Major League Soccer

SBI MLS Team of the Month: April


                                                                                  Photo by ISI Photos

As far as months go, April was a memorable one for MLS fans.

You not only had goals galore, you had outrageous goals. Beautiful strikes all over the place. You had offense reigning in a league where offense hasn’t always been at a premium.

You also had the league’s power pecking order shaken up, with Columbus and Toronto rising, and Houston and D.C. United struggling.

Then there was Landon Donovan, who thoroughly dominated the competition on his way to MLS Player of the Month honors (from MLS as well as SBI).

Donovan wasn’t the only player to have a good month of April (and yes, the week of games in March count too). Here is the first installment of the SBI MLS Team of the Month:

SBI MLS Team of the Month: May


Alejandro Moreno———Kenny Cooper———–Landon Donovan

————–Amado Guevara——Guillermo Barros Schelotto——

——————————Shalrie Joseph—————————–

Kevin Goldthwaite————————————–Marvell Wynne

—————–Chad Marshall—–Michael Parkhurst—————–

——————————Jon Busch———————————–


Arturo Alvarez————-Jozy Altidore————-David Beckham

————–Marcelo Gallardo———Cuauhtemoc Blanco———–

—————————–Sacha Kljestan—————————–

Gonzalo Segares—————————————Frankie Hejduk

—————–Jimmy Conrad———–Bakary Soumare————–

——————————–Wil Hesmer———————————

There were some tough calls this month, but I went with the players who stood out to me, and the players who my colleagues suggested as having had good months.

The Columbus Crew led the way with three first-team selections. Wil Hesmer almost made it four but Jon Busch has had a good first month and the Fire had to have someone on first team.

Toronto FC and New England both had two first-team selections. And yes, the East Coast bias was in full effect with nine of 11 first-team slots going to Eastern Conference players. Hey, it’s not like the East isn’t the significantly tougher conference so far.

Toughest exclusion from the first team? Probably Blanco, followed by Alvarez. Busch over Hesmer was tough too.

The second team was also a difficult one. I considered selecting an extra midfielder and dropping a defender slot in order to get Seth Stammler on after his solid month, but there were some very good defenders who deserved attention. Segares got the nod ahead of Jose Burciaga while Sean Franklin Bakary Soumare goes in ahead of Nat Borchers in a close call. Borchers had a really good month, but if you have to play alongside Abel Xavier you get extra credit, and Franklin deserves his share for being one of the few reliable defenders on the Galaxy. I’m a big Franklin fan but Soumare has to get on for the work he and the FIre defense did in April.

I also switched Jozy Altidore in for Jaime Moreno. Yes, I know Altidore has had his struggles in April but he scored two vital goals and set up a third despite not playing with Juan Pablo Angel once in April. Moreno had a nice game against Real Salt Lake but I needed to be reminded how invisible he has been otherwise.

And no, I didn’t consider Alan Gordon. His half of brilliance against Chivas USA was nice, but let’s face it, he’s been a train wreck far more than he’s been useful.

Again, these are my opinions. I could very easy be forgetting someone who I originally intended to put on so you could see some adjustments (though I don’t see the first team changing).

What do you think of the squads? Share your thoughts below.

  • mikeK

    No Parke? Sure, guilty verse Dallas, but he’s been defending against some quality and held up well. I guess I need to watch some other teams, though…


  • Garret

    I think Gonzalo Martinez and Clyde Simms should be on here.

    Emilio should be on the Player of the weak: Monthly edition.


  • Eric Anderson

    It seems harsh to keep Klejstan out of teh first team, but his red card probably hurt him there. I don’t think Jaime Moreno has been good enough this month to even warrant a place on the second team.


  • Steve T

    Take off the D.C. United goggles Garret. Your team has BLOWN in April and you want a defender AND a D-mid on team of the month? Give me a break. How about watching the rest of the league buddy.


  • Brant

    Kleijstan should worry about staying on the field. He had a brilliant goal against the Crew, but has been invisible for long stretches of games all month.


  • Hincha Tim

    Borchers should definitely have made one of the squads. Gallardo? I haven’t seen him play well enough throughout the first month to warrant aa selection. He had a good game the second time DCU played RSL but not much else spectacular.


  • Fire_Juve10

    Good to see Gonzalo Segares get some love. He’s been the Fire MVP in my book.


  • Amit

    I think Hesmer has been better than Busch. Columbus didn’t get a miracle shut out vs. San Jose so Hesmer deserves more credit.


  • Danny

    I think leaving out Jose Burciaga Jr is a shame. I also think Moreno is a bad pick. He got a couple PK goals, but seldom did anything in open play.

    Man, could I complain a little more?


  • Geoff

    no love for laurent robert? he’s assisted on 4 goals…pretty much every set piece he takes results in a goal.


  • kpugs

    Geoff, you can’t put a player on team of the month who is completely anonymous except on set pieces. Robert is a paid left foot, nothing more, nothing less, with no legs.

    I actually don’t any strong feelings on the first or second teams. I think they were fair. I would have loved to see Stammler on there as well but these lists are always tough to put together.


  • Dominghosa

    Good selection. I’d put Burciaga in for Franklin. And not sure if Gallardo should get a place. He started the month very slow.


  • DrunkenGoon

    Kevin Goldthwaite? Jaime Moreno? Are we picking the shuffleboard team of the month?

    Goldthwaite needs a map, a compass and a GPS to figure out his defensive positioning on the pitch. I guess he deserves a spot if you’re comparing him with Xavier, Vanney, Velez, Joy, etc however you really should check out Harrington if you want to go with an offensive defender at left back while Brennan has done the job for TFC. Burciaga has been solid to Colorado as well, I would give him the nod over all the others.

    Jaime Moreno should really have a front office or academy job with DC United, he hasn’t created anything from open play in the league or the Concacaf CL this season to warrant a starting spot, let alone a MLS team of the month selection.


  • Joe

    Id like to see Bakary Soumare get a shout. That might be a stretch but he has been a beast in the back for the Fire. I think Gonzalo should have been on the first team. Someone from the Fire backline should be there. Only giving up 3 goals this year and 1 of them being an own goal needs some more love shown.


  • Jon E

    Ives–I’d encourage you to stop formatting using hyphens to format the lineups. They never seem to display properly for me (which makes for difficult reading), and I think at least some other people have the same trouble. And a simple list by position would be easier for you too, I bet.


  • EmorySoccer

    Ives, I think your selections were great. I would like to point out in a somewhat unrelated note…Since the inception of the league, I have constantly had to battle the “dumb american” people who say MLS sucks and soccer sucks. Recently, I have been somewhat proud to be a fan of the MLS. I know 10 years in existence vs 100 rationalizes that thought, but I feel as if the overall infrastructure, play and marketing of the league has drastically improved. I was watching the Kentucky Derby today and they interviewed 2 cuban guys who survived imprisonment from castro, ultimately made their way to the US and were able to purchase a race horse that qualified for the Kentucky Derby. From the guy who barely spoke English, “This is proof of the American dream.” Ives, the MLS will be the best league in the world some day. There is too much money and fame and exposure here for the best players not to gravitate to the spotlight. Heres to a good rest of the season, and hey, did anyone else see the Houston Dynamo patch on De La Hoya’s shorts in the boxing match tonight? Sweet!


  • rednow.red4ever

    YES! Segares made the second team….not bad. I messaged him on facebook saying a couple of us had been pullin for him to make the distinguished Ives XI and he said he’s be on the look out…..so you may have a new fan Ives…haha


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