During the half of the United States vs. Panama Gold Cup match, the Major League Soccer Fans' Starting XI was released. There weren't many surprises, but perhaps the most (or least) surprising was Commissioner Don Garber's picks.
First though, the Fans' Starting XI:
Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando
Defense: Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, DaMarcus Beasley
Midfield: Kaka, Michael Bradley, Benny Feilhaber, Graham Zusi
Forward: David Villa, Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins
Some obvious omissions were Kei Kamara and Sebastian Giovinco. Kamara leads the league in goals with twelve, while Giovinco is in the top four of the four major offensive categories (second in goals, fourth in assists, and first in both shots and shots on goal), but playing in Columbus and Toronto respectively doesn't garner the attention that playing in New York or Los Angeles (or apparently Kansas City) does.
Then it was time for Commissioner Garber's picks. He added two more names - Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.
Neither player has played a minute in MLS, so it's clear this was not done as a reward for their good play in the league. Instead, Garber went with the big names guaranteed to draw in the advertisers and sell jerseys, as well as to guarantee there will be fans of players who perhaps should have made the cut, but were instead left behind for two men living off of their reputation abroad instead of earning it here.
Mastroeni's list is due to be released on Saturday, and he does not have to include the Fans' Starting XI.