MLSsoccer.com's all-time Manchester United Best XI
Manchester United are working their way around America on their way to Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game rematch at Red Bull Arena (Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN2/TeleFutura/TSN), making it the perfect time to fill out our all-time Red Devils Best XI card.
Including the boss, six of our starting picks and two subs were on the memorable 1999 Treble-winning team.
GK - Peter Schmeichel
As amazing as Edwin van der Sar is, he gets nipped by the Great Dane. Schmeichel expertly backstopped United to five league titles, three FA Cups and a Champions League treble. If that's not enough to impress, he also notched shutouts in 42 percent of his Red Devil starts.
RB - Gary Neville
Oh sure, Neville has his, shall we say, detractors. But even those can't avoid the fact that Neville's steady reliability earned those eight EPL titles and as many cup crowns. Of course, he was also on the '99 treble-winning side.
CB - Jaap Stam
Courting some controversy, we'll shun Rio Ferdinand for on-and-off-the-field judgment lapses to pick the guy Sir Alex just can't forget. Ferguson still says selling the skillful bad cop was his biggest transfer regret. Stam was also on the treble side.
CB - Nemanja Vidic
After winning his second Barclays Player of the Season award in May, the Serbian people-eater looks well on his way to becoming the clear best central defender in United history. Did we mention that he will eat you?
LB - Denis Irwin
Snared by Fergie for just a shade more than $1 million in 1990, Irwin went on to work more than 500 contests for the club. He won seven league titles, three FA Cups and that '99 Champions League treble.
RM - George Best
Again tempting debate, we tab "the Fifth Beatle" over C-Ron in a close call. Wild child stylist Best fired 179 goals for United, including 28 in the league in 1968. That year, he won both the European Cup and European Football of the Year.
CM - Bobby Charlton
Anybody who'd leave Sir Bobby off this team needs a slap. The original redhead long-range bomber from midfield, Charlton is still quite safely the club's all-time top scorer. He also won at least one of every major prize on offer to United, team or individual.
CM - Roy Keane
It seemed unthinkable to omit Bryan Robson, but in the end, this is the player needed in this side. Keane didn't even need to touch the ball to own the middle of the park. No Red Devil has won more than his four FA Cups, and the '99 treble defensive midfielder also took the 2000 Player of the Season prize.
LM - Ryan Giggs
The Welshman actually is a much easier pick than Charlton, to be sacrilegiously honest. We'd need another article just to list the club-record 33 championship medals and 11 individual league awards won by Giggs, whose left side raids have etched so many Manchester memories.
F - Eric Cantona
It takes a lot of "stones" to leave out Denis Law's 379 goals, so we picked a guy who will make sure this team never runs low in that department. Now an actor and New York Cosmos exec, King Eric is the guy we look to turn edge-of-seat into all on their feet.
F - Ruud van Nistrelrooy
Perhaps the most controversial choice here, the Ruud one can't be denied — and he rarely was in five United seasons. The predatory Dutchman netted an obscene 150 goals in 219 games for the club. Though van Nistelrooy didn't win it, he was Champions League top scorer three times in Manchester.
Manager - Alex Ferguson
With all due respect and reverence to Sir Matt Busby, there can only be one choice for this job. In a quarter-century at the helm, Ferguson has pocketed the club 36 pieces of domestic and European silver, leading the team to at least crown in 18 of the last 22 campaigns.
Bench: Edwin van der Sar, Rio Ferdinand, Duncan Edwards, Bryan Robson, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Denis Law