MLS Alltime Best XIs by team?
Since MLS has been around for a decade now, some of the league's teams have been releasing their "all decade" or "alltime Best XI" teams as voted on by the fans, D.C. United being the latest.
COL - DAL - DC - LA - SJ
I thought it would be cool to put together a full 18 man alltime roster for each MLS team, and that's what I did. But there's a catch: To make it more interesting, I only used each player once. That led to some tough choices, such as Roy Lassiter for DC over TB.
I picked a 4-4-2 for each team, and did not include Chivas and RSL. The amount of games/years played for the team was probably the biggest factor in the selections, although if a player was good enough he could make it just one season. And I'm not really worried about positions here, meaning that four CB's can make up a defense. I also took into account the fans' opinions that I read on those Best XI's listed above, and on Bigsoccer.
It's hard for me to do this kind of thing, because I didn't start following the league until 2000. So I can't really know for sure how good the players in the early years of MLS were. But it was a lot of fun, and I would love to hear your comments if you disagree with my selections.
The three players with the most games played who didn't make it onto a team: Mark Santel, Peter Vagenas, Chris Albright.
Starters: Thornton, Bocanegra, Okaroh, Kubik, Brown, Beasley, Armas, Marsch, Nowak, Razov, Stoitchkov
Bench: Ring, Curtin, Whitfield, Kovalenko, Kosecki, Ralph, Wolff
I felt that Kovalenko and Wolff meant more to the Fire than DC/KC. I chose Kosecki over Podbrozny, although I don't know if that was the right choice.
Starters: Cannon, Trittschuh, Balboa, Borchers, Martinez, Beckerman, Chung, Henderson, Limpar, Bravo, Spencer
Bench: Hahnemann, Kotschau, Vaudreuil, Hart, Paule, Dely Valdes, Harris
A lot of their players could've made another team. Cannon was a hard decision, but he never played better than in 2004 with the Rapids, so he goes here instead of San Jose.
Starters: Friedel, Clark, Dooley, Yeagley, Marshall, Maisonneuve, Warzycha, West, Martino, McBride, John
Bench: Busch, Lapper, Denton, Perez, Farrell, Buddle, Cunningham
Probably the best set of forwards for any team.
Starters: Rimando, Agoos, Llamosa, Pope, Nelsen, Harkes, Olsen, Etcheverry, Gomez, Moreno, Lassiter
Bench: Presthus, Talley, Sanneh, Williams, Stewart, Eskandarian, Diaz Arce
More overall talent than any other team.
Starters: Dodd, Rodriguez, Farrer, Morrow, Dade, Deering, Pareja, O'Brien, Alvarez, Kreis, Graziani
Bench: Jordan, Suarez, Gibbs, Valakari, Rhine, Johnson, Washington
Dodd played fewer games, but was in the league's Best XI while he started. The fan vote had Gibbs in the Best XI, but I dunno.
Kansas City Wizards
Starters: Meola, Gutierrez, Garcia, Conrad, Vermes, Zavagnin, McKeon, Klein, Preki, Molnar, Johnston
Bench: Oshoniyi, Okafor, Prideaux, Arnaud, Simutenkov, Brown, Takawira
Prideaux goes here instead of DC because of his role in that great 2000 team. Missing a lot of talent that were better contributors elsewhere.
Los Angeles Galaxy
Starters: Hartman, Vanney, Lalas, Fraser, Caligiuri, Elliot, Jones, Machon, Cienfuegos, Ruiz, Hurtado
Bench: Campos, Califf, Hendrickson, Pena, Victorine, Welton, Hernandez
Lots of talent left off here: Albright, Calichman, Gomez, Hermosillo.
Starters: Cassar, Mastroeni, Marshall, Maessner, Cullen, Vargas, Williams, Rooney, Bishop, Serna, Chacon
Bench: Lagerwey, McKinley, Webber, Gorter, Bilyk, McLaren, Gutierrez
Probably the toughest team to pick, because so many of their players belong elsewhere. Rimando, Preki, Henderson, Heaps, Llamosa are all from that great 2001 team, but don't make it. On the bright side, I have Mastroeni and Marshall here. But the bench is very thin.
New England Revolution
Starters: Brown, Franchino, Burns, Heaps, Pierce, Joseph, Noonan, Kamler, Dempsey, Twellman, Moore
Bench: Reis, Dunseth, Chronopoulos, Naveda, Cancela, Baba, Cate
I know what you're thinking. Cate? But so many of their forwards only had one good year, and more with another team, like Savarese and Diaz Arce. I also thought Wolde Harris was more of a Colorado player. So Cate it is.
New York Red Bulls
Starters: Howard, Petke, Jolley, Harty, Matthaeus, Ramos, Guevara, Djorkaeff, Donadoni, Mathis, Savarese
Bench: Ammann, Semioli, Leitch, Sorber, Gaven, Wolyniec, Valencia
They have a couple other forwards who could be there instead of Wolyniec, but it's not like any were great. Maybe Faria or Comas?
San Jose Earthquakes
Starters: Onstad, Barrett, Dayak, Doyle, Wright, Mulrooney, Lewis, DeRosario, Ekelund, Cerritos, Donovan
Bench: Kramer, Robinson, Martin, Corrales, Mullan, Ching, Wynalda
No Agoos or Conrad hurts them defensively. And Joe Cannon, as I previously mentioned.
Tampa Bay Mutiny
Starters: Garlick, Yallop, Kooiman, Addo, Hejduk, Vasquez, Galderisi, Ralston, Valderrama, Diallo, Shannon
Bench: Dougherty, Kinnear, McCarty, Quill, Lagos, Ramos, Prampin
No Lassiter, but they do have Ralston. Should Keller or Eriksson be here?