Miranda making his case for MLS All-Star Game

Chilean brings consistency to Crew back line

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In a back line that has seemingly been a revolving door in 2012 due to injuries, Sebastián Miranda has been the one constant presence for the Crew defense. Along with midfielder Eddie Gaven and goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, the Chilean is one of three players to start all 13 matches this season for the Black & Gold.

Along the way, Miranda has established himself as one of the top right backs in Major League Soccer. The 31-year-old made the league take notice with his 20-yard header to beat FC Dallas on May 12. His play for the Crew this season has earned him a spot on the ballot for the MLS All-Star Game on July 25.

"I'd like to be (at the All-Star Game)," Miranda said. "It's important to me, of course, for the league to recognize me, my job, and my work here."

"For sure he belongs in the (All-Star) conversation," fellow All-Star candidate Andy Gruenebaum lauded his teammate. "The guy is one of the most consistent players we've had. He plays every game and doesn't complain about anything. He just shows up and gets it done."

In addition to his play on the field in 2012, Miranda has been called upon to lead the younger players like center back Josh Williams that have been integrated into the Black & Gold back line.

"(Miranda) has been playing really well this year," centerback Josh Williams said. "I've had the privilege of playing next to him, so he's really taught me a lot. He's really stepped up as a leader in the back with everyone filling in and new guys coming in without a lot of experience. He's definitely a leader out there and a voice we all kind of look to."

 "I lean to (Miranda) as far as experience. If I have any questions or if he sees anything, I tell him and I'm all ears," Williams continued. "I know he has a lot of experience, so we lean on him. At the end of the game we always look to him to give us that extra push and he normally steps up. He's not a very vocal guy, but he leads by example and I think that goes a long way on this team."

Though the example by which Miranda leads should earn him a spot in Philadelphia to face Chelsea FC on July 25 with the MLS All-Star team, the right back remains focused on helping Columbus move up the Eastern Conference table.

"The most important thing for me is the Crew, of course," Miranda said. "I would appreciate to be (at the All-Star Game), but the most important thing is here with the Crew."