PORTLAND -- Soccer City, U.S.A. has just one MLS All-Star.
That can’t be right.
Not with a franchise that has had such an amazing turnaround from just one year ago. Well, one is indeed the loneliest number.
"First and foremost, I have to thank the club, the staff and my teammates because without this great opportunity I've been given, without great teammates around me, nobody gets selected to the All-Star team," said Portland Timbers Team Captain Will Johnson who was named to his second All-Star team.
Johnson is about as deserving as anybody on the 2013 Timbers roster. But, his coach believes there has been something of an injustice done.
"I'm a little bit surprised by that," said Caleb Porter. "I thought we could've had three or four guys based on what guys have done individually, and also more importantly, what our team's done."
Perhaps Porter is just a coach who feels that his players were slightly overlooked.
"I think a part of that is just us earning a little bit of respect over time. The last couple of years, we haven't been a team that has performed well. And when you're not performing well, typically you don't get individual awards or accomplishments," said Porter. "We're still earning that respect. That will come. The better we do, the more we'll have individuals that get rewarded."
Johnson is fresh off his duties with the Canadian national team. They were recently knocked out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup tourney. But while international soccer is extremely important to him, he’s also relishing in what has become a magical season thus far for himself, and this Timbers squad.
“To be honored amongst your peers is something I take great pride in. I work very hard at what I do,” Johnson said.
Johnson, whose team is in second place in the Western Conference, has scored a career best six goals so far this season.
Johnson and the rest of the MLS All-Stars will face Italian powerhouse A.S. Roma. The match is scheduled for July 31 in Kansas City, Missouri.