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Major League Soccer positional Top Tens: CENTRAL/ HOLDING MIDFIELDERS

Feb 27, 2013, 2:20 PM EDT

Osvaldo Alonso, Luis Noriega

Let’s say this straight away: there are some seriously talented and trusty central midfielders who will not be on this list.

How many holding mids or central midfielders could put up a compelling argument for Top Ten consideration? Somewhere north of 15, perhaps?

Imagine if we had attempted to cram attacking midfielders into this ranking, too! (We rank those tomorrow.)

Our ranking of the Top Ten holding midfielders/ central midfielders in Major League Soccer:

1. Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso

2. Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman

3. Montreal Impact’s Patrice Bernier >

The Canadian international came out of nowhere last year to provide one of the real stabilizing forces around the expansion club – never mind all those names attached to greater decoration. He’s 33, a little old for a central mid, but still manages to wear it well around Stade Saputo.

4. New York Red Bull’s Dax McCarty

5. Chicago Fire’s Jeff Larentowicz >

Perhaps he didn’t quite fit Oscar Pareja’s image of a midfield conduit in Colorado’s possession-oriented, short-passing game. Chicago was glad to take him in a trade, bringing that blend of rough-and-tough ball winning and reliable two-way play to Toyota Park.

6. LA Galaxy’s Juninho >

David Beckham’s busy central midfield mate at the Home Depot Center had been generally known around MLS circles as “the underrated Juninho.”  We can all officially give that stuff a rest. Skillful, industrious and still quite young (24), he gets the work done on both sides of the midfield stripe.

7. D.C. United’s Perry Kitchen

8. Vancouver Whitecaps’ Nigel Reo-Coker >

Talent-wise, the England veteran may deserve higher ranking here. But we’re not 100 percent sure the center of the park is where Reo-Coker will land for Martin Rennie’s Whitecaps. And as we’ve said before, it’s hard to tell which Reo-Coker arrives, the well-liked leader or the occasional troublemaker?

9. Seattle Sounders’ Brad Evans

10. Vancouver Whitecaps’ Gershon Koffie

(MORE: full roster of ProSoccerTalk’s Major League Soccer previews and predictions)

  1. pensfan603 - Feb 27, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    reo is going to be playing outside back i thought he said and with demerits injury i would likely venture he will fill that spot, when i think of this position for whatever reason i can for whatever reason never think of Alonso as the best at it, i dont knwo what it is… but ya, Dax is better than him and Juninho.

  2. charliej11 - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:44 AM


    1. Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso
    9. Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman

    10. Montreal Impact’s Patrice Bernier

    In a hundred years of sport watching many different sports, he might be my favorite to watch.

    • mvktr2 - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      This made me lol. Alonso in many ways is a world class player, yep I said it. Plant him in central defense in any league in the world and I honestly believe he shines. However on your list shouldn’t you have listed it as
      1-8 Alonso
      etc. 😉

  3. mvktr2 - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Apparently I rate LA’s Junino a fair bit higher.

    2-Beckerman (everyone HATES playing against him)
    3-Junino (who do you think’s been covering for Beck’s free-range approach the past several years?)
    ^this is a total no brainer to me, spots 4-6 are a good bit tougher!
    4-McCarty (gets the nod because of youth and passing, appears to be blooming)
    5-Larentowicz (never a huge fan, these work-a-day types are the backbone of every league)
    6-Bernier (needs more than 1 very good season, but could be top 4, or Kitchens and others could pass him)

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