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Donovan, Joseph and Ljungberg headline 2009 MLS Best XI

Freddie Ljungberg (

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Major League Soccer announced its Best XI on Monday, with no real surprises among the selections.

MVP finalists Landon Donovan, Shalrie Joseph and Jeff Cunningham headed the group, while MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Zach Thornton also got the nod.

Here is the MLS Best XI:

GOALKEEPER– Zach Thornton

DEFENDERS– Chad Marshall, Wilman Conde, Geoff Cameron

MIDFIELDERS– Landon Donovan, Shalrie Joseph, Stuart Holden, Freddie Ljungberg, Dwayne DeRosario

FORWARDS– Jeff Cunningham, Conor Casey

What's the SBI take? It's tough to argue with any of the selections, though some might argue that Conor Casey was the second-best forward on his own team, with Rapids teammate Omar Cummings also enjoying a stellar season. Casey did enjoy a very strong season though and was one of a handful of forwards who were equally worthy of Best XI honors, along with Cummings, Fredy Montero and Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

What do you think of the Best XI? Like the picks? Which player do you feel was the biggest snub? Which pick was the most surprising?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. TFC top scorers: DeRo’s 11 (followed by 5 for Barrett and 5 for Guevara) compares with 5 for Dichio in 2008 and 6 for Dichio in 2007. Definitely a big impact. Now whether or not he should have had more like 15, that is a question for the ages (or the offseason at least).

  2. I can’t argue with the selections, but did Dero have a good year? I only saw one game. Toronto seemed to be at 6’s and 7’s all year.

  3. This is what every MLS team should look like, with players of this quality at every position.

    Maybe then we’d beat the Mexican teams in CCL.

  4. Agreed, Wondolowski. I voted for Davis over Holden because Davis played a far bigger role.

    Other snubs:

    Jhon Kennnedy Hurtado on defense (instead of Marshall)

    Dave Van den Bergh in the midfield (instead of either Ljungberg or DeRosario)

    Osvaldo Alonso in the midfield (instead of either Ljungberg or DeRosario). Defensive midfielders get absolutely no love from the voters (except Joseph) but Alonso was a critical player for the Sounders — and far more consistent than Ljungberg.

    Most overratted player: Conor Casey. Yes, he was the league’s second-leading goal scorer but most of his goals were either sitters against pourous defenses or PK’s; he hardly had to work for any of them.

  5. I’d like to see some creativity here with the All Dive Team headed up by Montero and Alejandro Moreno up front, Blanco at center mid and Ljungberg at winger, etc. We could have fun with that.

    Or how about the All Complain To The Refs team starring Beckham, Ljungberg, Blanco…I just realized that the biggest divers and whiners in our league are our DPs – yet I also noticed that Juan Pablo Angel never gets mentioned in that light. Props to him.

  6. It’s a copout to name 3 defenders and 5 midfielders – I mean, really; how many teams play a 3-5-2? Just because you don’t want to make a hard choice in midfield, you diss the center-backs…

  7. lets drop this team into the EPL and see if they can be a mid table team, I think they probably could be with some playing time together and a good coach…….. then again who knows 🙂

  8. Great list, with the exception of Conde. It should have been Hurtado.

    But at least this list fixes Ives’ ridiculously picking Davis ahead of Ljungberg.

    (SBI-The lists are unrelated, so how did it “fix” my pick? Davis is my pick and Ljungberg was not. You can disagree if you choose but calling it ridiculous is a major stretch. Then again, you’re a Sounders fan, so I can understand why you might think that.)

  9. Give me a break, Dewayne? How about Beckerman. He’s done more for RSL then Dewayne did for Toronto.

    DeRo had 11 goals and seven assists. What are you talking about?

  10. Give me a break, Dewayne? How about Beckerman. He’s done more for RSL then Dewayne did for Toronto. I don’t know how come everyone thinks Cameron is so hot? I havent since much brillance from him this year. He was a dog at the All Star game. Olave was overlooked.

  11. You can tell that the league is growing when there are alot of players who also could have made the Starting XI. Just look at the midfield!! That is a great possession of talent there!

  12. Yeah, agreed Ives. It’s hard to argue with any of the selections individually. I suppose there are a couple of defenders or strikers that could be substituted without too many crying foul. I don’t think anyone can reasonably say that any name on the MLS list doesn’t belong.

  13. I don’t really have a problem with any of the selections, but I will say this: probably the most underrated defender in the league is Nat Borchers for RSL. He has been rock solid in the back all year and certainly deserves consideration.

  14. Here is how the Fantasy stats show the 1st team. Not bad, got 6 out of the 11 right using the points from By the way, they have Donovan listed as a forward but still didn’t have enough points to qualify as a midfielder (not top 5 at least).

    ——-Jeff Cunningham 579 pts ———– Connor Casey 413 pts——

    —-David Arturo Ferreira 383 pts—Shairie Joseph 408 pts —-Dwayne De Rosario 522 pts —- Brad Davis 384 pts

    Chad Marshall 258 pts—Bryan Namoff 236 pts–Nana Gyan 196–Todd Dunnivant 185

    ————Thornton 360 pts—————-

  15. Even as an RSL fan, I’m not surprised that no RSL players are in best XI. They use more of a team dynamic anyway.

    Count me in on questioning the defender selections though. I mean, between the three of them they played 2 players worth of games. Too many missed games from injuries to take this seriously.

  16. Not a single player from Real Salt Lake, but that isn’t all that shocking I guess. A little surprised to see Conde and Casey too. Ives, I think your ballot was spot on.

  17. Wilman Conde, are you serious. Where was this egotistical guy during the playoffs, he wasn’t hurt except for his ego. You have to be real when picking top MLS XI can’t be someone that thinks of themselves bigger then the team. Plus as a center back this is the biggest liability on the team because he doesn’t understand the word defense.

  18. I would have put Hurtado in over Conde. I think they are similarly skilled player but Conde missed a third of the season which I think gives Hurtado the edge.


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