SBI MLS Best XI: Week Five

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Week five of the MLS season feature some truly standout individual performances that made it extremely difficult to select a Best XI for the week.

Some picks were easy, like Landon Donovan, who netted a hat-trick AND an assist in the Galaxy’s 5-2 mauling of Chivas USA, but some others were tough to make.

This week’s MLS Best XI is heavy on goals, with five players who registered at least two goals.

Here is this week’s MLS Best XI for Week Five:

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 5

—–Jaime Moreno———Alan Gordon———–Landon Donovan——–

———Amado Guevara———————John Thorrington————–

—————Claudio Reyna—————Shalrie Joseph——————–

Chad Marshall———–Michael Parkhurst——————Marvell Wynne

———————————Wil Hesmer————————————-

Honorable Mention: Matt Reis, Gonzalo Segares, Carl Robinson, Marcelo Gallardo, Santino Quaranta, David Beckham, John Wolyniec, Jozy Altidore, Alejandro Moreno (And people, the above lineup is not meant to correspond with actual positions (Beckham on the left wing for example), the formation is used for display purposes only)

What do you think of this lineup? Share your thoughts below.

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52 Responses to SBI MLS Best XI: Week Five

  1. Last week was a good week was a great week for people who had direct kick or online access to games. Goals galore.

    So far this season has been very exciting. It’s also good to see Woly get an honorable mention. He might not be the best but he never gives up and sometimes in MLS, that’s enough for a result.

  2. jose says:

    My take is that this lineup can not be taken seriously, if Reyna is included in it. In the first half the middfield play for the redbulls was awful,led by Mr.Reyna.

  3. Ives says:

    Jose, with all do respect, I’m going to have to disagree with you. Reyna had a strong first half and was actually the best player on the field in the first half.

  4. northzax says:

    Gallardo doesn’t even get an Honorable Mention?

  5. Ed Ho says:

    I’m surprised to not see Gallardo at least get an honorable mention. I think he really played well – and not just teh goal.

    One other player i thought played very well last week was Mike Randolph for the Galaxy. His runs on the left flank were really causing problems for Chivas.

  6. Ryan says:

    Julian Valentin’s going to have to be in the Best XI soon solely for having to cover for Xavier and Vanney each week.

  7. KC says:

    No Gallardo? He was more of a factor in DC’s win than Moreno–despite Moreno’s 2 goals (by PK).

    Nice to see Quaranta at least merited an honorable mention, though. He’s playing good soccer right now, not perfect, still too many give aways but effective.

  8. Ives says:

    I thought I listed Gallardo, my mistake. He’s definitely there and was a strong consideration for the XI.

  9. Derek (Brooklyn) says:

    Ryan,

    When you say Julian Valentin, do you mean Sean Franklin? If so, I agree that he has looked good in the middle of a troubled Galaxy defense…Xavier falling over backwards at the edge of the 18 was hilarious.

  10. Porno Stud says:

    Nice to see Carl Robinson get some props, had a great game that was overshadowed by who else but Amado. Agreed, Reyna had a solid game for sure. Gotta stop judging him on rep and actually watch him like Ives obviously did. Hard to argue anyone that was included. Any favorites for MVP so far? Donovan? Joseph? Blanco? Kenny Cooper? Schelleto? And even though he’s a keeper, Hesmer has gotta get some love for an MVP nod. I know, I know, lots of footy still to be played, but just thought I’d throw that out there.

  11. Justin O says:

    Funny – I’ve read a few time now about all the goals scored in the last batch of MLS games. But in reality, 21 goals in 7 games (3 goals a game) is, while a bit on the high side, still fairly ordinary.

  12. Scott says:

    Why do people hate Claudio so much? I will never understand.

  13. chris says:

    I am amazed at how high in the air Donovan appears in that photo. Either that is a very short person behind him, or Donovan can really leap

  14. DDT5583 says:

    I’m not mad about the lack of love for Gonzalo (Say Goodnight, Gracie) Segares. The longer he stays our little secret, the better.

