All Stars, Schmall Stars

Q: What does Seattle Sounders FC have in common with DC United?

A: They don't have a representative in the MLS All Star Game either.

To be sure, neither does San Jose or the Stormin Mormons but then those teams don't have Luciano Emilio, either.

Fortunately, the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Players Union specifies that there have to be at least 36 guys named in one fashion or another, and after they get done naming the "reserves" the "substitute reserves" the "super-duper extra reserves" and the "guys whose names we recognized so they must be good", everyone is always so confused that it doesn't seem to matter anyway.

All you really need to remember is that the guys named to any of the follow up lists are a lot more likely to be seen taking the kids to Six Flags that day than sitting on a bench next to Steve Nicol wearing some gawdawful uniform adidas cooked up for the occasion.

As for DC, perhaps them placing no one on the roster is some kind of karmic payback for the ridiculous team that Peter Nowak assembled a couple years back where he named everyone on his United team, four RFK beer vendors and the guy who detailed his car.

DC fans bravely opined that it made perfect sense to name a bunch of teammates because "after all" - they would sniff at us less-sophisticated and knowledgeable fans - "the point is to win the game".

Uh huh. Then what was Freddy Adu doing there?

This year though, after the Council of the Wise got done laughing at the fan voting and picked the real "Bestest Eleven" or whatever it is now, Nicol and Garber looked at the list and noticed that there were no Canadians on it.

And since the game is being played in BEEMO (BTW, there is no truth whatever to the rumor that the players have asked that the game be switched to the gym at Our Lady of the Potted Palm Junior High because the floor is softer) they selected three. including TFC's Jim Brennan.

Amongst our pale and chilly brothers, this is CAUSE FOR MUCH REJOICING which has "overshadowed" the fact that the team hasn't won a game in over a month.

Brennan himself, who apparently is just fine with being a charity pick, would also like us to know that Reds keeper Greg Sutton deserved selection as well:

"I'm not the only one who thinks he's the best 'keeper in this league."

Well, maybe not, but you could hold the meetings in a closet.

Concurrent with the news about Claudio Reyna's retirement (and if you missed it, Dan Loney's comments are superb - hell THE GRAPHIC ALONE is worth the link) came a brief note that another US hero from the not-so-distant past, Clint Mathis, had appeared IN A RESERVES MATCH WITH RSL.

It's a one-time thing, not a precursor to a signing or anything, as Cletus is angling for another shot - and a few more paychecks - overseas someplace.

You get the impression that almost anyplace would do.

Not so long ago, Mathis was one half (along with Josh Wolff) of two-headed good-old-boy future of American soccer.

Back before the injuries and the beer and the jokes and "that's what he's here for!" Mathis looked to be as gifted a striker as the US had ever produced, sort of the anti-McBride.

Those of you who only remember the slightly buffoonish, too-much-beer and too-many-late-nights Clint Mathis missed out on a genuine phenomenon.

Somehow, it didn't quite work out.

Worth mentioning is that Toronto which has been linked in the press to virtually every unemployed European up to and including Sepp Blatter's Cabana Boy, has finally nabbed a fat target, and I hope we can all be mature enough not to snicker and make juvenile comments about a guy named Dickov.

It hasn't been a banner year for former LA Galaxy pickup Celestine Babayaro who, after being lured over here by Ruud Gullitt, played all of 45 minutes before being unceremoniously dumped.

Now back in England looking for work, his search has been slowed by the fact that he's now in the hospital BEING TREATED FOR MALARLIA

Sometimes, it's just not your year.

Gullit, meanwhile, has a new bright and shiny player NORBERTO SOLANO late of West Ham.

Just to be on the safe side, maybe someone should mention the whole bug spray thing. Just saying.