Major League Soccer

SBI's 2010 MLS Best XI

GonzalezLeToux (ISIPhotos.com)

Selecting the eleven best players in Major League Soccer this season was arguably tougher than in any season before it. Along with the fact that the league has more teams than ever, teams have done much better at bringing in true impact players.

We're not just talking about Designated Players, but players who can come to MLS as relative unknowns and flourish. Players like David Ferreira, Sebastien LeToux and Jamison Olave.

As a matter of fact, the true measure of the improved quality of MLS talent can be found not just in the SBI MLST Best XI first team, but in the second and third teams, where the talent is just as strong.

MLS will unveil its selections for MLS Best XI on Tuesday. SBI will unveil its selections, as voted on by me, Avi Creditor, Adam Serrano, Travis Clark, Michael Nastri and Jose Romero, today.

Here is SBI's MLS Best XI:


GK- Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake

D- Jamison Olave, Real Salt Lake

D- Omar Gonzalez, Los Angeles Galaxy

D- Heath Pearce, FC Dallas

M- David Ferreira, FC Dallas

M- Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy

M- Sebastien LeToux, Philadelphia Union

M- Javier Morales, Real Salt Lake

M- Dwayne DeRosario, Toronto FC

F- Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes

F- Edson Buddle, Los Angeles Galaxy

2nd TEAM

GK- Kevin Hartman, FC Dallas

D- Chad Marshall, Columbus Crew

D- Nat Borchers, Real Salt Lake

D- Tim Ream, New York Red Bulls

M- Steve Zakuani, Seattle Sounders

M- Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Columbus Crew

M- Joel Lindpere, New York Red Bulls

M- Bobby Convey, San Jose Earthquakes

M- Pablo Mastroeni, Colorado Rapids

F- Freddy Montero, Seattle Sounders

F- Omar Cummings, Colorado Rapids

3rd TEAM

GK- Donovan Ricketts, Los Angeles Galaxy

D- Drew Moor, Colorado Rapids

D-Jeff Parke, Seattle Sounders

D- Brandon McDonald, San Jose Earthquakes

M- Daniel Hernandez, FC Dallas

M- Brad Davis, Houston Dynamo

M- Jeff Larentowicz, Colorado Rapids

M- Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders

M- Kyle Beckerman, Real Salt Lake

F- Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake

F- Juan Pablo Angel, New York Red Bulls


What did you think of the selections? Who didn't make the first team that you felt deserved a place? Who is missing from our teams that you feel deserved a spot?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Brent McD.

    Sucks how De-Ro tanked it his last year in Houston and now is an All-Star again in Toronto. Or maybe he just doesn’t play well with short hair….


  • El Fur

    How in the hell did Freddie “no means no” Montero make the second team? Didn’t score a goal in the last half the season or playoffs.

    Rimando was a tad better than Hartman during the season, but Hartman has been great in the playoffs.


  • Second City

    Not a single Chicago player and I whole-heartedly agree.

    Although, I think Sean Johnson has potential to make the list in some capcitiy next year.


  • Sarah

    How is there no Shalrie Joseph?? Not anywhere on any of the 3 teams…you are losing your credibility!

    (SBI-Sarah, he’s one of the best in the league, but didn’t have one of the best seasons in the league. There’s a difference. If you choose to disagree, then that’s your choice.)


  • George Costanza

    I’d of had Larentowicz in the first team. The ginga ninja can’t help but take his teams to championships.


  • 20

    New England’s defense just wasn’t as good as Seattle. Shalrie is one of the best players in the league regardless of the team around him


  • Joseph D'Hippolito

    Ives, your first-team midfield has five creative midfielders. Your third-team midfield has four “holding” or defensive midfielders. Don’t you think you should have had at least one of the holding/defensive midfielders on the first team? That’s the problem with deciding these things; defensive/holding midfielders get no love. Besides, I’d put Montero on the first team instead of Wondolowski or Buddle. Montero showed that he can not only score but create for others. Neither Buddle nor Wondolowski demonstrated that. Besides, most of Wondolowski’s goals came against weak opponents while unmarked. My grandparents could score those goals right now, and they’re dead!

    (SBI-Montero was a Best XI player before disappearing the final six weeks. Heck, he had my MVP vote in early August. He faded while others stepped up. As for Wondolowski’s goals not being that good, give me a break Joe. He scored more clutch goals than anybody in the league. Everyone gets a few tap-ins in the bunch, he was no different.)


  • Colin

    Yeah, and minus DeRo, they’d probably be a lot more appreciative of the free trip and game than the prima donna NFL players…


  • DC Josh

    Yeah East vs. West MLS-style would be simple: every team WEST of the Mississippi River on the EAST team and every team EAST of the Mississippi on the WEST team. Makes sense, right?


