The 2009 MLS All-Newcomer Team

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The 2009 MLS Season is set to kick off in a week and the new year will bring with it new faces from around the world.

The influx of international talent continues to help fill the lineups and rosters of Major League Soccer and this year's class if international newcomers. The Seattle Sounders are leading the way with the best crop of international newcomers, led by Freddie Ljungberg and Freddy Montero, while the New York Red Bulls have signed Albert Celades and are poised to sign Carlos Johnson and Alfredo Pacheco.

Here is a look at the SBI Best XI of international newcomers to MLS:


2009 SBI MLS Best XI international newcomers

———–Fredy Montero———-Pablo Vitti———–

———————Freddie Ljungberg——————–

Sanna Nyassi——————————Santiago Hirsig

———-Osvaldo Alonso——Albert Celades———–

Alfredo Pacheco——-JK Hurtado——–Carlos Johnson

———————Donovan Ricketts——————–

(Pacheco, who has all but signed for the Red Bulls, replaces Daniel Torres, who readers rightly pointed out had a prior stint in MLS and is therefore not a newcomer)

Here is the poll question for today. Which international newcomer to MLS do you see having the biggest impact this season?

What do you think of this year's class of international newcomers? Think it's strong? Weak? What player are you most looking forward to seeing?

Share your thoughts below.

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41 Responses to The 2009 MLS All-Newcomer Team

  1. jloome says:

    Surprised Celades only has 3%. He’s going to be one of the league’s class players. Whole career in the primera with the two top teams, only 33 and … what? People think he’s out of gas?

    Holding mids get no respect.

  2. Barry Jive and His Uptown Five says:

    I think Hirsig will have a greater and more easily discernible impact than Celades.

  3. madmax says:

    Five of Ives’ eleven are Sounders?

  4. MVK says:

    “Holding mids get no respect.”

    ? Its one of the strongest spots in the MLS?

  5. Mark says:

    Celades is like Reyna, only without the large contract which should make his stay at Red Bull far more enjoyable than the former Captain America aka Glass Joe.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the group that Seattle has put together, lots of talent there.

  6. Gilby says:

    I think Montero is going to be a beast I know its only the pre season but he converts a ton of his chances and with the wings they have he should have good service. If Ljungberg can stay healthy after his hip surgery he will just make Montero better. From the interviews I’ve read it sounds like Ljungberg had been playing with this hip condition for the last 2 years.

  7. Keith says:

    Does Torres really count as a newcomer? He has played over 50 MLS games in 4 years with Columbus and RSL.

  8. Nico_7 says:

    What, no Keller?

  9. Wes says:

    I’m thinking David Ferriera should be there…

  10. Pete says:

    No Dejan Jakovic?

  11. einar says:

    ferreira should replace alonso ives. another stupid mistake.

  12. sherpaco says:

    seriously, how is the most decorated American goalkeeper in history not in this?

  13. andrewdiceway says:

    Pretty sure Keller is a better newcomer in goal than Ricketts…

  14. Dave says:

    Are you people dense? The category is INTERNATIONAL NEWCOMERS. Is there an American on the team? NOOOO, because it’s INTERNATIONAL NEWCOMERS. Wow, reading comprehension is a lost art.

  15. RobertTheBruce says:

    “Pretty sure Keller is a better newcomer in goal than Ricketts.”

    - Ummm, I’m pretty sure Ives said, INTERNATIONAL.

  16. discnutt says:

    “SBI Best XI of international newcomers to MLS”

    Yes he’s been playing overseas, but Keller is local so that’s probably why he didn’t make the list.

  17. Greg says:

    I know Keller played on the national team, but does that make him an “International”

  18. rg says:

    Can someone fill me in on backgrounds of Pacheco, Johnson, and Alonso?

  19. gstommylee says:

    Keller was born in the US.

  20. MiamiAl says:

    Ricketts is a huge improvement…

  21. Gilby says:

    Rg, I don’t have anything on Johnson or Pacheco but Alonso was a Cuban national that defected during Olympic Qualifying. He played for Carolina in the USL last year and was the USL Rookie of the year.

  22. Gilby says:

    Sorry I got that all wrong he played for Charleston not Carolina and he defected during the Gold Cup not Olympic Qualifying.

  23. Looking Dangerous says:

    Can you be a newcomer if you’ve never come? You had a big story about Montero not even being listed on the roster for Seattle yet he’s on your starting 11? Suspect!

    Ange N’sulu is my replacement player for you.

  24. Martin Blank says:

    OK, so the team’s half Sounders already, but my bet is that Sebastian Le Toux has a major impact on the team and the league. He’s got a motor that is unbelievable. I predict 6 goals and 10 assists.

  25. Tom says:

    I bet Le Toux becomes friends with the becnh after about 10 games.

  26. Sonicdeathmonkey says:

    Way to show off those reading skills Andrew.

