RadioShack Best XI team announced on eve of MLS Cup

Major League Soccer tonight announced the RadioShack Best XI team for the 2005 MLS season during the Gala Awards event on the eve of MLS Cup 2005. The New England Revolution and the Los Angeles Galaxy will face off in MLS Cup 2005 on Sunday, November 13 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, live on ABC Sports at 3:30 p.m. ET.

GOALKEEPER (1): Pat Onstad (San Jose Earthquakes)

DEFENDERS (3): Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Danny Califf (San Jose Earthquakes), Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy)

MIDFIELDERS (5): Dwayne De Rosario (San Jose Earthquakes), Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution), Christian Gomez (D.C. United), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Ronnie O'Brien (FC Dallas)

FORWARDS (2): Jaime Moreno (D.C. United), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)

The following are select highlights of the RadioShack Best XI:

  • TOP TEAM, TOP PLAYERS: As the two best teams during the 2005 regular season, the San Jose Earthquakes (64 points) and New England Revolution (59 points) are represented by three players each on the Best XI squad: Onstad, Califf and De Rosario for San Jose; Joseph, Dempsey and Twellman for the Revs.

  • BEST XI ROOKIES: Six of the 11 players are first-time selections: Califf, Albright, De Rosario, Joseph, Dempsey, and Gomez.

  • BEST XI VETERANS: Five of the 11 players have been selected to a Best XI team in previous years: Jimmy Conrad (2), Jaime Moreno (4), Ronnie O'Brien (2), Pat Onstad (2), and Taylor Twellman (2).

  • INTERNATIONALS: Six countries are represented in the Best XI squad: USA (Conrad, Califf, Albright, Dempsey, Twellman), Canada (De Rosario, Onstad), Grenada (Joseph), Argentina (Gomez), Republic of Ireland (O'Brien), Bolivia (Moreno).

  • BEST XI REGULARS: Moreno is the sixth player in the history of the League to be recognized at least four times on a Best XI squad, and the fifth player all-time to be selected on four occasions while with the same team:

    Most Best XI Selections in MLS History:

    5 - Chris Armas (Chicago Fire - 5)

    5 - Robin Fraser (Los Angeles Galaxy - 4; Columbus Crew - 1)

    4 - Marco Etcheverry (D.C. United - 4)

    4 - Jaime Moreno (D.C. United - 4)

    4 - Eddie Pope (D.C. United - 2; MetroStars - 2)

    4 - Preki (Kansas City Wizards - 4)

  • END OF THE DROUGHT: The Galaxy and Revs ended their three-year drought by being represented for the first time since the 2002 season. Prior to 2005, the Revs had just two players selected to any Best XI in club history, and their current total of five selected is still the lowest representation by any of the original teams from 1996. The Galaxy and D.C. have each been represented 15 times since 1996. The Chicago Fire, who did not have a player selected for the second consecutive year, are the all-time leaders with 16 Best XI selections (1998-2003) despite entering the League as an expansion team in 1998.

    2005 RadioShack Best XI:

    GOALKEEPER - PAT ONSTAD (San Jose Earthquakes)

    DOB - Jan 13, 1968

    Nationality - Canada

    Earthquakes goalkeeper Pat Onstad, two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award winner, stymied opposing teams all season long, allowing a league-low 31 goals. Playing every minute of every game, Onstad posted league highs in wins (18), shutouts (12) and save percentage (77.2 percent), and a league-low goals against average of 0.97. Onstad's 12 shutouts this year are the second most ever recorded in a single MLS season, and helped the Quakes' finish the season with 84 points and an 18-4-10 record - handily earning the team the MLS Supporter's Shield. This is Onstad's second Best XI selection.

    DEFENDER - JIMMY CONRAD (Kansas City Wizards)

    DOB - February 12, 1977

    Nationality - United States

    For the second year running, Conrad's defensive prowess has brought him a spot on the MLS Best XI. A finalist for the 2004 MLS Defender of the Year Award, Conrad has increasingly stood out for his defensive efforts since his move to the Wizards in 2003. He has earned six international caps since his first appearance for the U.S. on July 7, 2005 and made his first World Cup qualifying appearance as the U.S. tied Guatemala on September 7. Conrad also started on the back line for the 2005 MLS All-Stars and was a member of the MLS Select Team that faced Real Madrid in the Copa Santiago Bernabeu.

    DEFENDER - DANNY CALIFF (San Jose Earthquakes)

    DOB - March 17, 1980

    Nationality - United States

    After an injury-plagued 2004 season with the Galaxy, he was acquired by the Quakes and came back with a vengeance to be named to his first RadioShack MLS Best XI team. After missing eight games at the start of the season due to a sprained knee, Califf started 20 games for the Quakes in 2005, contributing to one of the stingiest defensive lines in the league which allowed a league-low 31 goals. Califf finished the year strong, starting for the U.S. National Team in its final World Cup Qualifier in October and finishing among the three finalists for the MLS Defender of the Year award.

    DEFENDER - CHRIS ALBRIGHT (Los Angeles Galaxy)

    DOB - January 14, 1979

    Nationality - United States

    The forward-turned-defender has proven to be one of the most versatile defenders in the league. After switching to defense prior to the 2004 season, Albright solidified his role in the new generation of defenders - combining defensive skills with the ability to keep opponents on their heels with his offensive runs. In his new position, the former University of Virginia All-American has re-entered the U.S. National Team player pool and has become a regular call-up. The two-time All-Star earns his first career Best XI nod.

