|It's a statement many people never thought would be made - MLS has now completed 15 seasons. Wow. Every 5th year seems to be an appropriate time to look back at the past, so before we enter season number 16, I'd like to take a look at the best players for each franchise through the first 15.|
More specifically, I put together all time 18-man rosters for each club. But there's one catch: each player can only be used once. That means Carlos Ruiz can't be on both Los Angeles and Dallas, Joe Cannon can't be on San Jose and Colorado, and Eddie Pope can't be on DC and New York. This rule certainly punishes some teams more than others, but I felt like it made the exercise more fun and different than your usual bunch of all time lists.
Putting together the lists, I tried very hard not to give a player to a team just because they needed somebody. Rather, I looked at the player first, determined what his first team would be, then only if they had no room for him did I go on the second one.
I took into account overall talent, longevity, awards, and fan opinions. I also looked at whether or not they were a part of the best seasons for each team, and also how many important matches they took part in.
Each roster had 18 players: 2 goalkeepers, and preferably a 6-6-4 breakdown for defenders, midfielders, and forwards, though it wasn't essential. Besides, many players played multiple positions, even though I'm only listing them at one below. I didn't feel the need to break it down further into specific positions like left back.
Now, let's begin! I did rosters for every MLS team that played from 1996-2010, so that includes Miami and Tampa Bay. With 18 teams and 18 players each, 324 are listed below (out of 1,504 who have ever played in a competitive match for an MLS team).
Let's start with the more recent teams, and work our way backwards. Stats below refer only to time spent with that club (and years played only includes years where the player made an appearance).
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Labels: all time teams