Columbus Crew SC winger Justin Meram was "upset" to miss out on the MLS All-Star selection but told MLSsoccer.com: "It's a celebrity match to me."
The All-Star team face Real Madrid at Soldier Field on Aug. 2, with a squad involving a Fan XI -- predominantly determined by fan voting online, with the 11th player selected through the EA SPORTS "More Than a Vote" Challenge -- plus additions from Chicago Fire coach Veljko Paunovic and MLS commissioner Don Garber.
Meram, who has contributed nine goals and six assists this season, said after Saturday's 1-0 win over Philadelphia Union: "It's not even an All-Star game in my eyes -- it's a celebrity match to me.
"[David] Accam and [Romain] Allesandrini are two guys I love watching, and it's funny to me that they're not there. To me, it's not an All-Star Game in my eyes. It's getting a bunch of guys together and playing against Real Madrid."
He added: "I'll be honest, I was upset for the day and then I let it go. It's over. I'm just here to play the game. This is nothing new for me."
Fan XI ☑️
Coach's Picks ☑️
Commissioner's Picks ☑️
- Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 18, 2017
Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said the 28-year-old had the quality to force his way into a future All-Star squad.
"Things happen like that that you don't expect," Berhalter said. "We probably all expected him to be an All-Star this season, the way he was playing and the chances he was creating.
"Things happen that you can't control, but he's a guy who will continue to work hard. He'll be an All-Star in his career."