Red Bulls coach Hans Backe could see many familiar faces in a very familiar place in July.
Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers find themselves among the six members of the New York Red Bulls squad vying for an opportunity to take the pitch against English Premier League champions Manchester United at the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 27. Fan voting to select the All-Star First XI commenced on Wednesday, with the highest vote recipients receiving eligibility to participate in Major League Soccer's midsummer showcase at Red Bull Arena.
Mexican defender Rafael Marquez joins Henry and Rodgers in debuting on this year's All-Star ballot while five-time MLS All-Star Dwayne De Rosario will make his first ballot appearance as a member of the Red Bulls since being traded to New York by Toronto FC in April. Marquez's defensive counterpart, Tim Ream, returns for his second year of eligibility as does Estonian midfielder and 2010 MLS All-Star selection Joel Lindpere.
Fans can vote for the All-Star First XI by filling out the All-Star ballot on the league's website or submitting their selections via text message. They can also utilize Twitter to submit write-in candidates or participate in a Twitter voting process to be held between June 17-20.
Earlier this month, MLS announced that Backe will coach the MLS All-Stars in July against ManU. The legendary EPL side returns for a rematch after last year's decisive 5-2 win over the 2010 MLS All-Star squad at Reliant Stadium in Houston.