Red Bulls Thierry Henry and Heath Pearce Voted to 2012 MLS All-Star First XI

Thierry Henry and Heath Pearce have been voted to the 2012 MLS All-Star First XI

HARRISON, NJ (July 8, 2012) – Major League Soccer announced today that New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry and defender Heath Pearce were voted into the 2012 MLS All-Star First XI. On Wednesday, July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, PA, the MLS All-Stars will face European Champions Chelsea FC in the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game (live on ESPN2, TeleFutura, and in Canada on TSN and RDS starting at 8:30 PM ET).

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 ballot consisted of six players from each club, as chosen by a panel of media members.

Last year, Henry shined in his first full season with the Red Bulls, scoring 14 goals and adding four assists in 26 games. This season, the former World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League winner has nine goals and five assists in 11 games. Henry’s pro career began in 1990 with AS Monaco (France), and included successful stints at Juventus (Italy), Arsenal (England) and FC Barcelona (Spain) before he joined the Red Bulls midway through 2010. Henry has 123 caps for France, and is the all-time leading scorer with 51 goals. This is his second MLS All-Star Team selection.

Pearce, one of the elite defenders in MLS, is having a strong debut season with New York, starting in 16 matches in 2012 and notching one goal. Pearce first came to MLS in late 2009, signing with FC Dallas. He then spent the 2011 and the first part of 2012 with Chivas USA before being sent to New York May 17 in exchange for Juan Agudelo. His pro career began when he joined FC Nordsjælland of Denmark, and then moved to German side Hansa Rostock. Pearce has represented the United States on 35 occasions. This is his third MLS All-Star team selection.

The First XI are not necessarily included on the game day roster. MLS All-Star coach Ben Olsen will select the roster based on player availability and tactical considerations, but all First XI players are All-Stars.
 
Two selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, and Olsen’s complete 18-man game day roster, will be announced on Sunday, July 15 during ESPN’s broadcast of the New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders FC game at Red Bull Arena that begins at 4:00 PM ET (Tickets available by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or logging onto www.newyorkredbulls.com).
 
Under the CBA, a total of 32 players will be named All-Stars. After the game day roster, the remaining players receiving the All-Star honor will come from voting among MLS players and will be announced July 25. A 4-4-2 formation was selected for this year’s First XI.
 
2012 MLS All-Star First XI – As voted by fans

 
Goalkeeper: Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
 
Defenders: Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Heath Pearce (New York Red Bulls)
 
Midfielders: David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
 
Forwards: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

New York returns to the pitch tonight, when it takes on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 PM ET and the match can be seen live on MSG+ and Galavision and heard in Spanish on WLIB 1190 AM. The Red Bulls kick off a three-game homestand on July 15, when they battle Seattle Sounders FC at 4:00 PM at Red Bull Arena. For tickets to Red Bulls matches, call 1.877.RBSOCCER or log onto www.newyorkredbulls.com.