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SBI MLS Best XI: Week 26

Diego Fagundez

Photo by Andrew Katsampes


Week 26 of the MLS season was all about dynamic duos around the league.

Whether it was the New England tandem of Kelyn Rowe and Diego Fagundez, or Montreal’s pair of Marco DiVaio and Felipe Martins, or Real Salt Lake combo of Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales, attacking tandems led the way in a week that featured plenty of attacking fireworks.

All six of the aforementioned players earned spots in the SBI MLS Best XI this week, beating out a stacked field of attacking options that left us with an Honorable Mention list stronger than some Best XI teams we have seen.

One MLS newcomer who wasted little time establishing himself in his new league is Jaime Penedo. The Panamanian goalkeeper was outstanding in recording the shutout in the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 1-0 victory vs. the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Here is the full SBI MLS Best XI for Week 26:

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 26

———–Marco DiVaio—–Diego Fagundez————–

———————-Javier Morales————————–

—-Kelyn Rowe————————-Felipe Martins—–

———————-Kyle Beckerman————————

Jeb Brovsky——————————–DeAndre Yedlin

———–Hunter Jumper—–Omar Gonzalez————-

———————–Jaime Penedo————————–


Raul Fernandez, Michael Gspurning, Matteo Ferrari, A.J. Soares, Alessandro Nesta, Jose Goncalves, Tony Beltran, Patrice Bernier, Diego Valeri, Egidio Arevalos-Rios, Landon Donovan, Eddie Johnson, Juan Agudelo, Julio Morales, Blas Perez.





    • I don’t think he will be until he is like 23, but I could be wrong. I hope it’s sooner because reports have it that Uruguay (who he could play for now) has come sniffing around to put him in their youth system.

      Nagbe should be eligible in 2015

      • “He’s always talked about playing for Uruguay.”

        That’s simply not true. He used to play for the US youth teams until U-17 level when they start checking for citizenship. And he said he’d like to play for the US, or Uruguay. The problem is he’s a citizen of one and not of the other.

      • He actually was called in to Uruguay’s U20 pre-WC camp (prior to qualifying/mls season). He was left off the final Uruguay squad but advised he was a possible injury replacement by the coach, so he is on their radar. Turned out their U20 team was pretty damn good. For what it’s worth, Diego has pretty much said he’s open to either the US or Uruguay, whomever shows interest first.

  1. I appreciate you mentioning Beckerman and Morales, but I think Grabavoy should have had one of their spots, let alone an honorable mention. He was everywhere that game, and has had an unbelievable year to pick up the slack for Will Johnson leaving.

    • I agree, Grabavoy has been every where this year, his passing rate and plays have been amazing this year. But not to much love from the media

    • Grabavoy is the most underrated player in MLS this year. However, this week, the most overlooked RSL player on this list is Nat Borchers – how does Hunter Jumper get on this Best XI and Borchers doesn’t, in a week he was scored a critical road goal in a significant road draw at JELD-WEN and conducting RSL’s defense in a home shutout against Federico Higuain, one of the most lethal strikers in the league?

      • I don’t know if he was best XI, but I do agree that Borchers had a great week. He deserves a lot of credit for holding the back together during the absences of Wingert and Beltrand, as well as bringing along some new blood in the back with Salcedo. Another great year for him. I really think we would miss Olave more than we have.

      • This has nothing to do with absences of Wingert and Beltran (who both played both of RSL’s matches last week) – it is the “MLS Best XI for Week 26”.

        Hunter Jumper got a rare start, went the full 90 minutes, and scored a goal as a defender (a header, as defenders are wont to do), and recorded a clean sheet. His goal came at home, though, against an SKC team that came into the match having surrendered 12 road goals, and scoring 13 road goals, for a road goal differential of +1 (now 0). He had two shots, only one of which (the goal he scored) was a shot on goal, and he committed three fouls and received a yellow card.

        Awesome for Hunter Jumper, but in Nat Borchers’ 180 minutes last week (90 at Portland on Wednesday and 90 on Saturday at home against Columbus), he scored a goal WITH HIS FOOT against Donovan Ricketts (who has won Save of the Week 8 times already this season) at JELD-WEN (Timbers came into the match having tallied 19 home goals, allowing 8, for a home goal differential of +11, and the last time they allowed an opponent to score 3 goals against them was March 3 against NY), so on the basis of the goals scored by Jumper and Borchers, Borchers’ goal is statistically more impressive. It was his only shot of the match, but he also committed no fouls, and particularly after the red card to Alvarez, Borchers’ organization in the back was critical to RSL getting a point on the road.

        On Saturday, at home against Columbus, who came into the match on a two-game win-streak in which Gonzalo Higuain had scored 4 goals. Borchers marshaled RSL’s defense and completely shut down Higuain, Oduro, and the rest of Columbus’ attack. I also suspect Borchers’ mind games got to Higuain, resulting in the Argentine lashing out at Borchers just before the end of the match, resulting in a second yellow card, a sending-off, and a minimum two game suspension for the Crew’s best player and captain. Borchers committed only one foul in the match.

        Not that it’s the definitive metric, but to illustrate the point, Hunter Jumper scored 12 points in MLS Fantasy, while Borchers scored 16, tied with Diego Valeri for second most in the league last week.

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