SBI’s 2010 MLS Best XI

GonzalezLeToux (ISIPhotos.com)

Selecting the eleven best players in Major League Soccer this season was arguably tougher than in any season before it. Along with the fact that the league has more teams than ever, teams have done much better at bringing in true impact players.

We're not just talking about Designated Players, but players who can come to MLS as relative unknowns and flourish. Players like David Ferreira, Sebastien LeToux and Jamison Olave.

As a matter of fact, the true measure of the improved quality of MLS talent can be found not just in the SBI MLST Best XI first team, but in the second and third teams, where the talent is just as strong.

MLS will unveil its selections for MLS Best XI on Tuesday. SBI will unveil its selections, as voted on by me, Avi Creditor, Adam Serrano, Travis Clark, Michael Nastri and Jose Romero, today.

Here is SBI's MLS Best XI:


SBI MLS BEST XI

GK- Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake

D- Jamison Olave, Real Salt Lake

D- Omar Gonzalez, Los Angeles Galaxy

D- Heath Pearce, FC Dallas

M- David Ferreira, FC Dallas

M- Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy

M- Sebastien LeToux, Philadelphia Union

M- Javier Morales, Real Salt Lake

M- Dwayne DeRosario, Toronto FC

F- Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes

F- Edson Buddle, Los Angeles Galaxy

2nd TEAM

GK- Kevin Hartman, FC Dallas

D- Chad Marshall, Columbus Crew

D- Nat Borchers, Real Salt Lake

D- Tim Ream, New York Red Bulls

M- Steve Zakuani, Seattle Sounders

M- Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Columbus Crew

M- Joel Lindpere, New York Red Bulls

M- Bobby Convey, San Jose Earthquakes

M- Pablo Mastroeni, Colorado Rapids

F- Freddy Montero, Seattle Sounders

F- Omar Cummings, Colorado Rapids

3rd TEAM

GK- Donovan Ricketts, Los Angeles Galaxy

D- Drew Moor, Colorado Rapids

D-Jeff Parke, Seattle Sounders

D- Brandon McDonald, San Jose Earthquakes

M- Daniel Hernandez, FC Dallas

M- Brad Davis, Houston Dynamo

M- Jeff Larentowicz, Colorado Rapids

M- Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders

M- Kyle Beckerman, Real Salt Lake

F- Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake

F- Juan Pablo Angel, New York Red Bulls

——————

What did you think of the selections? Who didn't make the first team that you felt deserved a place? Who is missing from our teams that you feel deserved a spot?

Share your thoughts below.

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96 Responses to SBI’s 2010 MLS Best XI

  1. Ben says:

    Le Toux as a midfielder? Didn’t he play as a striker for Philly? Not that it matters. Selecting a best 11 as a 4-3-3 is completely acceptable in my opinion.

    Personally, I would have put Osvaldo Alonso as a third team midfielder. Tough to call it when he was out so long with injury, but he’s one of the best holding mids in the league.

    (SBI-LeToux played both forward and midfield for Philly. And we did put Alonso as a third-team midfielder.)

  2. DEAC says:

    I’d argue Eddie Gaven deserves a spot somewhere in there, even if on the third team.

  3. earthquakesfan says:

    andy najar! stop being such a homer with ream

  4. Colin says:

    Looking at the quality on these teams (solid selections overall, IMHO) just makes me wish for the good ol’ days when we had East-West All-Star games. I wish we had those now, but in a postseason, NFL Pro Bowl-type setup.

  5. 4now says:

    ????Brandon MacDonald????

  6. Douglas says:

    I agree that all these players are in the mix. I think maybe Mastroeni and Convey could make the first team.

    I know these teams aren’t put together with this in mind, but I think the second team could beat the first team. The first team is all flash. But Convey, Pablo, Lindpere, and Zakuani do a lot more work on both sides of the ball.

    It would be a good match.

  7. kpugs says:

    If the first and second teams switched places, I’d agree 100% on each of those teams.

    Jeff Larentowicz should never be on anyone’s best of anything list, ever, because gingers don’t have souls.

    (It’s a joke people.)

  8. Steve B says:

    So 26 of the top 33 players are from the western conference. Coincidence? I think not.

