NEW YORK (Wednesday, July 17, 2002) - Major League Soccer today unveiled the starting 11 for the MLS All-Stars which will face the U.S. National Team in the 2002 MLS All-Star Game. The contest kicks off at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, August 3, at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ABC Sports. The MLS All-Star Team will feature five players making their first-ever All-Star appearance, including the League's top two scorers, Taylor Twellman and Carlos Ruiz.
Twellman, the 22 year-old sensation from the New England Revolution, is joined up top by the Los Angeles Galaxy's Ruiz, a Guatemalan forward. Both players lead the League with 13 goals during their first MLS campaigns. Also making their first All-Star appearances are defenders Carlos Bocanegra (Chicago Fire) and Ryan Suarez (Dallas Burn), along with midfielder Richard Mulrooney (San Jose Earthquakes).
By contrast, the Colorado Rapids' midfield duo of Carlos Valderrama (sixth selection) and Mark Chung (four appearances) have a total of 10 MLS All-Star Game appearances between them. New England Revolution midfielder Steve Ralston and MetroStars defender Mike Petke each appear for the third time in the League's midseason celebration.
In addition to Colorado and New England, two other teams - the Chicago Fire and MetroStars - also placed two players in the starting 11, as goalkeeper Tim Howard (MetroStars) and midfielder Dema Kovalenko (Chicago) earned starting nods for 2002. Seven of the League's 10 teams are represented in the MLS starting selection, while D.C. United, Columbus and Kansas City saw several players named to Bruce Arena's U.S. National Team yesterday.