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The MLS Quarter Pole: Who is on the MLS Best XI?

Landon Donovan 3 ( 

The 2009 MLS season is a quarter of the way through and while we're still a LONG way away from hounding out season awards, we can still take a look at the players who have enjoyed the best form early in the season.

Picking the MLS Best XI is always a tough process but that doesn' mean we can't try to put one together for the first quarter of the season. Here is the SBI MLS Best XI for the first quarter:


———————————Brian McBride————————

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

——————————-Amado Guevara————————-

———–Paulo Nagamura———————-Shalrie Joseph—–

——————————–Osvaldo Alonso————————-

Jonathan Bornstein—–Jhon Kennedy Hurtado———Tim Ward



Now it's your turn. What eleven players would be on your MLS Best XI?

Share your picks below.


  1. I’m currently watching the Chivas USA / DC United game, and am noticing that Ives recognition of Nagamura and Bornstein seems spot on.

    For all those Pontius (butt)-kissers, the kid may be good, but Chivas USA’s team defense has rendered him invisible tonight. [Also, no way in hell Beckerman gets the nod over Nags–who ever believed this (stuff0 didn’t see the recent Colorado / Chivas USA game where Beckerman’s poor defensive clearance lead to Nags goal.]

    Lesson: Some of you need to put your “East Coast bias” to rest and stay up later to watch some Chivas USA games. Aside from having the best record in MLS, they also play the most entertaining football in the league.

  2. Aside from Alonso and Kandji, were any of the others mentioned in this discussion playing in the A League last year? Never going to happen, but promotion/relegation would be tremendous.

  3. I think its a measure of how far MLS has come that I can think of a bunch of excellent players that are NOT on Ives first XI, or that the 2 first place teams in MLS have between them 1 player on the first XI.

    While a rookie team would be great MLS just does not have enough excellent rookies to make a strong team. Instead you might want to have a combination Rookie/Newcomer Team.

  4. joe w you are right about the other rookies, however, barklage and the other players you mention ( with the exception of Cronin do not deserve to be in a rookie best 11 reason; not enough playing time…. The reason I changed some players positions is because I needed to come up with some sort of starting 11 that’s why I adapted some positions judging by how polivalent some of these players seem to be. Ok take out Alonso and definitely put Cronin in (he’s in the best MLS 11rookie or not) and I don’t remember putting keller on the rookie list (I put frei) and that’s where my list stops…cause there is no forward rookies this year that I could see earning a spot…. Maybe n’silu or cam weaver? I don’t know

  5. There’s no question Ward has been a big improvement over Prideaux, but Segares is a better defender and a hair better going forward. And Ward was at fault for letting up the goal against a 10-man Seattle side and for being out of position on Joseph’s goal last week. Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge Ward fan, but his defensive lapses have cost the team.

    Is it just a matter of MLS being weak on the right side of defense? Or is this a budding Ives man-crush on Ward? He penciled in Ward as a honorable mention Best XI after the heart-breaking Seattle game.

  6. @JoeW

    Just to clear the record, three of the goals Sounders FC gave up were not on Keller. He’s only had 2 goals against this year. I believe Thornton has 3 GA, which is good. I think they are in contention with each other, don’t get me wrong.

  7. My best eleven might include players like Pontius if it didn’t have 2 AM’s and 3 DM’s but did have a couple of wingers instead. Then again my best eleven might not have a keeper. Really depends on what you mean by best eleven? Top players at each of the positions or just the top players overall? Would you expect them to create a cohesive unit on the pitch or are we just naming names?

  8. and for the guy who dares to ssay Davy Arnaud over Lopez on KC….looks at the facts….Arnaud has had a couple moments of brilliance this year…but other from that hes been what???BORING.Lopez takes all free kicks and penalties for KC,and also is there leader

  9. SR how can you say GBS has been Borderline?

    he has 4 goals and an assist and has been playing like a madman through the start of the season. The Crew right now are 2 games of bad luck and 1 of a bribed reff away from having 4 wins. GBS should be on this team, he’s played well enough to earn it.

  10. Funny how defense was supposed to be Seattle’s weakness.

    And after the first two weeks of the season, who would have thought Montero wouldn’t be in the top XI?

  11. Roberto,
    As for the all-rookie team:
    1. Wallace has played 1/2 at left back. Otherwise he’s been an outside mid.
    2. Pontius has played a game at A-mid, 2 others at outside mid but mostly he’s been a striker.
    3. Kandji is not a rookie. Neither is Montero–he’s a professional who’s new to MLS. I also have a problem with Alonso as a rookie–he’s a veteran player who’s new to MLS. If Alonso is a rookie than he’s rookie of the year unanimously. Unless of course we said that Keller was “rookie of the year” (he’s as much of a rookie as Alonso is).
    4. There are a ton of really good rookies that you don’t acknowledge on your list: Hall, Barklage, Merisovic, Cronin and on and on and on. You could easily field an all-rookie team this year with the 11 best in MLS and be competitive in the league…without having to label Montero, Keller and Alonso as “rookies”.


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