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SBI MLS Best XI: Week Three


If you have found yourself wondering just how much things have changed in MLS in this early part of the season, all you need to do is look at this week’s installment of the SBI MLS Best XI.

Players from Real Salt Lake, Colorado, Columbus and Toronto FC account for eight (Yes, eight) of the 11 slots in this week’s Best XI.

Real Salt Lake leads the way wtih the most players after its 4-0 manhandling of D.C. United. SBI player of the week Kyle Beckerman leads the way for Jason Kreis’ group.

Here is how the SBI MLS Best XI for Week Three shook out:

SBI MLS Best XI: Week Three

———–Landon Donovan—————-Guillermo Barros Schelotto—–

Robbie Rogers—————–Amado Guevara—————Arturo Alvarez

——————–Kyle Beckerman——–Nathan Sturgis———————

Jose Burciaga——————Bakary Soumare—————-Nat Borchers

————————————Bouna Coundoul—————————–

HONORABLE MENTION: Jon Busch, Adrian Serioux, Michael Parkhurst, Dema Kovalenko, Robbie Findley

Not that tough to pick this group. I’m sure some will point to all of Donovan’s missed chances against Toronto, but the fact remains he took over the game at times and was playing on another level (misses aside).

The inclusion of Amado Guevara might surprise some but he was truly a steadying force in central midfield all game for Toronto, particularly in the second half, and his perfect long ball to Danny Dichio opened the scoring.

Share your thoughts on the Best XI in the comments section below.


  1. I agree with many others here that Donovan over Beckham is a puzzling choice.

    Beckham’s service was impeccable and consistent for the whole game. And he whistled one just wide of the post from open play from about 35 yards out.

    I guess you can credit Donovan with making space and troubling the defense, but at the end of the day you’re paying your strikers to hit the back of the net. Beating every player on the field doesn’t count for squat if you’re just going to knock it into the stands from six yards out.

    Beckham gave his strikers every opportunity to put the game on ice during a dominant first half. Their final third fumblings opened the door for Toronto to come back from the dead after halftime.

  2. I’m a TFC fan, but Robert for first 11? I don’t think that’s justified. He took some nice free kicks and sent in that long ball which both lead to goals, but his play outside of that was average.

    Didn’t take his man on enough to really be effective on the wing and was invisable for stretches.

    Greg Sutton deserves an honorable mention but I couldn’t fault picking Coundoul, who has been money.

  3. quote: Sorry Alex, Robert was nothing special on Sunday in fact Beckham had alot of room on that side of the field to run up and down.

    Robert doesn’t play defense. He did, however, set up two of Toronto’s three goals, so suggesting he “was nothing special” is a bit delusional.

    And he is the most skilled left winger in the league. That doesn’t make him the best, however. For one, he doesn’t play defense. Keeps getting two assists per game, however, and the jury will be out even with that.

  4. HMM…

    Rogers and Alvarez are good enough to make an MLS starting 11…but not good enough for a US Olympic team with an inept offense…

  5. Sorry Alex, Robert was nothing special on Sunday in fact Beckham had alot of room on that side of the field to run up and down

  6. Even as a RSL fan, I was surprised that you picked Sturgis who did nothing really offensively. I love the kid and I think Coach Kreis will play him as the holding midfielder over the aging Carey Talley. Great pick!

  7. I was at the LA game, and Landon was all over the field (in good way). His actual goal was a beauty. Greg Sutton made 2 excellent saves that Landon would have put passed most other keepers who are not 7’3″ (or what ever he is). The miss was awful, but the hustle and goal Landon put in after showed that he has the balls to keep going.

    All that being said, Beckham was better.

  8. Ives,

    I hope you don’t have some sort of Sports Illustrated jinx goin’ on or RSL is going to be in big trouble. Borchers has been playing REALLY well for RSL as has Beckerman all year.


    The reason that Sturgis hasn’t played before is because he was not practicing with the team due to his Olympic Qual duties and that he had to beat out Talley for the job. Talley had an awful game against Chivas which opened the door for Sturgis. I think if Nate “Never Late” Sturgis keeps playing like he did the last game (and for the Oly Team) he’ll be hard to knock out of the lineup.

  9. “Yeah but Robert had a much better game then Robbie Rogers did this past week! Just my opinion…I mean it is only Week 3 as ives said…”

    You mean Robert scored 3?!

    And passed up another to dribble the ball into the corner and kill clock at the end of the game? He must have done it if you think he played better than Rogers.

    Rogers tormented Chivas’ defense all day. Made ’em look downright foolish – go ahead, watch Ebert tripping over himself on that Rogers goal again.

