Making The Case: Timbers for 2011 MLS All-Star

Danso, Perlaza, Cooper, & Wallace all up for XI

All-Star Ballot

Photo Credit: 
(MLSsoccer.com)

Today is the last day to vote for the Starting XI for the 2011 MLS All-Star Game to be held in New York City against Manchester United on July . We have already profiled Timbers midfielders Jack Jewsbury and Kalif Alhassan, and here is a group endorsement for four more candidates:  Mamadou “Futty” Danso, Jorge PerlazaKenny Cooper, and Rodney Wallace.

Danso, has had an important rise amongst the Timbers this season as he has become an essential centerback option for John Spencer’s side. A Gambian international, he scored two carbon-copy goals this season off of expert free kick service from fellow All-Star nominee Jack Jewsbury.

The first was the game-winner in a match against Philadelphia at home but the second was a come from behind game-tying goal in Seattle in the driving rain. It was a goal that will be remembered by Timbers fans for a long time.

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And if memorable goals are your thing, then Jorge Perlaza certainly has one on his resume: the first MLS goal scored at JELD-WEN Field. In the April 14 home opener—also a deliriously rainy night—Perlaza struck with his first goal of the season. Fed a perfectly weighted ball from midfielder Kalif Alhassan—also up for All-Star, are you sensing a trend?—Perlaza blew past the Chicago backline, cut inside, and slotted it home.

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He has continued to make blindingly fast runs off the ball and with three goals on the season, he is second only to Jack Jewsbury for the team lead and tied with fellow striker Kenny Cooper.

Speaking of Cooper, witness his strike against Real Salt Lake and subsequent climb of the woodwork as part of his goal scoring celebration.

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Cooper has been in a bit of a rut of late, however, his potential threat on the ball is not to be underestimated. This would be Cooper’s second career All-Star nod after his 2008 selection while with FC Dallas in 2008.

Finally, we have defender Rodney Wallace. The speedy wingback came over from D.C. United in the offseason and been a constant on the right side of the attack. He, like Perlaza, had a part to play in that memorable home-opening night win with a brilliant strike just outside of the box.

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At two goals on the season, Wallace is one off his career high with still half a season yet to play.

Voting for the 2011 MLS All-Star Game ends tonight at 11:59 ET. You can also text your vote to 22442.  Message & data rates may apply.