Tuesday, April 25, 2006

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.

Chicago Fire

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.

Colorado Rapids

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.

Columbus Crew

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.

D.C. United

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.

F.C. Dallas

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.

Miami Fusion

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?

Comments on "MLS Alltime Best XIs by team?"


Blogger Crew Fan said ... (10:19 PM, April 26, 2006) : 

Good choices. As far as I can see, you didn't leave any of my top picks out, and I definitely have to agree with your choices for Columbus. However, I personally would be more inclined to put Cunningham in the starting lineup, rather than on the bench (and bench who? Dooley maybe? or Yeagley? not sure).


Anonymous Joe said ... (11:08 AM, April 27, 2006) : 

Awesome to see Molnar on the K.C. list. Wish that guy had stuck around the league a little longer.


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