  15. Joamiq says:

    Alan Gordon in a Best XI. Welcome to bizarro-MLS.

  16. Christopher says:

    Glad to see Shalrie in the team. Against Dallas he looked like he was, I hate to use an overused cliche, a man among boys. He just looked head and shoulders above the competition.

  17. onionsack says:

    why doo we hate claudio? I wouldn’t call it hate, more like extreme disappointment.

    Look the guy is a DP and his impact on the team hasn’t even been close to DP worthy. Fans are upset because they see that DP spot as an opportunity to signifigantlyt improve the team. So Reyna, rightly or wrongly, is always going to blamed when the team is struggling, because he is always going to be viewed as the guy holding us back due to his DP status.

    Also, it doesn’t help matters when he is asked to play a field position his skill set isnt suited for. (CAM).

    If Reyna wasnt a DP and was slotted at his best position as holding mid in a 5 man midfield, fans would be far less critical of him.

    But, reality is he is a DP, and as long as he isnt dominating matches he will always be viewed as a failure. NY has 2 DP slots but it seems like we just have one, and fans are pissed because we crave a trophy and feel a better DP would have helped us get one.

  18. Ryan says:

    Derek,

    Definitely meant Franklin and not Valentin. I’ve been mixing those two up all year for some reason. Xavier’s whiff at the top of the box was one of the funnier things in a while, but was only funny once we got the win.

  19. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Gordon’s backlog of horrid play and worst 11 performances keeps him out of the top 11 until he can show some consistency. Yes, I know that is arbitrary but the guy has been the worst player in the league until now.

  20. Tony in Quakeland says:

    By the way, any idea if Bob Bradley has noticed the havoc Donovan has been causing AT FORWARD?

    He and Jozy are the right combination up top, especially because Donovan reads the game well enough to come back into the midfield when necessary.

  21. eric says:

    I’ll say it – even though he got the goals, I don’t think Alan Gordon makes the team, I say both of his goals should have been handled by Brad “I wish I was at Celtic” Guzan. Galaxy fans can be happy that Gordon put himself in position to score and didn’t screw it up, but Buddle played the position better in his minutes.

    My best XI would put in one of the midfielders (Gallardo or Beckham) who had great days, or Jozy who created goals out of nothing.

  22. Jim Steverson says:

    It’s easy to overlook the early season performance of Chad Marshall in the Crew’s start. Last season was largely lost due to injury, but he’s back and showing the intelligence and physicality that had him knocking on the national team door.

    He’s only 23 but his maturity and poise has kept the defense organized, and he’s showing a unique combination of size, speed, and willingness to bang around in the box.

    His return to health and form has been a huge boost for the team – far bigger than anybody would’ve thought. Thanks for noticing.

  23. dano says:

    I just watched the highlights from the LA vs Chivas, and while I’m glad there are lots of goals being scored this season, quite a few of them seem to be on terrible blunders (such as the Xavier wiff, Guzan not claiming the ball on Gordon’s first, etc.) Defensive breakdowns happen, but usually it’s because someone doesn’t get picked up, rather than just flat out misses the ball.

  24. Steve says:

    Holy Red Bulls bias!!!!!!!

    There is no way three players come from easily the worst game of the weekend.

    I thought maybe gray hair was a significant factor but that only explains Wolyniec and Reyna not Jozy.

  25. Homey Boehme says:

    Some people don’t like Reyna because of the 2006 World Cup vs Ghana.

  26. emilio says:

    some people dont like Reyna because he is making 1.25 million dollars in MLS, handcuffing the club from signing a ‘real impact’ player. When your #10, isnt a # 10, yet gets paid like a #10 and doesnt contribute offensively, yet for some weird reason does not get any heat from the media, despite his play. His salary is a factor in how people view him and it should, there are so many better players in MLS than Reyna, who do not garner anything near what he is making. For anyone to dismiss his salary from the equation is ridiculous, especially in a league with a salary cap.

