Here are a few notes from the Fire's practice today...
**Cuauhtemoc Blanco Named to the All Star Team's First XI**
[Blanco was named today to the MLS All Star First XI](http://web.mlsnet.com/news/mls_news.jsp?ymd=20090714&content_id=5871948&vkey=pr_mls&fext=.jsp) after Toronto FC midfielder Dwayne de Rosario had to drop out of the game due to TFC's CONCACAF Champions League match that will take place on the same day.
Blanco, who was the All Star game MVP last year, will join Wilman Conde as the Fire's second representative for the July 29th match in Salt Lake City.
"Obviously Temo's been an important guy for us," said Denis Hamlett. "We're happy with the selection and it's a great honor for him."
While it's great to see Blanco get the all-star nod, I really don't think he's that deserving of a spot in the First XI. I think that Marco Pappa is more worthy of selection than Temo and it would have been great to see the youngster go. **Reaction to Wilman Conde's All Star Selection... And His Status for Tomorrow night**
The Fire was feelin' good about yesterday's selection of Wilman Conde to the All Star squad and I talked to Wilman and Denis about the selection.
"I'm very pleased," said Conde. "It's a great step in my career and I'm going to enjoy it to the fullest. It's going to be a great opportunity and I'm hoping that everything goes well."
"It's a great honor for Wilman," said Coach Hamlett. "He's been a solid guy for us through all of last year and this year and it's good to see the people who vote give due to him."
I also asked Wilman about his hamstring and how the strained hamstring he picked up last week will affect him for tomorrow's match at New England.
"It's getting better," said Wilman. "I'm waiting to see if I can play tomorrow and if not then for sure on Saturday."
**Some random notes...**
It was nice to see reader/commenter Bert out there at practice today. If any of you guys ever see me (look for the curly hair...) at training or a game definitely say hi.
Also, the same starters that were used in Saturday's game were the first team in a little scrimmage the Fire had today so it looks like Denis Hamlett will be throwing the regular lineup out there for tomorrow's SuperLiga semifinal.
Chris Rolfe was playing up higher and more centrally in the scrimmage so we'll see if that role sticks in tomorrow's match. I think Chris would do well with that positioning and I hope to see him there tomorrow night.