  • Mattmatumbo

    I’m also an RSLer and Hartman is simply incredible this season, can’t wait for Sunday!


  • Shmenge

    In your haste to shortchange defenders, you’ve got only one outside back on 3 teams?

    Kimura had a terrific year and Jair Benitez was better than Pearce.


  • nick

    SBI, even as a DC United fan who has watched both Najar and Ream over the season, I agree that Ream is a ahead of Najar and frankly should have taken the Rookie of the Year award.

    It’s true Najar played some great games for DC but he also disappeared in a number of others. He did not transform United’s attack in anyway the same degree Ream transformed Red Bull’s defense.

    In many ways I would argue that NY run such as it was came about in significant measure due to Ream.

    The same cannot be said of Najar. Although Najar played well he did not carry a very, very poor United team off the bottom of the League.


  • wilyboy

    Najar’s absence from these lists is utterly ludicrous. Without him, DC wouldn’t have even had a pulse. I’m starting to wonder if his age is actually working against him in certain minds.

    I just don’t get it. On any team with any form of sophistication or chemistry, he’d be hailed on this website non stop.


  • Joseph D'Hippolito

    Fine, Ives but what about my assertion that at least one defensive mid should be on the first team?

    (SBI-That’s a bit idealistic, but not how all-star/best XI teams are ever picked. You did give me an idea though so thanks for that Joe.)


  • g-dub

    For all the talk if Shalrie, I’d actually take Perovic first from NE. I’d give him Ozzy Alonso’s slot. Ozzy is a really fun player to watch for all his tenacity and honest work rate, but his game is actually pretty limited – especially in finishing, aerial presence, and incisive passing.


  • Scott A

    There we go. Ream placed ahead of Najar (yes I know, apples and oranges) just like it should be.


  • Joamiq

    Your stats are not even close to correct. Najar had 5 goals and 1 assist, and Lindpere had 3 goals and 6 assists.

    Even had your stats been correct, the difference would not have been remotely meaningful.

    And do you not think Lindpere played a part in making the likes of Angel and Richards more dangerous? I’m not sure why you even included Henry, given that he was outscored by someone as terrible as Salou Ibrahim.


  • Joamiq

    I don’t think Najar was better than any of the midfielders on the 2nd team. You could make an argument for including him on the 3rd team. And Moor, Parke, and McDonald were most certainly not better than Ream.


  • Joey Santi

    Agreed completely – FYI, Ives continually downgrades and dismisses Shalrie, I don’t understand it either. IMO Shalrie is one of the top 3 players in US Soccer History.

    Yes, this wasn’t his best season…but he was still very good and way better than these players listed. If New England played a less “British-style” game he would shine even more…just look at recent All Star games and how he clearly impresses.

    (SBI-Sorry Joey, but if you think I “continually downgrade and dismiss Shalrie Joseph” then you clearly haven’t read my stuff through the years. I’ve lobbied harder for him to win past MVP awards than most people I can think of and have generally recognized him as one of the best players in MLS history. This year, however, he didn’t quite have the same year as he has had in the past. It doesn’t mean he’s still not one of the best in the league, but Best XI is for actual performance. He didn’t have a stellar year, particularly by his standards, and other players simply had better years. Ultimately, he pays the price for New England’s awful season.

    BTW, nice work using different names to lobby for Shalrie there Joey, or should I call you Sarah?)


  • wilyboy

    See I read it, and think its wrong. To “transform” United, he would have had to be Messi-like.

    There was literally nothing to build off of, no one to pass to. I know. I was watching. I can’t count the number of times he took the ball box to box, or got into the offensive third with no one to assist. 17 freaking years old.


  • Eurosnob

    Joamiq, I am not sure why you think that my stats are incorrect. They are from ESPN’s website (their Red Bulls and DCU team pages). If you have an issue with the stats take it up with ESPN. Lindpere contributed to Red Bulls’ success this year, but Angel and Henry have been playing at a high level for many years without Lidpere and to suggest that their quality improved a result of Lindpere’s efforts is plain silly. I recognize that Henry did not play the whole season with the Red Bulls, but I included him to show the quality of players that Lindere played with. A midfielder would get a lot less attention from defense and have more time and space, when the forwards upfront are Angel/Henry rather than Christman/Alsopp. Lindpere is what he is – a nice complimentary player and every team needs those, but no GM is his right mind would build his team around Lindpere. Just by looking at Red Bulls, Angel, Henry, Richards, Marquez, Ream are all better players than Lindpere. Najar, on the other hand, is a player that you can build around and was voted by the GMs, coaches and players as the best rookie in the league. Put Lindpere on this DCU team and he would have a hard time scoring or getting an assist. I am not trying to pick on Lindpere. I respect what he did for the Red Bulls this season, but I also respectfully disagree with SBI that he should be ranked as one of the top ten midfielders in the league (which his placement on SBI’s all-MLS second team suggests).

