The Union are back to being one of the best teams in the league. After the slow start, they are just 2 points out of 2nd place in their conference. They have gone 12 straight matches in the MLS without losing a game. Most recently they beat Inter Miami down 3-1. And people are taking notice, with them moving up to 2nd place in ESPN’s Power Rankings. With all that said though, they will not be represented well at the MLS All-Star Game. The MLS recently announced which 26 players will represent the league in the All-Star game, and there is just one lone Union player. Midfielder Jose Martinez.
No Julian Carranza, who is competing for the Golden Boot and has the 3rd most goals in the league. Also No Daniel Gazdag, who is tied with the most assists in the league. No Kai Wagner, who represented the team last season. And finally no Andre Blake, who is a 4-time All-Star.
Only Jose Martinez will represent the defending Eastern Conference Champions. And he certainly deserves to be there. Despite only recently getting his first MLS Goal in 4 seasons, he has established himself as one of the best defensive mid-fielders in the league. And when he did finally get his first goal, he made it count. The Union trailed Orlando 2-1 late. Their streak of not losing was in serious jeopardy. But Martinez let one rip from outside the box, and tied the game in the 90th minute to get the Union a draw.
So Martinez making it to the All-Star Game is a big deal. He deserves the honor. It is just a shame he won’t have any of his teammates with him at the game.
The way the MLS All-Star Game works is actually kind of cool. Unlike other leagues, its not a team from each conference. Instead the MLS All-Stars form one team, and will take on an International Club. In this case they will play Arsenal. That game will take place July 19th at DC United’s Audi Field.