LEHI — Real Salt Lake keeper Nick Rimando didn't want to talk about his MLS All-Star snub following practice on Tuesday. He said he'd wait until the last 10 non-roster all-stars are named, presumably assuming he'll be among those additional players.
When the league went away from the East-West format several years ago to have the MLS All-Stars play international teams, as part of the collective bargaining agreement the league must still select non-roster all-stars for contractual purposes.
It's hard to imagine Rimando, who's second in the league with a 0.75 goals against average, not being among those additional 10 players, but that's what most thought about him being left off the 22-man roster for next week's match with Manchester United.
Known for being a player's coach, Jason Kreis did the talking for Rimando on Tuesday.
"I know it deeply hurts Nick, but he's the type of guy that isn't going to say stuff and isn't going to stand up for himself on those sorts of things, so he needs people like me to stand up for him and say that's absolutely ridiculous," said Kreis.
Kreis' comments weren't meant to disrespect Houston keeper Tally Hall's accomplishments this year, but he just believes Rimando has been better this year and his body of work shouldn't be ignored either.
"I have a ton of respect for (Hall) as a goalkeeper and for his potential and for what he may be one day. For a first-year starter in our league who's played a half a season, I don't understand all-star selections for that," said Kreis. "Nick Rimando has done so much for this club for so many years. It's not that he's put together half a good season, he's put together year after year after year and continues to get looked over."
Kreis said he was also disappointed not to see defender Nat Borchers named to the MLS All-Star team, but was pleased with the selections of Kyle Beckerman and Jamison Olave.
"Real pleased for those guys and real pleased we have some representation on the all-star team. We've said so many times that we believe that our players get individual accolades through team success," said Kreis.
That was indeed the case in 2010 as Olave, Beckerman and Javier Morales were voted in as First XI all-stars and then Olave was named the MLS Defender of the Year.
RSL, however, hasn't been nearly as dominant this season, particularly since Morales went down with a broken ankle in May. RSL is 3-2-6 since the injury, and that likely impacted the selections of all-star coach Hans Backe of the New York Red Bulls.
An injury forced Beckerman to miss last year's MLS All-Star Game against Manchester United, and he's excited to get another opportunity to line up against one of the best teams in Europe.
"That's the best part of it is getting to play against these players and this team that's been one of the top teams in the world the last decade," he said.
Manchester United beat the MLS All-Stars 5-2 last year in Houston, and Beckerman hopes the all-stars can get a better result this time around.
"It's going to be fun playing with some really good players around the league, and see if we can have a couple practices and come together quickly and put on a good performance and really represent Major League Soccer in a good way," said Beckerman.
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