Fire's Beasley voted top MLS winger
half of his total MLS output -- and five assists in leading the Fire to a berth in MLS Cup 2003, where they fell to the San Jose Earthquakes. The Fire also claimed the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup that season.
Throughout his time in MLS, Beasley developed into one of the brightest young U.S. stars, and last summer, he was transferred to Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, where he became the first U.S. player to play in a UEFA Champions League semifinal.
Jones is an MLS original who has spent his entire MLS career with the Galaxy. The diminutive winger is easily identified by his dreadlocked hair and his ability to shake off defenders near the endline and whip in inch-perfect crosses. A week ago, Jones broke Mauricio Cienfuegos' club record for assists when he notched his 81st career helper, which is also good for fifth in MLS history. In 1998, Jones notched career highs of 19 goals and 13 assists for a Galaxy squad that scored an MLS single-season record 85 goals.
In third place, just 2 percent behind Jones, was New England Revolution winger Steve Ralston. The St. Louis native was named the first MLS Rookie of the Year in 1996 while with the Tampa Bay Mutiny, and from his first year in the league until moving to the Revs in 2002, he combined with players like Colombian legend Carlos Valderrama to give the Mutiny one of the most potent attacks in the league. Ralston didn't stop when he headed north, tallying 19 assists in his first season with the Revs. Ralston, who has experienced a recent resurgence in the national team picture, is one assist shy of 100 for his career.
Finishing in a tie for fourth place were one long-time MLS player and one fairly new yet supremely talented midfielder. The former, Mark Chung, is an MLS original currently playing for his fourth team, the San Jose Earthquakes, after stints with the Kansas City Wizards, MetroStars and Colorado Rapids. The latter, FC Dallas flankman Ronnie O'Brien, is in his fourth year -- but only his second complete season -- in the league.
Chung, who has totaled 59 goals and 72 assists during his MLS career, is among the top 10 all-time in six major statistical categories, including assists, games played, minutes played, shots, shots on goal and game-winning goals. O'Brien is quickly gaining recognition as one of the best players in the league, wielding a lethal right foot and a penchant for firing home long-range shots. New FC Dallas forward Carlos Ruiz has witnessed O'Brien's talents firsthand, scoring a handful of highlight reel goals off O'Brien's service this season.
Other candidates receiving votes for top winger were the Columbus Crew's Chris Henderson, former San Jose Clash player Eddie Lewis and D.C. United's Ben Olsen (all tied at 5 percent); the Kansas City Wizards' Chris Klein and United's Dema Kovalenko (3 percent each); former United player Bobby Convey (2 percent); and Wizards player Sasha Victorine (1 percent).
Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.