja (FC Dallas)

Forwards: Juan Pablo Angel (Red Bull New York), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards)