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Heath Pearce a likely All-Star scratch; Let’s talk replacement

Heath Pearce-Red Bulls

At this point, it looks like I have a better chance at starting next week’s All-Star game than Heath Pearce, who continues to nurse a hamstring injury. (My hamstring is fine, by the way, and thank you very much.)

That’s really too bad for Pearce, if only because that might have been a great bridge for getting the guy back in his natural spot, left back. But the hamstring injury will almost surely dictate otherwise for the Red Bulls defender, so we just move on.

San Jose’s Justin Morrow is getting lots of social media love as Pearce’s potential replacement on Ben Olsen’s 18-man All-Star roster.

The young American is, indeed, having an outstanding campaign around Buck Shaw Stadium. Then again, everyone is having an outstanding campaign around Buck Shaw Stadium, where the occupants have the inside lane to the Supporters Shield and even a slight whiff of destiny. Morrow, 24, has plenty of bright days ahead.

I like Morrow, but I do wonder if some of his success is due to the Kevlar-tough team and defense around him? Center back Victor Bernardez looks more and more like an MLS Defender of the Year candidate every time out. Fellow center back Jason Hernandez has always been a solid MLS man. And right back Steven Beitashour is already an All-Star starter. (A deserving one, too).

Besides, I think the political winds may be blowing against Morrow. Teammate Ramiro Corrales is already on the team (as a commissioner’s pick). And Chris Wondolowski is another deserving Earthquake among the All-Star starters. So, adding a fourth San Jose man might not be such an easy sell considering several teams are without any representation.

(UPDATE: Well, what do I know? Morrow is the man ...)

My choice would be Todd Dunivant.

I know the Galaxy already has two All-Stars (David Beckham and Landon Donovan). And I don’t believe Dunivant is having the Best XI year that he had in 2011.

Still, he’s a pro’s pro. He reads the game astutely, which means Dunivant could quickly assess what he could and couldn’t against Chelsea when the teams meet next week.

Dunivant isn’t that far removed from his Best XI form from just year back. My guess, he can reach in and re-discover it on an important night at PPL Park.