MLS players are starting to drop out of the All Star game this week against Bayern Munich. Whether for league games later in the week or injuries, four players (Robbie Keane, Omar Gonzalez, Chad Marshall, and Jermain Defoe) have pulled out of the game this Wednesday. The latest withdraw, Defoe, has led to a fourth Sporting KC player being named to the roster. Dom Dwyer, KC's leading scorer, and the second leading scorer in the league has been named as Defoe's replacement on the team.
The inclusion of Dwyer is justified given his play this year, but on the other hand is surprising. When the original 23 man roster came out there had been two goalkeepers, six defenders, eight midfielders, and seven forwards. The current collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players union requires that a 32 man roster be named, with the other nine being on the "inactive roster." The CBA also requires how many players in each position be named, four goalkeepers, eight defenders, 13 midfielders, and seven forwards. So with seven forwards being named to the 23 man roster, my expectation was that Dwyer would unfortunately miss out entirely. It looks like the league was able to make an exception (or their going to re-classify Landon Donovan as a midfielder).
While I'm happy that Dwyer is getting the recognition he deserves for his season so far, it doesn't change my feelings on the All Star game. Over the last three years with Omar Bravo playing virtually the entire game vs Manchester United, Aurelien Collin getting hurt vs Chelsea, and Graham Zusi getting hurt vs Roma, I'm over the all star game itself.
Olum and Kenya Eliminated
Also today, Lawrence Olum and Kenya took the field against Lesotho in the second leg of their African Cup of Nations qualifier. Kenya lost the first leg 1-0 in Lesotho. At home for the second leg, Kenya was unable to overturn the result, as they drew 0-0. Olum picked up his third cap for his country, playing the full 90 minutes in the draw. They are now eliminated from qualifying for the 2015 African Cup of Nations in Morocco.
While it's disappointing for Olum and Kenya, it's good news for Sporting KC. If Kenya had advanced, they would have gone into the group play for qualifying. Those matches would have taken place in early September(5-10), mid-October (10-15), and mid-November (14-19). Olum could have potentially missed more games for Kansas City in that stretch if Kenya had advanced. Olum now returns to KC where he should be available for this coming weekend's MLS game in Vancouver.