  27. SwedSoccer says:

    Was this done last year? Curious to compare how many of San Jose’s expansion players were on the list? Seattle may struggle, but they seem to be making the right personnel moves for an expansion team. I think it shows deep pockets are critical in expansion.

  28. gstommylee says:

    Only reason why Montero is not on the roster list on the teams website cause the contract had a condition that montero would get work visa and international clearance which he does. They just need to add him.

  29. WK says:

    i didnt vote. clearly ives’ list is based on past player performance/reputation, but isn’t a list like this premature especially with the track record of some foreign players? i suggest a quarterly report card, and see who get’s the high marks then.

  30. Tim says:

    Jloome, Celades did not play his whole career with FCB and RM, he played the last 4 years with zaragoza and in 4 years only played 61 games with RM and that was 5 years ago. Then at zaragoza only 71 games in 4 years. This guy was either a bench player or has serious injury issues, likely to be compounded on 1. Turf, and by 2. MLS Roughness. Only 33? 33 is old, JPA is an obvious exception but most other players dont do so well.

  31. Ives says:

    A few things:

    This is a team made up of international players, not Americans.

    David Ferreira didn’t make this team because Ljundberg is in his spot. This was meant to be as close to a starting XI as we could get.

    Fredy Montero is on his way back to Seattle according to the club. I posted that this morning.

  32. gofirego says:

    pretty weak offseason for MLS. still, i expect fredy to be the biggest young new forward in the league since Carlos Ruiz made a splash in LA. if he can actually return from int’l duty on time and not have the personal life of an NBA star, he could actually do what Ruiz should have done and move to Europe in a big-money deal.

  33. Tom P says:

    Ricketts will lead the league in saves and goals scored on because of the defense that the Galazy put out in front of regardless of how well or badly he plays unless Sanneh gets signed and stays 100% fit for the full season.

    Having said that he leaps and bounds better then Cronin and especially that awful, awful Wicks- the worst goal keeper in the MLS other then that back up in Houston last year. (Cronin was certainly in the bottom 5 as well.)

  34. Fire Cracker says:

    The question is will MLS let Fredy wear his bandanna?

  35. ed says:

    How could you leave off David Ferriera ?????

  36. Fire Cracker says:

    Celedes with more votes than Ljunberg?

    You crazy MetroSexual/Red Balls supporters.

    YouTube them both and you will see Celedes being subbed on in a match and Ljunberg you will see why is one of the greatest of all time and some underwear ads that you MetroSexuals will like.

  37. arena futbol says:

    How about the all-within-MLS-offseason-movement-XI (trades, waiver draft, expansion draft):

    F1: N. Jaqua (A. Cristman, J. Kirovski)
    F2: D. Oduro (M. Magee, G. Richardson)

    LM: D. Van den Berg (I. Guerrero, K. Smith)
    CM1: D. DeRosario (C. Gomez)
    CM2: S. Miglioranzi
    RM: D. Kovalenko

    LB: A. Jazic (T. Dunivant, N. Sturgis)
    CB1: T. Wahl (A. Serioux, P. Ianni)
    CB2: M. Petke (T. Marshall, J. James, T. Harden)
    RB: J. Riley (C. Leitch)

    GK: M. Pickens (J. Wicks)

    Or the all-resigned/extended-contract-with-same-team XI:

    F1: J. Angel (D. Dichio)
    F2: C. Lopez (O. Cummings)

    LM: C. Clark (S. Quaranta)
    CM: G. Schelotto (C. Blanco)
    CM: P. Mastroeni (C. Robinson, C. Simms, N. LaBrocca)
    RM: S. Kljestan (M. Pappa, R. Ricketts)

    LB: C. Wingert (M. Burch)
    CB: C. Marshall (J. Hernandez, J. Olave, B. Boswell)
    CB: B. Soumare (N. Garcia, G. Janicki, D. O’Rourke)
    RB: B. Namoff (K. Kimura)

    GK: J. Cannon (D. Cepero)

  38. BallardBeaver says:

    Monetro nets the winner against NYRB’s next thursday..

  39. Terry says:

    If you look at the five players in the 11 mentioned, then take Kasey Keller in goal and then add the number one draft pick. Considering Zakuani was only a sophmore and he came from the Arsenal youth system. He is not your typical college player. Also, add Le Toux. He played with Rennes and Lorient before he came to the US and became the USL player of the year. The comments about an expansion team that might make the playoffs? I think this team looks pretty scary on paper. Even for a non expansion team.

  40. sammysounder says:

    Alonso’s gonna impress as well. Former Cuban international, USL Rookie of the Year.

    I agree with the “holding mids get no respect” guy.

  41. Aljarov says:

    Alonso over the likes of internationals Jakovic and particularly Colombian international Ferreira?

    Ferreira has one of the best pedigrees coming in. personally, I’d say he’s a top three signing of the offseason. (Montero is clearly the biggest coup IMO, then Ljungberg).