  27. RK says:

    HTML tables are your friend!

    Gordon did that as a sub, too, against of the most likely Player of the Weak, Brad Guzan.

  28. Steve says:

    When does Guzan’s book come out?

    ‘Playing your way out of a contract in Europe’ is one of the most anticipated titles of the summer.

    He’s terrible right now!!!!

    If Bradley calls him up for any of the upcoming friendlies or qualifiers I’ll be furious.

  29. Hudson_Street says:

    Good pick with William Hesmer. The save he made on Wade Barrett was just nuts, considering if he let the shot go in, The Crew wouldn’t be at the top of the table.

    Also, Landon is tearing it up. And what happened in Toronto? Wow! You finally bought yourselves a team. Guevera is gold. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Trillium Cup winner become the MLS East Champion.

  30. NEO says:

    You put Joseph in your lineup after clearly his worst of the 6 games this year, he should have made you lineup in 3 (maybe 4- but not as a starter in 1)of the 5 MLS weeks, but not this one, do you even watch the games of pick randomly? I think you think that b/c the Revs beat an undefeated Dallas team missing 5-6 starters it must of been Shalrie’s doing, but that wasn’t the case this week,you really don’t understand the game.

  31. Keith G. says:

    I just want to say that right now my two big MVP canidates, even though it is way to early are Donovan and Guavara, as both are leading bottom of the table teams up the table. I say who ever gets their team higher is the MVP.

  32. Haig says:

    Ives is stirring the pot. Good for him. Claudio Reyna is probably worth 25% of his traffic.

  33. Homey Boehme says:

    @Haig – too bad that 25% traffic doesn’t pay as much as Reyna is getting! :-)

  34. JRhode says:

    Anybody notice that Donovan is playing with more passion than ever before (at least in MLS)? That was always my criticism, that he didn’t seem to care enough or work hard enough. He has shut me up. I have actually seen him visually pissed off on the field two or three times this season. Hopefully it translates to the international game…

  35. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    I think Nick Garcia deserves at least an Honorable mention for the two balls he pulled out of the net.

    TonyinQuakeland, results from Donovan at Forward for the NATS is highly dependent on having a Beckham feeding him…since the NATS lack that quality, I’m with Bradley in playing him on the right and letting him run into spaces.

  36. James says:

    Tired of RBNY fans crying about Reyna. Ok he isn’t your DP, but Juan Pablo Angel is a stud and the fact that you have him as a second designated player does not engender a lot of sympathy for Reyna being a bit below your expectations.

  37. emilio says:

    A journalist is not supposed to stir the pot, rather report fact and have knowledge on the matter he/she is covering.

  38. emilio says:

    No one is asking for any sympathy, fans have every right to comment on their teams weaknesses or strengths. So since we have Angel lets just say Reyna’s play is wonderful and were glad he is taking a huge hit on our cap and ability to sign a real DP. This has nothing to do with sympathy or dislike of Reyna, I support the club so I hope he performs well, I hope he plays well, but Im a realist, I have seen what he has done over the last year and anyone who doesnt tell you he has been a huge disapointment either hasnt wayched the matches or is not very knowledgable about the sport.

  39. Scott says:

    Claudio Reyna is and always will be a good player. He is the best player almost every game for the Red Bulls. He is not flashy, but makes simple, effective passes to set up forward moves. He even directly creates dangerous chances with some regularity. Claudio positions himself well to break up and slow down the attacks of opposition. The only decent argument that exists against Reyna is that he gets injured too much, and this argument assumes that he is of high value to his team. Outside of Angel, Richards, Altidore and Reyna the Red Bulls are very mediocre. With Reyna being the only player of these four with any real defensive responsibility, the lack of scoring on the Red Bulls this year is a testament to Reyna’s value. Likewise that the Red Bulls score at all is a great compliment to the skill of Reyna.

  40. onsmall says:

    what? Obviously you dont support the team, and go to the games match after match. Secondly, so can you comment on his wonderful performance against NE.

