New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry and defenders Rafa Márquez and Tim Ream were selected to the 2011 MLS All-Star First XI. This is the first MLS All-Star selection for all three players, who will be part of the squad that will face English Premier League champion, Manchester United, in the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Red Bull Arena – the home of the Red Bulls located in Harrison, NJ.
The First XI received the most votes at their respective positions from combined fan voting on three platforms – online at MLSsoccer.com, via text message, and via Twitter. The online and text voting ballot consisted of six players from each club, as chosen by a panel of media members. The First XI is not necessarily the starting lineup. Red Bulls and MLS All-Star coach Hans Backe will select the starters based on player availability and tactical considerations. If First XI selections are unavailable due to injury, international duty or other commitments, Backe will select alternates for the game day roster, but all First XI players are All-Stars. Only the Los Angeles Galaxy had more players selected from one team (4) than New York.
Mexican National Team captain Márquez joined the Red Bulls from FC Barcelona during the 2010 season as a Designated Player. A savvy defender with excellent distribution abilities, Márquez has helped the Red Bulls to a 6-4-10 record, second in the Eastern Conference. He has contributed one assist while starting in nine games this season, missing a significant portion of time due to 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup duty and helping Mexico win the championship. In 2010, Márquez, the captain of the Mexican National Team, chipped in with a goal and an assist in 10 games.
Ream, a finalist for the 2010 Rookie of the Year award, has been a consistent presence on the Red Bulls’ back line. He has started and played in 14 of the Red Bulls’ 20 games this year. Between April 9, 2011 and May 7, 2011, Ream helped anchor a Red Bulls defense that did not allow a goal in 333 consecutive minutes. Drafted in the second round (18th overall) out of Saint Louis University in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Ream was part of the United States’ 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup squad and has earned seven caps. In 2010, Ream was voted Red Bulls Defender of the Year after leading the league and club in games played (30) and minutes played (2700).
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