Good news! After being snubbed in the fan vote that was announced last week, Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy has been selected to the 2012 MLS All-Star Team by coach Ben Olsen. This is Kennedy's first All-Star selection in his career, and I don't believe I am biased in saying it is a deserved honor for the Goats' keeper.
Kennedy is Chivas' only current player selected on the 2012 roster, although he does join his teammate at the start of the season Heath Pearce, who was of course traded in May to the New York Red Bulls for Juan Agudelo, and who did play 10 matches for Chivas this season. As a result, it's like Chivas have 1.5 All-Stars. But if any player on the team deserved the honor, it was Kennedy, who emerged in 2011 as not only one of Chivas' most important players, winning team MVP, but also one of the best goalkeepers in a league that has many quality goalkeepers.Unfortunately for Kennedy, Chivas' weak end to the 2011 season and the fact that few neutrals pay much attention to Chivas meant that he did not get any of the recognition he deserved last season, but it seemed the excellent performances had reached a critical mass this season and people started noticing. Kennedy led the fan vote for this year's All-Star Team for much of the voting period, but a late push by Sporting Kansas City fans pushed Jimmy Nielsen over the top and gave him the fan selection. Neilsen's pretty good, but let's face it, Kennedy's amazing (ok, I'm admitting a bias on that one, but I still would back Kennedy head to head!).
Luis Bueno noted on twitter that two 2005 MLS 4th round Supplemental draft picks are 2012 All-Stars: Kennedy and Chris Wondolowski. It seems that with time, great players will emerge, and certainly Kennedy and Wondolowski are among the very best in their positions in the league this season.
Considering Kennedy and Nielsen are the only goalkeepers selected to the All-Star roster, they will probably each play a half against Chelsea July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. That is of course up to the discretion of Olsen as the MLS team coach, but I would expect each player would see 45 minutes of action. At any rate, big congratulations to Dan! You absolutely deserve it!
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