  9. Doktoramor says:

    Where is Bornstein?

  10. Frank says:

    Unfortunately, Le Toux as a forward doesn’t make this a 4-3-3. It is actually a 3-4-3

  11. Dabull says:

    What was the vote breakdown? Or is this like the MLS voting system?

  12. maka says:

    where’s henry?

    haha jk,

    but serious, why isn’t lindpere on first team?

    (SBI-He came very close and made my individual Best XI. It came down to him and DeRosario and DeRosario just got more votes. I know TFC didn’t make the playoffs but it can’t be stressed enough how much he carried them so I can’t really say it’s a terrible decision.)

  13. Charles says:

    Putting guys like Alonso on there even if it is onl for third string gives huge credibility to me.

    He is so unheralded, but so good. IF you look at Seattle’s record without him and with him, he would be the front runner for MVP.

    For the younger guys on the blog and you figure most of the guys on a blog are young. You have NO idea how great we have it with soccer in this country…..and the prospects are even brighter.

  14. Adam Taylor says:

    No Tim Ream on the first team>? WTF? He easily had a better year than Gonzalez (minus his RSL fiasco)

  15. The Dude says:

    I guess there’s no winning with these lists. But my only comment is about Gonzalez, who I think is undeserving of a first-team selection. He was atrocious last night against Dallas, and we saw how far he has to go before becoming a top player. I would have picked Ream over Gonzo.

    Also, why only 3 defenders and 5 mids? Seems odd.

    (SBI-Gonzalez had a terrible game last night, for sure, but this team is based on the regular season and Gonzalez had a better season than Ream did. And that’s coming from someone who rates Ream very highly. Simply put, Gonzalez never had a dip in form this season the way Ream did in mid-season, when he had that rough stretch of four or so games. I still think Ream should have gotten MLS Rookie of the Year, but Best XI? Nah, not this year.)

  16. BrooklynFC says:

    Word and it could be held on thanksgiving… we need to boot american football out of thanksgiving… LIONS really

  17. The Dude says:

    Hopefully in Hell.

  18. maka says:

    Thanks, I appreciate the clarification.

  19. will says:

    What a waste of cyber-ink. Did the league give you the names to put here? When you cant find a spot for S. Joseph, most likely the best DM in the league, on any team.. you clearly have no credibility left.

  20. I bet most of these guys would love a free trip to Hawaii for that!

  21. jcl says:

    Dane Richards doesnt merit 3rd team???

  22. RSLnPortland says:

    I’m RSL for life, but I’d lean towards Hartman over Rimando in the 1st team. Maybe I’m biased from the playoffs, but Hartman over the season has been disgustingly good.

  23. Hincha Tim says:

    Can’t complain about your picks. The one guy who consistently gets overlooked but who really is a very good player is Will Johnson for RSL.

  24. the mental assassin says:

    lets be realistic now

  25. Josh says:

    I think Saborio is first team material. He tapered off towards the end of the year, but next year, healthy and rested he will be scary.

  26. boosted335 says:

    Makes sense but then why no George John on ANY team?? He was in form all season long (error free unlike Ream/Gonzo)I understand he missed (4?) games but is missing 4 games with injury worse than stinking it up for 4 games??

  27. boosted335 says:

    +1

    Hartman was freak before Henry and came back without missing a beat (only goal kicks lol)

  28. mardy says:

    Agree with the dude who made the comment on a east – west all star game, so much talent in MLS now, we can alternate years with friendlies vs. big clubs, I’d love to see it.

  29. Brennan says:

    As an RSL fan I love Sabo, but he isn’t quite first team material yet. I think next year when RSL doesn’t have the distraction of CCL, and Sabo his healthy again (he has had a nagging knee problem since his Costa Rica friendly) he will be first team material.

  30. Matt says:

    Osvaldo Alonso over Shalrie Joseph? Gimme a break.

  31. Jonathan says:

    Yo Ives, could you do some investigating on that Nigerian monster center back in Denmark?? first I heard of him was the other day on truth/rumors… Until Gonzalez, Ream and Boss start playing topflight european ball, I really think we need to exhaust all of our tall and atheletic options at that position

  32. zach says:

    no george john? I thought he would make it for sure

    (SBI-He made my third team.)

