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SBI MLS Best XI: Week 5

CooperHenry (Getty)


Can anybody stop Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper?

Five weeks into the MLS season the dynamic New York Red Bulls duo has combined for 13 goals and has helped New York tear about the team's past three opponents in blowout victories. It was more of the same last weekend, as the two combined for four goals and an assist in New York's 4-1 humbling of the Columbus Crew.

That performance made Cooper and Henry clear-cut choices for SBI's MLS Best XI for Week 5, where they were joined by players from six different teams. Chris Wondolowski made the squad yet again after netting two against the previously impenetrable Vancouver defense, while teammate Ramiro Corrales earned a spot for his work in setting up two goals in the victory over the Whitecaps.

Kyle Beckerman makes yet another appearance on our MLS Best XI, and is joined by teammate Tony Beltran, with both being pivotal to Real Salt Lake's two-win, two-shutout week.

So who else made the SBI MLS Best XI for Week 5? Here are our selections: 

SBI MLS Best XI (Week 5)

Chris Wondolowski—–Thierry-Henry———-Kenny Cooper

——Ryan Smith—————————Roger Espinoza—–

———–Osvaldo Alonso———-Kyle Beckerman————

Ramiro Corrales———————————–Tony Beltran

————————-Aurelien Collin————————-

————————Donovan Ricketts————————

HONORABLE MENTION– Kevin Hartman, Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Loyd, Jamison Olave, Matteo Ferrari, Chris Wingert, Rafa Marquez, Sam Cronin, Nick DeLeon, Mehdi Ballouchy, Fabian Espindola, Andrew Wenger.


What do you think of this week's picks? What player are you happy to see be included? Which player is missing from the squad that you feel deserved consideration?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Good on Ozzie Alonso. Made DeRo a spectator for virtually the entire match and unlucky in not getting the winner at the death vs DC.

  2. Both execs flat ruled out promotion/relegation outright.
    Key point is still this: no one is going to pay the expansion fees and startup costs to be a top level team and then get relegated 2 years later.

    Also no real expected integration btw MLS reserves and NASL

  3. Criteria for MLS expansion:
    1. Ownership group willing to commit the money
    2. Stadium (ancillary revenues, proper size & surface)
    3. Local market – can it support 20-25k crowds*
    3a. Local corp/biz support

    * does not mean that an NASL team has to pull in 20k to look at moving up, but have to compare how local market supports relative to similar teams at that level. Montreal drew 65k for their opener but only avg’ed 11k/game in NASL

  4. Sitting in soccer fan forum in Raleigh w/ Railhawks & MLS execs.
    Mr Abbott (sp?) Of MLS just outright admitted that a second NY team is going to be the 20th team.
    NASL commish mentioned possible expansion targets of Detroit, Indianapolis, San Diego, Phoenix (and some others). Looking for 3m+ population and no existing soccer franchise above 3d division.

    Sorry to post this here, but didn’t see a better location for it. Also working from cell phone, so expect typos

  5. +1 on both points. Why not have 4 defenders like nearly every team in the league?

    Totally agree about Beltran…he’s really coming into his own.

  6. Does Henry enjoy playing soccer? I never see the dude smile. Half the time he finds the net he doesn’t react. The celebration goes on around him and he just acts like he nothing happened. Quite dignity isn’t a bad thing. Many pro athletes could take a page from him. But I love to see players look like they are having fun on the pitch. He rarely seems to be enjoying himself.

  7. Curious that Cronin made HM when he was subbed early and the Quakes comeback occurred after he was removed. That being said, he has been very good this season.

  8. Beltran is well deserved! Collin gets physical when he has to which is always nice and Corrales discovered the fountain of youth, what injury was he supposed to have?

    aka In love with defenders…

  9. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for Dudar to work his way into the staring XI. He’s doing remarkable things for DC’s back line.

  10. i love that every time they do a “best of” team like this there are only 3 defenders even though pretty much everyone’s playing a flat 4 at the back. how many teams in MLS are starting 3 forwards? defenders just don’t get any respect!

    that being said, nice to see tony beltran on there. he’s fantastic and looks even better this year. if he keeps this form, he’s gotta show up on JK’s radar given the issues the USMNT has had with outside backs.


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