  41. Ives says:

    A few things:

    NEO, if you think Shalrie Joseph had a bad game against FC Dallas then I don’t understand the game you watch. I watch soccer.

    TONY, I realize that Gordon has been horrendous the rest of the year, but this Best XI is for the week, not for the season, and whether it was blind luck or not, he made things happen and had a hand in three goals. For me, that’s Best XI worthy.

    And HAIG and Emilio, I chose Reyna because I feel Reyna deserved it. I think he played his best game of the year and easily one of his best in a Red Bulls uniform. I didn’t pick him to stir the pot.

    You see, when I pick a player for the weekly Best XI, I base it on the game they played that week, not on their salary or DP status or all the bad games they had last year or all the failures of the franchise he plays for. I look at him during the 90 minutes he plays and judge him based on what he does. There are a lot of folks who should try that some time when judging Reyna. Unfortunately, some people are SO against Reyna, and/or so jaded by the club’s dozen years of failure, that they can’t bother to watch and acknowledge when he plays well and contributes. You call these “little things”, I call them essential things to helping your team.

    All that said, I have already stated in the past that he isn’t worth the DP money. I also named him to the MLS All-Overpaid Team in an ESPN piece, so I am on record as saying he isn’t worth his contract. The difference is I don’t let that opinion cloud my ability to judge him on the merits of his play. Last year he was a complete disappointment (though he did have some good games). This year he has played well through four games and held the midfield together despite playing alongside rookies and newly-minted starters half the time.

  42. NEO says:

    It’s not the Shalrie had a bad game agianst Dallas, he just played better in all the previous games this season and never got on your team. Shalrie is clearly one of the top 2 or 3 players in the league- this really isn’t that debateable- listen to recent qoutes by Arena and Shep Messing who both said that he is the best player in the league (During the KC game and NYRB game). Couple that with the fact that he (and maybe Parkhurst) are the two most consistent players in the league, and that Shalrie doesn’t play in a position where his performance is graded on goals, he should make the best XI 3 times a month. If he is best midfielder in the league (read the Nov. 19th Sports Illustrated),is the most consistent proformer, 4 other midfielders should have to play amazing to displace him on the lineup sheet. Your first XI should start with Shalrie’s name on it, and then only if there is such overwhelming better performances around the league (such is Week 5) then he should be crossed out for that week. I am glad to see Shalrie finally made the team, its just frustrating when you can’t figure out why he would be named for this weeks team (esp. with all the other good proformances) and not on the roster the other weeks, compare the Dallas preformance to the games agianst KC, DC, and Houston and you will understand that you are losing your credibility.

  43. Brant says:

    Hard to believe there’s only 2 Crew players there, but there are 4 Red Bulls. (Yes, I’m a homer…)

    Brian Carroll kept DeRo in check all night and was on him like a shadow. I didn’t see Parkhurst or Wynne play – and I know they’re both good players – but Padula just owned his side of the field, and also doinked a dangerous free kick off the crossbar on a dead ball play that almost gave the Crew a 2-0 lead. In a gme when teh Crew played a lot of lay-back defense, Padula was a rock, forcing the Dynamo to have to go at Frankie Hejduk all night instead.

    Would’ve liked to see Carroll and/or Padula at least make honorable mention.

  44. John says:

    Beckham, really? I thought it was his worst game as a Galaxy player. Normally he is so steady in possession, and Saturday night he was giving balls away left-and-right.

    The honorable mentions for LAG should have gone to McDonald and Randolph – both were terrific.

  45. Haig says:

    I was out of line. Dumb joke that wasn’t made clear as a joke, and impugned your professional integrity, and I apologize for that.

    That said, while Reyna was a far sight better than he has been, I wouldn’t say he was one of the best four of the 60 or so midfielders who played this weekend.