  33. TBE says:

    I was thinking the same exact thing. I would love to see that second team take on the first team.

  34. JoeW says:

    Ives–I’m speechless. You pick 33 players and I can honest say I don’t disagree with a single choice and team slot. I might, maybe, possibly swap Beckerman and Mastroeni (from 3rd to 2nd for Beckerman)…maybe. I might go with Cummings on first team striker over Buddle (even though Buddle had a fabulous year as a finisher, I think Cummings played better with a lot less talent and support than Buddle did). Those were really the only two players you made me think about. Otherwise, I think you’re spot on.

  35. Martin says:

    Thank You Ives for giving some rep to Heath Pearce, who I thought was easily one of the best fullbacks in MLS, but never really heard about from the press. In regard to the Omar vs Ream battle, They both have strengths and weaknesses, Omar’s game is better suited for mls, but they are both good. I thought George John had a solid season as well.

  36. PSPTim says:

    Is there a rookie, breakout, or newcomer best XI in the works? That would be an interesting list.

    (SBI-I did an All-Rookie team for Fox Soccer.)

  37. Eurosnob says:

    I would also take Najar over Ream in a heartbeat, but Najar is a midfielder not a defender so they were not in a direct competition. The question should not be Najar over Ream, but whether Najar should make the list over some of the midfielders. Is Najar, who had 5 goals 6 assists in his rookie season less deserving than someone like Lindpere, who had 4 goals and 4 assists. And it was a lot harder to have assists on a poor quality DC United team than dishing assists the likes of Angel, Henry, Richards.

  38. fischy says:

    I’d probably put John in there. I’d definitely put Conor Casey in there. There’s a reason why those two teams are in the final. Casey may not have scored as many as Buddle or Wondo, but he created a lot of chances for Cummings. There isn’t more than a handful of forwards better than Casey in MLS.

  39. fischy says:

    Conor Casey should be in the mix.

  40. zach says:

    i am glad you know quality soccer when you see it

  41. kc fan for life says:

    No Michael Harrington or Roger Espinoza? Those guys were legit all year at RB and LB for KC.

  42. Mark S says:

    Not one Fire player. Shocking! :-)

  43. elduderino says:

    Shalrie certainly had more offensive output than Alonso… but they are both defensive midfielders, but Seattle conceded far less than NE, which seems to indicate Alonso was better at the main task of a defensive mid – defending and breaking up opposing attacks.

  44. Thorpinski says:

    Andy Najar definately should be at least on the second team. Both Omar and Ream are a level too high.

  45. elduderino says:

    Heath Pearce for MLS ‘stache of the year.

  46. Zach S. says:

    I was thinking the same thing but he’s probably just a bit too unreliable to merit it. Maybe a 4th or 5th team…

  47. KP says:

    No, Le Toux played mainly as a left midfielder but played freely and more as an attacking midfielder. Alejandro Moreno and Danny Mwanga played as forwards for the Union

  48. hoosh says:

    I sometimes find that SBI employs hyperbole when they say certain players suck, but not with Gonzalez. One poster talked about how clumsy and awkward he played against Dallas, and I really agree. He has qualities you don’t want to see in defenders.

  49. CrazyMike366 says:

    I’d love to see an East v. West game. Use it to test potential new markets for expansion – NY proper, San Diego, Phoenix, Atlanta, Miami, Vegas etc and leave the international friendlies to the clubs so the All-Game can be a true MLS showpiece rather than the glorified plaything of a foreign power club.

  50. mike says:

    Kevin Hartman > Nick Rimando, no doubt.

  51. Brent McD. says:

    Sucks how De-Ro tanked it his last year in Houston and now is an All-Star again in Toronto. Or maybe he just doesn’t play well with short hair….

  52. Brent McD. says:

    yeah, and black people can’t swim
    (oh, that’s just a joke too)

  53. El Fur says:

    How in the hell did Freddie “no means no” Montero make the second team? Didn’t score a goal in the last half the season or playoffs.

    Rimando was a tad better than Hartman during the season, but Hartman has been great in the playoffs.

  54. Second City says:

    Not a single Chicago player and I whole-heartedly agree.

    Although, I think Sean Johnson has potential to make the list in some capcitiy next year.

  55. Boosted335 says:

    RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE

  56. Sarah says:

    How is there no Shalrie Joseph?? Not anywhere on any of the 3 teams…you are losing your credibility!

    (SBI-Sarah, he’s one of the best in the league, but didn’t have one of the best seasons in the league. There’s a difference. If you choose to disagree, then that’s your choice.)

  57. 20 says:

    Agree about Shalrie, best DM and one of the best players in the league

  58. George Costanza says:

    I’d of had Larentowicz in the first team. The ginga ninja can’t help but take his teams to championships.

  59. 20 says:

    New England’s defense just wasn’t as good as Seattle. Shalrie is one of the best players in the league regardless of the team around him

  60. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    Ives, your first-team midfield has five creative midfielders. Your third-team midfield has four “holding” or defensive midfielders. Don’t you think you should have had at least one of the holding/defensive midfielders on the first team? That’s the problem with deciding these things; defensive/holding midfielders get no love. Besides, I’d put Montero on the first team instead of Wondolowski or Buddle. Montero showed that he can not only score but create for others. Neither Buddle nor Wondolowski demonstrated that. Besides, most of Wondolowski’s goals came against weak opponents while unmarked. My grandparents could score those goals right now, and they’re dead!

    (SBI-Montero was a Best XI player before disappearing the final six weeks. Heck, he had my MVP vote in early August. He faded while others stepped up. As for Wondolowski’s goals not being that good, give me a break Joe. He scored more clutch goals than anybody in the league. Everyone gets a few tap-ins in the bunch, he was no different.)

  61. poop says:

    says the ginger

  62. Colin says:

    Yeah, and minus DeRo, they’d probably be a lot more appreciative of the free trip and game than the prima donna NFL players…

  63. DC Josh says:

    2nd this motion.

  64. DC Josh says:

    He is too busy running out of bounds.

  65. DC Josh says:

    Yeah East vs. West MLS-style would be simple: every team WEST of the Mississippi River on the EAST team and every team EAST of the Mississippi on the WEST team. Makes sense, right?

  66. Martha c says:

    Third!!!

  67. MASSIVE says:

    Maybe 3rd team goalkeeper!

  68. Jon says:

    Thanks you, Matt. The exclusion of Shalrie lowers the credibility of the entire piece.

  69. Mattmatumbo says:

    +1
    I’m also an RSLer and Hartman is simply incredible this season, can’t wait for Sunday!

  70. BrianK says:

    Ives,

    Good job. I my only thought is Hartman as 1st team.

  71. Second City says:

    With Mexico’s weather temperatures and cartel-chaos, you could argue that’s exactly where he is.

  72. Shmenge says:

    In your haste to shortchange defenders, you’ve got only one outside back on 3 teams?

    Kimura had a terrific year and Jair Benitez was better than Pearce.

  73. nick says:

    SBI, even as a DC United fan who has watched both Najar and Ream over the season, I agree that Ream is a ahead of Najar and frankly should have taken the Rookie of the Year award.

    It’s true Najar played some great games for DC but he also disappeared in a number of others. He did not transform United’s attack in anyway the same degree Ream transformed Red Bull’s defense.

    In many ways I would argue that NY run such as it was came about in significant measure due to Ream.

    The same cannot be said of Najar. Although Najar played well he did not carry a very, very poor United team off the bottom of the League.

  74. wilyboy says:

    Najar’s absence from these lists is utterly ludicrous. Without him, DC wouldn’t have even had a pulse. I’m starting to wonder if his age is actually working against him in certain minds.

    I just don’t get it. On any team with any form of sophistication or chemistry, he’d be hailed on this website non stop.

  75. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    Fine, Ives but what about my assertion that at least one defensive mid should be on the first team?

    (SBI-That’s a bit idealistic, but not how all-star/best XI teams are ever picked. You did give me an idea though so thanks for that Joe.)

  76. g-dub says:

    For all the talk if Shalrie, I’d actually take Perovic first from NE. I’d give him Ozzy Alonso’s slot. Ozzy is a really fun player to watch for all his tenacity and honest work rate, but his game is actually pretty limited – especially in finishing, aerial presence, and incisive passing.

  77. Scott A says:

    There we go. Ream placed ahead of Najar (yes I know, apples and oranges) just like it should be.

  78. Joamiq says:

    Your stats are not even close to correct. Najar had 5 goals and 1 assist, and Lindpere had 3 goals and 6 assists.

    Even had your stats been correct, the difference would not have been remotely meaningful.

    And do you not think Lindpere played a part in making the likes of Angel and Richards more dangerous? I’m not sure why you even included Henry, given that he was outscored by someone as terrible as Salou Ibrahim.

  79. Joamiq says:

    I don’t think Najar was better than any of the midfielders on the 2nd team. You could make an argument for including him on the 3rd team. And Moor, Parke, and McDonald were most certainly not better than Ream.

  80. Joamiq says:

    If the votes say the five best mids were attackers, that’s just how it is…

  81. Joamiq says:

    See the comment directly above yours.

  82. Joey Santi says:

    Agreed completely – FYI, Ives continually downgrades and dismisses Shalrie, I don’t understand it either. IMO Shalrie is one of the top 3 players in US Soccer History.

    Yes, this wasn’t his best season…but he was still very good and way better than these players listed. If New England played a less “British-style” game he would shine even more…just look at recent All Star games and how he clearly impresses.

    (SBI-Sorry Joey, but if you think I “continually downgrade and dismiss Shalrie Joseph” then you clearly haven’t read my stuff through the years. I’ve lobbied harder for him to win past MVP awards than most people I can think of and have generally recognized him as one of the best players in MLS history. This year, however, he didn’t quite have the same year as he has had in the past. It doesn’t mean he’s still not one of the best in the league, but Best XI is for actual performance. He didn’t have a stellar year, particularly by his standards, and other players simply had better years. Ultimately, he pays the price for New England’s awful season.

    BTW, nice work using different names to lobby for Shalrie there Joey, or should I call you Sarah?)

  83. wilyboy says:

    See I read it, and think its wrong. To “transform” United, he would have had to be Messi-like.

    There was literally nothing to build off of, no one to pass to. I know. I was watching. I can’t count the number of times he took the ball box to box, or got into the offensive third with no one to assist. 17 freaking years old.

  84. Eurosnob says:

    Joamiq, I am not sure why you think that my stats are incorrect. They are from ESPN’s website (their Red Bulls and DCU team pages). If you have an issue with the stats take it up with ESPN. Lindpere contributed to Red Bulls’ success this year, but Angel and Henry have been playing at a high level for many years without Lidpere and to suggest that their quality improved a result of Lindpere’s efforts is plain silly. I recognize that Henry did not play the whole season with the Red Bulls, but I included him to show the quality of players that Lindere played with. A midfielder would get a lot less attention from defense and have more time and space, when the forwards upfront are Angel/Henry rather than Christman/Alsopp. Lindpere is what he is – a nice complimentary player and every team needs those, but no GM is his right mind would build his team around Lindpere. Just by looking at Red Bulls, Angel, Henry, Richards, Marquez, Ream are all better players than Lindpere. Najar, on the other hand, is a player that you can build around and was voted by the GMs, coaches and players as the best rookie in the league. Put Lindpere on this DCU team and he would have a hard time scoring or getting an assist. I am not trying to pick on Lindpere. I respect what he did for the Red Bulls this season, but I also respectfully disagree with SBI that he should be ranked as one of the top ten midfielders in the league (which his placement on SBI’s all-MLS second team suggests).

    (SBI-Najar had 5 goals and 1 assist in MLS play this season. Those are the OFFICIAL stats from the league website. ESPN’s stats are hardly official and far from always accurate.)

  85. Dainja says:

    soooooooooooooooooooooooo…Bob Bradley selects two midfielders to represent out COUNTRY, Brian Carroll and Logan Pause, …who can’t even make the top three teams of the MLS?? awful. I felt bad when I hadn’t even heard of those cats…now I don’t feel bad. I hadn’t heard of them cuz they’re stiffs!!