  10. Agree with the last 3 or 4 people, Beckham was definitely the best player on the field in the LA / TFC game. He should have been chosen ahead of both LD and Amado.

    I mean, is Amado a better player becuase Vanney falls down? And is LD a great player because he ran by the TFC defense on perfect balls from Beckham. The goal LD scored from the top of the box was great, but he definitely didn’t kae the game over.

  11. Yeah but Robert had a much better game then Robbie Rogers did this past week! Just my opinion…I mean it is only Week 3 as ives said…

    Ives, use some of those stellar contacts you have and pull some strings for Kluivert to TFC…


  12. Hard to argue to strenuously with any of your selections, but if anybody “took over the game” (actually, only the first half) for LAG against TFC, it was Beckham with his pinpoint longballs.

  13. Pound for pound best keeper after three weeks, even though he doesn’t have the results, Greg Sutton. Just some amazing stuff, especially considering he gets hung out to dry every game by his D.

    Don’t think Landon deserves a spot this week. His overall game was the pits. If anything, I’d have Beckham in there. His feeding was as close to perfect as I’ve seen this year.

    Way too early to start including Robert. He’s shown pace and flashes, but come on now.

  14. I think Beckham is more deserving than Donovan. His service continues to be fantastic. He picked out LD and Dear Gordon all day Sunday — I actually felt bad for the guy that their fnishing was so atrocious. I’m not the biggest Becks fan, but if we’re being honest, he’s the best player in this league by a country mile

  15. I’m going to join the chorus against Donovan. Yes, he scored 2 goals, but 1 was on a penalty. The other goal he scored was nice, but that only highlights how bad the misses were. Beckham should have been in this squad for all the chances he created for Donovan to miss.

  16. Guys, this is just for week three. I knew people would have an issue with Donovan but I can’t exclude him because his overall performance was still better than the rest.

    As for Busch over Coundoul, I thought Coundoul had the better game.

    And I agreed about Serioux, thought he was stellar, but he just missed the cut.

  17. I agree with Matt completely…best left sided mid my a–. Let him prove himself first.

    I don’t care what other teams he has played for, he was near-awful his last season at Newcastle. A footballer’s resume is meaningless, it is about what he does on the field and maintaining consistency. Might as well see a guy jogging in practice and say he is the best player in the league, because one good performance is not much more meaningful than that.

  18. Hard to argue for the inclusion of Brian Carroll over any one of these guys, but the Crew’s midfield seems so much steadier this year with him in there. Doesn’t make spectacular plays, but doesn’t mess anything up, either. Makes everyone around him better, and that’s the mark of a good player.

  19. UUUmmm Robbie Rogers!?!?

    I’m sorry but i guess you didn’t see Laurent Robert play on Sunday…This guy is the best left mid in the MLS…I hope you keep a closer eye on him in the future

    Resume: Newcastle, PSG, Portsmouth, Benfica!!

  20. Ives, I like the 11, but I’d change one thing. I thought Nate Sturgis had a nice game, but Dema Kovalenko had an amazing game against DC. In fact, I thought he even outplayed Beckerman from my place in the stands. Otherwise, very solid. It’s especially nice to see Nat Borchers in there, he’s been a monster so far this year!

  21. Ives, what about Greg Sutton? He let in some goals but also was the sole reason for TFC comming away with a win over LA. Sutton also made some world class saves the previous week against DCU.

  22. Donovan didn’t deserve Best XI – 2 goals shouldn’t get you a spot when you blow 3 chances that could’ve gotten your team a point or more-so the win (at home against TOR, no less).

    Arturo is playing up to with Cooper so put him at forward and you can find another midfielder deserving I’m sure, like Mauricio Castro who played well for NE in their loss or Dax McCarty who’s played well so far this year.

    Bouna definitely deserved Best XI, though – he was excellent.

  23. I’d have Jon Busch in Goal for his heroic performance during the first 92 minutes of the game (with a serious assist fromt the cross-bar and shea’s spasmodic left foot)Bouna, however, is also worthy

  24. I think strong cases can be made for J. Busch in goal and A. Serioux for Soumare. I hate that Donovan is in there, as he could have put the game away in the first half, but I don’t really have a better choice.

  25. Ironic how both outside midfielders this week were left off Nowak’s Olympic qualifier squad.

    Soumare is huge, I can see him with the Nats in the future & moving overseas.

  26. Ives,

    Good list; I didn’t see all the games so can’t comment.

    Hoewever, I am surprised that Beckerman’s second goal was not one of the five finalists for Goal of the Week. I thought it was the best one but it didn’t even make the top five!!!


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