  46. Porno Stud says:

    So NEO, was Sharlie better than the midfielders that Ives had listed in those other weeks? Did you watch every game in those other weeks? Was he not one of the best midfielders this past week? Most of what you quoted are other people’s opinion and are based more on rep and overall play, versus just a week look. Quoting other people’s opinion shows you know how to read, but that’s about it. I haven’t read a sentense on this site disputing the fact that Sharlie Jospeh is not one of the best midfielders in the league. That is not what this post is meant for. You obviously don’t get it. I always love reading posts from people who critisize a journalist, but are on his site daily (hell, prbobably hourly) reading his opinion. PATHETIC if you ask me.

  47. Ives says:

    Neo, you talk about Joseph being the best midfielder in MLS as if this is some new discovery or as if I haven’t stated that opinion multiple times in the past. Nobody is saying he isn’t and just because he hadn’t made the Best XI before this week doesn’t mean I’ve got something against the guy. You need to relax.

    I appreciate you having love for the guy, but your talk is a little over the top. I don’t agree with the notion that I’m penciling him in to start the week. I base each team on that week’s performances. You are more than welcome to disagree with my choices, as is anyone else, but I find it a little troubling when someone can get so bent out of shape about something that is ultimately a subjective selection.

    I never said my Best XI choices were perfect, and Joseph probably should have made last week’s team (at least honorable mention) as well, but for you to complain about him making it this week when your point is that you think he should make it every week seems a bit misguided.

    Joseph will make his share of Best XI teams, and he’ll make the season ending one for MLS to be sure, so settle down.

  48. Ives says:

    No worries Haig, I had no problem with your joke and thought it was funny. It was the one guy who didn’t understand the humor that forced me to respond.

  49. Reyna is Garbage says:

    Reyna is a terrible waste of money. It’s too bad Red Bull got stuck with Bruce Arena’s love affair for his former boy toy/player. Reyna is consistently injured. Why not get a real player with your DP slot? Red Bull will never win while Reyna is getting paid DP money!

  50. Haig says:

    RB is winning with Reyna. Winning ugly, true, but their points per game are entirely respectable: seven points in four games. At that rate, they’ll finish on 53 points, which last year would have tied them for 2nd in the league.

    I wish Reyna weren’t paid so much, and I think he hasn’t proved himself irreplaceable, but there’s a difference between being hard on the guy for underperforming compared to expectations, and not even giving him a chance before a game even starts.

  51. Chris says:

    Didn’t watch all the matches this weekend, so really can’t compare all the players, but will say, as a Red Bulls fan, that I disagree with your choices of Red Bull players. Surprising (to me anyway) Claudio Reyna’s inclusion is one I’m OK with. Though I’m not a big fan of his and thought many of his performances for us have been woefull (especially last year) I have to say that while watching the match (during the first half at least) did feel he was playing one of his best matches for the Red Bulls. Pleasantly surprised.

    However, Jozy and Woly I don’t think deserved the honorable mentions (of if they did then other forwards around the league must have had poor matches). Jozy, despite his goals so far this term, has disappointed me. I don’t see the hunger that I saw before or the physical presence that would torment defenders. He just doesn’t seem involved in the games as much. This past weekend it only seemed to me like he woke up in the last 15 min of the match (and yeah, had a hand in both goals), but for the rest of the match he was very poor. I kept watching the match saying to myself “why can’t he get more involved in this match, like Woly’s doing”. Woly I think did have a good match, and put in a lot of effort, but we’re talking for a 3rd string forward. Like I said before, unless the rest of the forwards in the league had poor weeks, I don’t think his performance was good enough for an honorable mention.

  52. onionsack says:

    Scott,

    “makes simple, effective passes to set up forward moves. He even directly creates dangerous chances with some regularity”

    If that was the case he would have more than 0 goals and 4 assists in 30 games. He is a good player, even has good games from time to time, but most reasonable fans critisisms of him are fairly valid.

    As for the best 11, all this whine is ridiculous, given me 20 people and i will show you 20 different best 11’s any given week. Got a problem with it, start your own damn blog and knock yourself out.