Skip to content

No surprises as Major League Soccer announces Best XI

Nov 26, 2012, 7:39 PM EDT

Philadelphia Union v Sporting Kansas City Getty Images

A little more on this year’s MLS Best XI (which Steve linked you to earlier).

For the first time in 10 years, Major League Soccer’s Best XI has three forwards.

For the first time in 10 years, the team has three forwards, even if a number of the team’s midfielders saw time farther up the field during the 2012 season. But positions have always been a loose thing when it comes to recognizing the season’s best. If there’s any flexibility to be had, you can guarantee a player’s going to be pushed into midfield.

Among the players to make this year’s team, there were no real surprises. Each player that was announced by Don Garber had been discussed among your favorite analysts. Every name appeared among the selections made by your three favorite Pro Soccer Talk content hamsters.

So while there’s sure to be debate about the selections (well, the non-Wondo ones), none of this year’s best XI should surprise anybody:

Goalkeeper

Jimmy Nielsen, Sporting Kansas City

This spot seemed allocated to Nielsen early in the campaign, with Kansas City’s hot start and great defensive record (fewest goals allowed in MLS) giving Nielsen a pole position he never conceded.

PST’s picks: Nielsen (N. Davis); Andy Gruenebaum (S. Davis, Farley)

Defense

Victor Bernardez, San Jose Earthquakes
Matt Besler, Sporting Kansas City
Aurelien Collin, Sporting Kansas City

We knew Bernardez and Besler (the league’s Defensive Player of the Year) would be here. Collin was likely, though competition from the likes of Vancouver’s Jay DeMerit and Chicago’ Arne Friedrich made that less of a certainty. Again, no controversy here.

PST’s picks: Gonzalo Segares, Bernardez, Kevin Alston (N. Davis); Bernardez, Besler, Collin, DeMerit (Farley); Bernardez, Besler, DeMerit (S. Davis)

Midfield

Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders
Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy
Chris Pontius, DC United
Graham Zusi, Sporting Kansas City

It’s an interesting midfield, the only qualm with it being the lack of actual midfielders. Again, that’s the norm around these parts. All of Donovan, Pontius and Zusi saw their fair share of time as forwards, but given the crowded field up top, it’s hard to blame voters for sliding some of the league’s best players into midfield.

PST’s picks: Donovan, Pontius, Dax McCarty, Zusi (N. Davis); Kyle Beckerman, Alonso, Patrice Bernier, Zusi (Farley); Alonso, Zusi, Roger Espinoza, McCarty (S. Davis).

Forwards

Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls
Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes

It’s only the third time in league history three forwards have made the best XI, the trio combining for 58 goals and 28 assists. Kenny Cooper and Alvaro Saborio also had strong seasons, but it’s difficult to argue anybody should unseat these three.

PST’s picks: Keane, Henry, Wondolowski (N. Davis); Henry, Wondolowski (Farley); Keane, Henry, Wondolowski (S. Davis)

Latest Posts
  1. VIDEO: Arsene Wenger hails Arsenal’s spirit after last-gasp comeback

    Aug 23, 2014, 3:38 PM EDT

    Everton v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

    Wenger believes Arsenal deserved a point after stirring comeback.

  2. VIDEO: Roberto Martinez bemoans Everton’s late collapse against Arsenal

    Aug 23, 2014, 3:14 PM EDT

    Aston Villa v Everton - Premier League Getty Images

    Martinez upset at last 10 minutes, as Everton let 2-0 lead slip at home to Arsenal.

  3. Bundesliga Wrap: Leverkusen stuns BVB, Hoffenheim cruises

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

    Germany Bundesliga Soccer AP

    Dortmund couldn’t find a goal, though castaway striker Julian Schieber netted twice for his new team as the Bundesliga roared into a new season.

  4. Saturday Premier League roundup: Chelsea win again, Arsenal fight back

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:38 PM EDT

    Diego Costa AP

    Gunners grab point at Everton, while Chelsea, West Ham and Swansea win.

  5. Everton 2-2 Arsenal: Late goals seals dramatic comeback for Gunners

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    Gunners come back from 2-0 down to bag crucial point at Everton.

  6. VIDEO: Palace manager “won’t be watching Match of the Day” after loss

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT

    Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Crystal Palace is a club in turmoil, and caretaker manager Keith Millen says it’s unfair to the players.

  7. VIDEO: Mourinho hails Chelsea’s “complete control” half vs Leicester

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Diego Costa AP

    The Blues boss says his team had to work for it, but ultimately dominated newly-promoted Leicester City on Saturday.

  8. WATCH LIVE – Goals from Coleman, Naismith has Everton ahead vs. Arsenal

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

    Everton v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

    Gunners defend sloppily and Everton take full advantage. Watch the 2nd half live, here.

  9. Newly promoted Burnley battling, struggling to adapt to Premier League life

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT

    Swansea City v Burnley - Premier League Getty Images

    Dyche: “We knew this would be a challenge, a difficult one, and we are enjoying the way the team are operating, but we need to get points on the board.”

  10. WATCH: Leverkusen scores fastest goal in Bundesliga history at BVB

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT

    Denmark Soccer Champions League AP

    Karim Bellarabi nutmegged Matthias Ginter and put Bayer Leverkusen into the record books nine seconds into the match at Dortmund.

  11. Watch Live: Everton vs. Arsenal (Lineups)

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

    Everton v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

    Toffees and Gunners clash at Goodison as top four hopefuls collide. Watch live, here.

  12. Swansea City 1-0 Burnley: Dyer’s strike wins it for the Swans

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    Dyer's goal was enough to sink Burnley. Getty Images

    Dyer’s solo strike the difference as brave Burnley fall at the Liberty.

  13. Crystal Palace 1-3 West Ham United: Sam’s Hammers score freely

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

    Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Three different Hammers netted for Sam Allardyce as West Ham rebounded from a loss to Spurs to win a London derby at Palace.

  14. Southampton 0-0 West Bromwich Albion: Stalemate at St. Mary’s

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    Saints and Baggies battled it out in the sun at St. Mary's. Getty Images

    Saints, Baggies fail to score in closely fought encounter on the South Coast.

  15. Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City: Costa scores again, Hazard ensures win

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Diego Costa, Dean Hammond AP

    The Foxes were game, but Chelsea’s class shone through by the time 90 minutes were in the books.

  16. VIDEO: Alan Pardew gives happy dance to make Remy Cabella smile

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

    Alan Pardew AP

    The Newcastle boss went above and beyond the call of duty, putting on clown shoes for a moment on the sidelines.

  17. LIVE – Premier League half time roundup: Hammers ahead, Chelsea being held

    Aug 23, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT

    Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Four games on the go, but goals are scarce. Watch them all live, here.

  18. Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle: Guzan saves a point as Villa moves top

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT

    Aston Villa v Newcastle United - Premier League Getty Images

    American goalkeeper Brad Guzan helped Aston Villa stay unbeaten by keeping Newcastle at bay in a scoreless draw at Villa Park.

  19. Watch live: Crystal Palace vs. West Ham United (Lineups)

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:36 AM EDT

    Marouane Chamakh, Cameron Jerome AP

    West Ham’s second London derby in as many weeks provides a chance at win No. 1.

  20. Watch Live: Swansea City vs. Burnley (Lineups)

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:27 AM EDT

    Monk Getty Images

    Can the Swans sweep aside new boys Burnley? Watch live, right here.

Featured video

Week 2: Saturday PL preview