Lampard, Gerrard among MLS stars to face Spurs
NEW YORK: Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard may be set for a swift midfield reunion after the former England stars were named Monday in a squad to face Tottenham in the Major League Soccer All-Star Game later this month.
The riddle of how to successfully pair Gerrard and Lampard stumped a succession of England managers before the duo quit international football and opted to head to the MLS.
Former Liverpool star Gerrard made his debut for the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday in a 2-1 friendly victory over Mexico's Club America while former Chelsea star Lampard has yet to take the field for New York City FC.
Both players only joined MLS clubs this month but each was made a special selection to the MLS roster by MLS commissioner Don Garber while fan voting nominated 11 other players, eight of them US national team members.
MLS All-Stars coach Pablo Mastroeni will name 20 players to line up alongside Lampard and Gerrard on the all-star roster on July 18. Fan voting does not ensure a spot on the squad but is considered in deciding the final 22-man roster for the July 29 game.
The MLS lineup will meet the English Premier League side in suburban Denver. The MLS All-Stars defeated Bayern Munich 2-1 last year after being beaten 3-1 by Roma in 2013.
Lampard has faced Tottenham 33 times in English Premier League play, netting seven goals, while Gerrard has five goals in 25 prior appearances against the Spurs.
Lampard has played in the MLS All-Star Game before, taking the field for Chelsea in 2006, when the English side lost 1-0 to the MLS All-Stars, and in 2012, when the MLS All-Stars won 3-2. Lampard scored once and set up the other goal in the 2012 encounter.
The MLS All-Star Game will mark the first time Gerrard and Lampard have played alongside each other since last year's World Cup in Brazil.
International players selected in fan voting included Brazilian star Kaka from Orlando City, Spanish legend David Villa of New York City and Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins of Seattle.
US players on the MLS All-Stars roster include captain Michael Bradley for Toronto, Seattle's Clint Dempsey, the Galaxy's Omar Gonzalez, Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando, Houston's DaMarcus Beasley and Kansas City's Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber.