Chris Tierney isn’t the Commissioner of Major League Soccer, but if he was then he might do things a little differently.
On Monday, the first 13 MLS All Stars were announced. The eleven selected by fans included expected names like Michael Bradley, Benny Feilhaber, and Clint Dempsey. The two selected by Commissioner Don Garber were more controversial as he nominated Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, neither of whom has made their league debut yet.
Garber’s picks caused a Twitter uproar, which included comments from several current MLS players. The New England Revolution’s Chris Tierney, who's been in the league for eight years, didn’t say anything online, but he does have an opinion.
"My initial reaction was a negative one just because I think there’s a lot of guys who have put in the time this year in the league and have put in performances in MLS that are worthy of consideration for the All-Star Game," Tierney said. "So, bringing in two guys that haven’t played a game yet is an interesting move, if you ask me."
One of Tierney’s concerns was about bonus clauses built into MLS contracts. Players who receive an All Star nod receive money, which can be significant for some players. This worry has since been alleviated with the news that MLS will name two additional All Stars, both of whom will receive bonuses.
Although the Revs haven’t been on the best run of form recently, Tierney believes that some of his teammates deserve recognition. The final 22-man roster for the MLS All Star Game will be announced on Saturday, Jul. 18 and Tierney wouldn’t be surprised to hear some familiar names.
"I think there’s a bunch of guys on our team [that could be All Stars]," Tierney commented. "If you look at Charlie Davies’ form over the first part of the year then I think he could be a guy that’s in consideration. I also think if you look at the way that Lee Nguyen has been playing, he could always be in the mix as well."
The MLS All Stars will face Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, Jul. 29 with or without Revolution players. The format that pits the best of MLS against a global soccer powerhouse has been used every year since 2005. While Tierney states that decisions like this are "above my paygrade", he wouldn’t mind seeing the league revert to the old East vs West format.
"I would [like to see an East vs West All Star Game]," Tierney said. "These types of things aren’t up to me. It’s up to the league to decide what they want to do, to do what they think is best to grow the league. Growth of this league is what us as players are interesting in because in turn that’s going to make things better for the players."