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Giovinco, Almiron, Valeri headline MLS Best XI

With MLS Cup right around the corner, the league has announced the 11 players that make up the 2017 Best XI.

Sebastian Giovinco, Miguel Almiron and Diego Valeri headline the MLS Best XI determined by media, MLS players and MLS technical staff. Toronto FC leads the way with three representatives as Giovinco is joined by Justin Morrow and Victor Vasquez while Atlanta United and Sporting KC each see two players named to the squad.

Goalkeeper of the Year Tim Melia earns the nod while his teammate and MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara headlines the three defenders. Up front, goalscorers Josef Martinez, David Villa and Golden Boot winner Nemanja Nikolic comprise the four forward slots.

Here’s a closer look at the MLS Best XI:

Goalkeeper: Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)
Defenders: Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Midfielders: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Víctor Vázquez (Toronto FC), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
Forwards: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire), David Villa (New York City FC)


  1. I am not against foreign players,there ones who plays well like Giovinco and Villa,the other
    day i saw a DC United playing whit four foreigners,it was good because,there are more home grown players there shoud be a team whit only americans the 11,but is a dream
    but later there will be,Real Sal Lake is working in that way New York red bull two or trhree
    more,in Mexico now is worst play many foreigners,it mean that USA is making more younger
    player whit qualite

  2. Yup. And more expansion means there will be that much more demand to lure foreign players over in order to generate offense and score. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if teams now push for another DP slot or two.

      • By making MLS a better league, providing a more competitive environment for USMNT players? I would think it would be more concerning if USMNT players *were* all the best in the league, because who is challenging them?

      • David,

        There are conflicting interests here: 1) what is in the interests of MLS, 2) what is in the interest of the USMNT and 3) what is in the interest of the player. All three rarely align usually 2 do. In this case, it still is not of the USMNT to have its elite players playing here. This is coming from a fan who attends games. The average quality is not high enough, and the players who are here have not developed enough to compete against the elite elsewhere. They also have a lower bar to get big paychecks than foreigners who cone into the league. They are too comfortable to push themselves to continue to develop. I said 2 years ago on this site, the dead minimum MLS needs to be respectable developmental ground for the USMNT is 1) better tactical and technical players and 2) 4/5 additional Diego Valeri quality players — PER TEAM.

      • Yeah, we’re on more or less the same page–insofar as its even the job of MLS to be making the USMNT better, that’s best done by improving the league.

        Or to look at it another way, we should want more players as good as Valeri. That Valeri plays in MLS doesn’t really affect that.

  3. At the risk of coming across as xenophobic, should we be worried that 9 of those 11 players are not American and of the remaining two, only one has ever appeared for the USMNT?

    I have no problem with teams signing foreign players. If the quality of the game is improved by it, then great. My concern is that Americans are not keeping pace and are not shining in their own league. This does not bode well for the USMNT.

    And don’t tell me that it’s the same in the EPL. Of course foreign players are going to dominate there, it’s the richest league in the world. MLS is on an entirely different level.

  4. Melia isn’t going to be nearly as good directing the 3-3-4 with 3 attack minded mids.

    Just so stupid. Joevin Jones set the record for assists by a defender. Then moved to mid with Morris injury and kept on being incredible ( one or two last night ?) 11 on the year.

    But we are only going to have three on D, so the back to back MLS Cup Champs ( soon )
    have no one on the team. At that point it really boiled down to Dempsey versus the four forwards, with almost every team playing a 4-5-1.


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