Vote for the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game

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Vote for the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game

www.csnwashington.com
Fan voting launches this Friday, June 8th, for the2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game!A panel of media members nominated a total of 114 players, 6from each MLS team, to the fan ballot. A total of 32 All-Stars will be chosenin a selection process involving media, fans, players, the All-Star coach andMLS Commissioner Don Garber to play against Chelsea FC.Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, Dwayne De Rosario, Maicon Santos,Chris Pontius, and Nick De Leon were the 6 players nominated from D.C. United.
Fans may vote at or by sending a players first and last name via text message to 22442. Votingwill end on July 2nd at 5 p.m. ET. Additionally, Twitter voting willoccur June 21-22.

The players with the highest combined votes from these three voting methodswill become the first 11 All-Stars known as the All-Star First XI. Notably, theplayer who receives the most text votes by 5 p.m. ET on Monday, July 2ndwill automatically earn a spot among the All-Star First XI, so make sure tovote for your favorite D.C. United players as quickly as possible!

All-Star Head Coach Peter Nowak of the Philadelphia Union will select thegameday roster and the starting lineup from the pool of eligible players,consisting of the First XI as determined by the fans, MLS Commissioner DonGarbers two selections and players who received votes from at least twoplayers.Announcement Timeline:The First XI will be announced on Sunday, July 8th,on ESPN during halftime of the Chicago Fire-LA Galaxy game that begins at 3p.m. ET.
The Commissioner selections and gameday roster will be announced on Sunday,July 15th on ESPN during halftime of the New York Red Bulls vs.Seattle Sounders FC game that begins at 4 p.m. ET.
MLS players will then determine the remainder of the 32 All-Stars (known as theinactive roster) shortly after.
The final list of 32 All-Stars (4 goalkeepers, 8 defenders, 13 midfielders and7 forwards) will be announced on MLSsoccer.com on July 25th.
The 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea FC willbe broadcast live from PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania on ESPN2 andTeleFutura on July 25th starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.

With Heather O'Reilly set to retire, USWNT teammates honor all-time great

With Heather O'Reilly set to retire, USWNT teammates honor all-time great

As U.S. Women’s Soccer star Heather O’Reilly steps into international retirement Thursday night, her soon-to-be former teammates are jumping at the chance to honor O’Reilly one last time.

"She’s the best teammate I ever had,” said Ali Krieger, who has played alongside O’Reilly on the USWNT since 2008. “She’s such an inspiration for so many young athletes, but also for us – her current teammates and the players in the National Women’s Soccer League. She’s been a legend.”

O’Reilly will end her 15-year international career when the U.S. Women face Thailand in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday night.

“She’s motivated me and I know my teammates to want to better themselves every single day,” Krieger said of O’Reilly’s legacy on the national team. “That is something that she can leave us. I’m so happy for her, I’m really proud of her and she continued to inspire me every single day. I wish her all the best and I’m going to miss her like crazy.”

Of all O’Reilly’s teammates, few can appreciate the retiring legend quite like Krieger. The two often featured together on the right side of the U.S. formation, Krieger in defense and O’Reilly just ahead of her in midfield, resulting in a bond that will last beyond their playing days.

“We always say ‘right side – strong side’, so we’re going to hold on to that forever,” Krieger said with a smile. “She’s one of my best friends on the team and I support her decision.”

O’Reilly’s decision was likely made easier by the changing landscape of the national team. After seeing her minutes dwindle during last summer’s successful World Cup run, the 31-year-old veteran was left off the U.S. Olympic Team in August instead traveling to Brazil as an alternate.

Despite that, O’Reilly’s career compares favorably to pretty much every other U.S. international. O'Reilly made her senior international debut while still in high school, and her 230 appearances rank seventh all-time in U.S. Women’s National Team history. 

“It’s so much more than the player that she is and what she’s done for the national team,” said U.S. Women’s National Team forward Crystal Dunn. “It’s her – the person – that I’m going to miss seeing in camps and chatting it up.”

Though they didn’t overlap in Chapel Hill, both Dunn and O’Reilly played collegiately for North Carolina. Thanks to that Tar Heel connection, the duo trained together frequently even when not with the U.S. team.

“She was just one of those people that I looked up to,” Dunn added. “She would kick my butt every single day and I was so in awe that she would go out of her way to help make me better."

MORE SOCCER: STL: 'Tyrant'-like act by Spirit to stifle Rapinoe protest

Spirit players speak out against owner shutting down Rapinoe's protest

Spirit players speak out against owner shutting down Rapinoe's protest

Two days after the Washington Spirit organization changed the timing of their pregame routine in order to preempt Megan Rapinoe’s national anthem protest, Spirit players are speaking out against the team’s decision.

"We respect our owner’s freedom to share his views and we understand his intentions,” read a statement posted on the Spirit website. “But as a team we don’t necessarily agree with those opinions or the actions taken Wednesday evening.” 

The statement - signed ‘all of the players of the Washington Spirit’ - was also posted to Spirit captain, and longtime U.S. Women’s National Team star, Ali Krieger’s personal website. 

“As a team, we were disappointed we were not informed of the plans for the national anthem or given an opportunity to weigh in on the decision,” the statement continued.

The Washington Spirit and Rapinoe’s Seattle Reign FC were still in the locker rooms when the national anthem was played ahead of schedule at Wednesday’s National Women’s Soccer League match between the two teams. 

In an exclusive interview Tuesday afternoon, Rapinoe told CSN that she planned to kneel during the national anthem prior to Wednesday's game - as she did before Sunday's NWSL contest between Seattle and the Chicago Red Stars.