    (SBI-Najar had 5 goals and 1 assist in MLS play this season. Those are the OFFICIAL stats from the league website. ESPN’s stats are hardly official and far from always accurate.)


  • Dainja

    soooooooooooooooooooooooo…Bob Bradley selects two midfielders to represent out COUNTRY, Brian Carroll and Logan Pause, …who can’t even make the top three teams of the MLS?? awful. I felt bad when I hadn’t even heard of those cats…now I don’t feel bad. I hadn’t heard of them cuz they’re stiffs!!


  • bob bradley

    kosuke kimura not being on ur list…..wow. loses all credibility. i would much rather be marked by pearce if I am a striker then kimura. pearce is god awful come on now ives


  • Mike Caramba

    Aren’t you supposed to wait for people to overreact to what is obviously a joke before you calm them down by explaining that you were kidding around even though no one could possibly think otherwise run-on sentence ends now.

    (Settle down, people! I’m just kidding!)


  • Eurosnob

    SBI, thanks for clarifying the official statistics. I am not sure why ESPN has different numbers. Under the official statistics, DCU’s top assist man, Santino Quaranta, had 2 assists, which makes Najar’s 5 goals quite an achievement, particularly considering the position he played and the playmaking abilities of his teammates.


  • MoreCowbell

    Coming from a Sounders fan, Conor Casey should be somewhere on here. You can’t put Cummings on the second team and not have Casey anywhere. Their stats were nearly identical and neither one of them would be as good as they are without the other next to him up top.


  • bizzy

    I like the way people throw around stats when talking about players and try to build up points based on such. Players with the best stats doesnt always mean they are the best players. You have to look for ball control, accuracy, instincts, speed, first touch etc. We have two players in MLS that should give us an insight to “talent”…..becks and Henry. It was based on stats these two players would not even play for BB but there is no one in MLS more talented than these guys. They are use to precise passing and play execution, which brings up the point that if the playing field is not the same (i.e same forwards, same midfields, same defenders around you), we need to start assessing player based on more than just a sheet of paper(alot of which could be right place, right time nothing more). We are always worried about playing time and stats, which helps to evaluate a player but doesnt give the full details on a player’s skill and knowledge of the game


  • Joseph D'Hippolito

    You’re welcome, Ives. BTW, why is it “idealistic” to include a defensive mid in a Best XI when just about every team plays with at least one? As far as how all-star teams “are ever picked,” who said that “tradition,” in this case, is correct?


  • Joamiq

    No thanks, I think I’ll take it up with you, since you chose to use 3rd party statistics (and Ives is right, ESPN’s soccer stats are notoriously off) rather than the official MLS stats. Let me count the ways in which I can pick apart your arguments. First of all, again, the fact that you bring up Henry again suggests that you didn’t follow NY at all this year. This is a tactic used by people who seek to give their arguments more ammo superficially while ignoring substance. For the record, Henry played 859 minutes last season, fewer than the likes of Jeremy Hall and Sinisa Ubiparipovic. Second of all, yes, Angel has played at a high level for some time. Of course, he keeps getting older, and yet he scored more goals this year than last, led the league in shots (setting a career high), etc., so I could just as easily argue that he made more of an impact this year thanks to… what? Perhaps partially due to players like Lindpere? The possibility can hardly be discarded. It is corroborated by the fact that when Lindpere played in the middle, driving the offense, the team was noticeably more dangerous. Thirdly, the fact that you would say that Richards is a better player than Lindpere drains you of any credibility you might have had. Fourth, your insistence that Lindpere is merely a “complementary” player makes it clear that you either a) really hate NY, or b) rarely watched the team play. And finally, that Najar is a player you can build around has more to do with the fact that he’s 17 than anything else. With all due respect, if you think Lindpere wouldn’t have gotten a goal or an assist on DCU, you are absolutely picking on him.

    The Red Bulls scored 11 more goals this year than last. Joel Lindpere is the biggest single reason why.


  • Eurosnob

    I do not support Red Bulls, but I don’t hate them either. I saw 6-8 Red Bulls games this year and in those games Richards played better than Lindpere, who was quite average in those games. Perhaps Lindpere played better than Richards in the games that I missed, but you seem to agree with the main point that NY has several players that are better than Lindpere. As for Najar, yes, he is 17, but as Landon Donovan said Najar does not play like a 17 year old. The main reason that you can build around him is not that he is 17, but that he is a very special talent – not many players can jump from their high school team directly to an MLS team, become a regular starter, lead their team in scoring, and win the league’s ROY award. I really hope that Najar gets his US citizenship soon and commits to the USMNT.


  • Joamiq

    Just to be clear, I certainly do not think there are “several” players on the Red Bulls better than Lindpere. I don’t know what you got that from. He was arguably their MVP this year.


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