  86. bob bradley says:

    kosuke kimura not being on ur list…..wow. loses all credibility. i would much rather be marked by pearce if I am a striker then kimura. pearce is god awful come on now ives

  87. Mike Caramba says:

    Aren’t you supposed to wait for people to overreact to what is obviously a joke before you calm them down by explaining that you were kidding around even though no one could possibly think otherwise run-on sentence ends now.

    (Settle down, people! I’m just kidding!)

  88. Eurosnob says:

    SBI, thanks for clarifying the official statistics. I am not sure why ESPN has different numbers. Under the official statistics, DCU’s top assist man, Santino Quaranta, had 2 assists, which makes Najar’s 5 goals quite an achievement, particularly considering the position he played and the playmaking abilities of his teammates.

  89. MoreCowbell says:

    Coming from a Sounders fan, Conor Casey should be somewhere on here. You can’t put Cummings on the second team and not have Casey anywhere. Their stats were nearly identical and neither one of them would be as good as they are without the other next to him up top.

  90. bizzy says:

    I like the way people throw around stats when talking about players and try to build up points based on such. Players with the best stats doesnt always mean they are the best players. You have to look for ball control, accuracy, instincts, speed, first touch etc. We have two players in MLS that should give us an insight to “talent”…..becks and Henry. It was based on stats these two players would not even play for BB but there is no one in MLS more talented than these guys. They are use to precise passing and play execution, which brings up the point that if the playing field is not the same (i.e same forwards, same midfields, same defenders around you), we need to start assessing player based on more than just a sheet of paper(alot of which could be right place, right time nothing more). We are always worried about playing time and stats, which helps to evaluate a player but doesnt give the full details on a player’s skill and knowledge of the game

  91. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    You’re welcome, Ives. BTW, why is it “idealistic” to include a defensive mid in a Best XI when just about every team plays with at least one? As far as how all-star teams “are ever picked,” who said that “tradition,” in this case, is correct?

  92. Joamiq says:

    No thanks, I think I’ll take it up with you, since you chose to use 3rd party statistics (and Ives is right, ESPN’s soccer stats are notoriously off) rather than the official MLS stats. Let me count the ways in which I can pick apart your arguments. First of all, again, the fact that you bring up Henry again suggests that you didn’t follow NY at all this year. This is a tactic used by people who seek to give their arguments more ammo superficially while ignoring substance. For the record, Henry played 859 minutes last season, fewer than the likes of Jeremy Hall and Sinisa Ubiparipovic. Second of all, yes, Angel has played at a high level for some time. Of course, he keeps getting older, and yet he scored more goals this year than last, led the league in shots (setting a career high), etc., so I could just as easily argue that he made more of an impact this year thanks to… what? Perhaps partially due to players like Lindpere? The possibility can hardly be discarded. It is corroborated by the fact that when Lindpere played in the middle, driving the offense, the team was noticeably more dangerous. Thirdly, the fact that you would say that Richards is a better player than Lindpere drains you of any credibility you might have had. Fourth, your insistence that Lindpere is merely a “complementary” player makes it clear that you either a) really hate NY, or b) rarely watched the team play. And finally, that Najar is a player you can build around has more to do with the fact that he’s 17 than anything else. With all due respect, if you think Lindpere wouldn’t have gotten a goal or an assist on DCU, you are absolutely picking on him.

    The Red Bulls scored 11 more goals this year than last. Joel Lindpere is the biggest single reason why.

  93. Eurosnob says:

    I do not support Red Bulls, but I don’t hate them either. I saw 6-8 Red Bulls games this year and in those games Richards played better than Lindpere, who was quite average in those games. Perhaps Lindpere played better than Richards in the games that I missed, but you seem to agree with the main point that NY has several players that are better than Lindpere. As for Najar, yes, he is 17, but as Landon Donovan said Najar does not play like a 17 year old. The main reason that you can build around him is not that he is 17, but that he is a very special talent – not many players can jump from their high school team directly to an MLS team, become a regular starter, lead their team in scoring, and win the league’s ROY award. I really hope that Najar gets his US citizenship soon and commits to the USMNT.

  94. Joamiq says:

    Just to be clear, I certainly do not think there are “several” players on the Red Bulls better than Lindpere. I don’t know what you got that from. He was arguably their MVP this year.