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——
Kevin Goldthwaite————————————–Marvell Wynne
—————–Chad Marshall—–Michael Parkhurst—————–
Arturo Alvarez————-Jozy Altidore————-David Beckham
————–Marcelo Gallardo———Cuauhtemoc Blanco———–
Gonzalo Segares—————————————Frankie Hejduk
—————–Jimmy Conrad———–Bakary Soumare————–
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.