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SBI MLS Best XI: Week 7

Landon Donovan 2 (Getty) 

It was an interesting week in Major League Soccer, what with three scoreless draws, a few rather awful matches, and one beautiful display of soccer between Los Angeles and New York.

The Galaxy-Red Bulls tilt didn't produce a winner, but the quality of soccer led to several players from the match earning SBI MLS Best XI honors this week. A total of four players from the match, two from each team, made the Best XI.

As for the most well-represented team? It was actually a good balance, with only D.C. United joining New York and LA with two selections on this week's team. There were some new faces in the group, such as Joao Plata, and some familiar faces to the Best XI, such as FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.

Now, without further ado, here is the SBI MLS Best XI for Week 7:


HONORABLE MENTION: Bill Hamid, Ugo Ihemelu, Drew Moor, Omar Gonzalez, Heath Pearce, Juninho, Jack Jewsbury,Dwayne DeRosario, Josh Wolff, Fredy Montero.

Some thoughts on the picks:

As you may notice, I had buyer's remorse on my initial Dwayne DeRosario pick and swapped in Thierry Henry. I wound up initially punishing Henry for being a non-factor in the second half of Saturday's match, but the fact is he was a major factor in the first half and his play merited the nod over DeRosario.

Some may wonder why only three defenders in a week where we had three scoreless draws and so many shutouts. I looked long and hard for outstanding defensive performances and came away noticing more standout goalkeeping performances. More often than not, the shutouts posted came courtesy of amazing saves or awful finishing.

This also made me put a premium on players who were actually able to finish chances. That's why Scott Palguta made it for his game-winning goal (as well as playing 180 minutes on a D that allowed just one goal in two matches). Same went for Will Johnson, who to his credit did more than just score the game-winning goal.


What did you think of our selections? Who is missing that you would have liked to see make the squad?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. semi-serious and ridiculously hypothetical question: who would win 1) this starting XI (given two weeks of practice together) or 2) the current USMNT squad

  2. This is a VERY good looking XI.
    Don’t understand why Gonzalez has been left out again tho, the guy is one of the best defenders in MLS

  3. RSL fan says:

    Lets leave the RSL players off these lists for a while. Let the other teams and players get some spotlight. I think the CCL run put to much light on RSL. These guys just need a media break. Lets check back in on the RSL group in August to see where they are. Until then.

    I’d have left off Will too, even though he did have a good game.

  4. Wondered if you’d watched the Sounders game and had any +/- thoughts on Carrasco’s night? Other than the stupid challenge he had earlier this season I’ve been enjoying his play. Small confession though: any defensive midfielder is usually my favorite player on the pitch when performing well. I saw he got some love from MLS team of the week. Thanks in advance.

  5. Ream must be the most polarizing player in the league. When he is excluded from SBI’s list, Red Bulls fans come in droves to complain, whenever he is included fans of other teams also complain that he did not deserve to be included.

    (SBI-It sure does seem that way. We can’t win no matter what we do, so we don’t worry about it anymore. There are people who hate the guy, and people who think he can walk on water. We’ll report on what he actually does.)

  6. The back 5 should include 3 keepers. There were some sick saves going on this weekend. Also I’m thinking SBI should start listing the “best ten tools” since we had as many highligt real cheap fouls, poor decisions and sitters….

  7. I remember people being worried about how Plata’s size would translate in the MLS. Glad he is doing well, need to try to catch a TFC game as Plata makes a run for ROY

    (SBI-Plata isn’t eligible for ROY. He played pro in Ecuador last year.)

  8. Hmm, not sure about Donovan. He missed two open shots–the half volley and the near-goal that Ream saved. He also whined like a baby all game long, for which he was correctly chastised by Rodgers. The only thing he did was score that header.

  9. Like others, I question the inclusion of Ream. Also, I’d add Pontius before I’d add Davies (who was good against Seattle, mediocre against Dallas). While Pontius has been consistently strong for DCU all season–probably the team’s best player to this point.

    (SBI-Joe, you realize this is for the week, not the season, right? Not sure how you can say Pontius was better over the course of the two games last week than Davies. I suppose we’ll agree to disagree.)

  10. He still had a good game dont get me wrong but there were players with less errors/less luck that should have gotten the nod IMO.

  11. Ream was not good last week. His save had to do with his poor defending that set it up. LA could scored 4-5 goal easily w/o good goalkeeping. Omar Gonzo, Borcher, Olave, John, Ugo, and many others were beeter than Tim. SBI has love afair with this guy.

    (SBI-So Borchers and Olave should be on for what exactly, shutting down a team that had nine players? They’re both great defenders but that wasn’t exactly a game where they had to do much of anything. And Gonzalez wasn’t bad, but where was he on NY’s goal? Ihemelu and John were good also but Hartman made first team for having to make some pretty clutch saves. Who was getting beat on those plays?

    Point is you can nitpick on any defender and point out moments, but Ream made plenty of key plays and made the team.)

  12. I don’t understand how Ream is beating out Gonzales, Ihemelu, John, or even Kitchen for best11 honors this week.

    Both JPA and Donovan got behind him for (what should have been) sure goals.

    Oh well I guess it was the “save” that got it for him. I think that play was a great display of effort and athleticism regardless even if it did cross the line, but there were better defenders last week.

  13. For a week with so little goals you’d think four in the back would be the lineup of best performers for the best XI .

  14. I remember DeRosario being non-existent throughout that game… a bit strange to pick him I think.

    (SBI-“non-existent” is a bit much, but in retrospect he shouldn’t have been on first team. I made the adjustment.)


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