    MIDFIELDER - DWAYNE DE ROSARIO (San Jose Earthquakes)

    DOB - May 15, 1978

    Nationality - Canada

    After losing several key players following the 2004 season, De Rosario became the veteran leader of a Quakes team that surprised many outsiders by winning the 2005 MLS Supporters' Shield as the team with the best record in the league. De Rosario was instrumental to coach Dominic Kinnear's side, giving up his customary forward role and becoming an immediate star at midfield. Despite his move to the center, De Rosario increased his goal-scoring totals for the fourth consecutive year, leading the Quakes with nine goals scored and finishing with a league-best 13 assists. The MVP of MLS Cup 2003, De Rosario earns his first career Best XI selection.

    MIDFIELDER - SHALRIE JOSEPH (New England Revolution)

    DOB - May 24, 1978

    Nationality - Grenada

    Starting in all but one game as the anchor of the Revolution's midfield, Joseph was one of the key reasons the team finished on top in the East. A multi-talented and gritty midfielder, Joseph nonetheless possesses the ability to use finesse and connect with his teammates on both long and short passes. Known primarily as a defensive midfielder, Joseph also contributes on the offensive side, scoring six goals and adding five assists during the 2005 season. The St. Georges native has appeared in numerous matches for his National Team while fulfilling his duties as a leader in New England. Joseph, who started for the MLS Select Team against Real Madrid in August, is in his third year with the Revolution and earns his first selection to the Best XI.

    MIDFIELDER - CHRISTIAN GOMEZ (D.C. United)

    DOB - November 7, 1974

    Nationality - Argentina

    The stand-out performer in United's highly productive midfield, Gomez played in 31 of 32 games during his first full MLS season. Despite working as a link from the midfield to the forwards, the Argentine scored 11 goals and added nine assists during the MLS regular season. He also scored six additional goals in United's cup competitions (3 - U.S. Open Cup, 1 - CONCACAF Champions Cup, 2 - Copa Sudamericana). His three multi-goal games during the season tied for the most in MLS. This marks his first Best XI selection.

    MIDFIELDER - CLINT DEMPSEY (New England Revolution)

    DOB - March 9, 1983

    Nationality - United States

    A first round pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, 22 year-old Dempsey has made quite a name for himself during his second season as a professional. The 2004 Gatorade Rookie of the Year showed no sophomore jinx, controlling the Revolution's transition in the midfield with his inventive ability to dribble and pass through high-traffic situations. A fearless competitor and crowd entertainer, Dempsey scored five of his 10 goals on diving headers and entertained the crowds with unique goal celebrations. The Revs leader with nine assists, Dempsey earns his first selection to the Best XI team.

    MIDFIELDER - RONNIE O'BRIEN (FC Dallas)

    DOB - January 5, 1979

    Nationality - Ireland

    O'Brien continued to display his value to the team with his inspirational pace and incredible work rate on the field. The fulcrum of the FC Dallas midfield, he registered career highs in goals (six) and assists (12), the latter placing him second in MLS. O'Brien's consistent and energetic play earned him a starting role for the 2005 MLS All-Star Team and the MLS Select Team that traveled to Spain to play Real Madrid in Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu. It marks the second straight season that O'Brien has been named to the Best XI squad.

    FORWARD - TAYLOR TWELLMAN (New England Revolution)

    DOB - February 29, 1980

    Nationality - United States

    The winner of the 2005 MLS Golden Boot as the League's leading goal-scorer (17 goals), Twellman again proved himself to be the star of the Revolution and one of the most prolific goal scorers in league history. As dangerous with his head as his feet, the 25-year-old Twellman has scored more goals than any other MLS player since coming to the league at the start of the 2002 season, tallying 64 goals in 98 career regular season games. The 2005 Honda MVP has re-emerged on the international scene with the U.S. National Team, scoring his first international goal in a 2-0 World Cup Qualifying win over Panama at Gillette Stadium on October 12.

    FORWARD - JAIME MORENO (D.C. United)

    DOB - January 19, 1974

    Nationality - Bolivia

    The 10-year veteran has been one of the league's best players since its inaugural season and this year proved it once again. The Bolivian forward was selected to his fourth Best XI team, one day after being honored on the RadioShack All-Time Best XI. Once again a finalist for the league's Honda Most Valuable Player award, Moreno was the second highest goal scorer in 2005 (16) and moved up to second all-time with 94 career goals.

    The RadioShack Best XI team was determined by equal voting from the MLS players (33.33 percent), MLS coaches and general managers (33.33 percent), and media (33.33 percent). With each voting category representing one-third of the total votes, the formula used for determining the award winners involved assigning 33.33 total points to each category for a possible total of 99.99 points. Therefore, if a player received 50 percent of the votes in any of the three voting categories, he would earn 16.67 points (half of 33.33) for that category. The voting totals were as follows:

    BEST XI FINAL VOTING

    GOALKEEPERS

                     Players   C/GM    Media     Total
    Pat Onstad        9.13     7.84    20.44     37.41
    Matt Reis        16.67    15.69     4.40     36.76
    Joe Cannon        3.37     3.92     1.89      9.18
    

    DEFENDERS

                        Players   C/GM   Media   Total
    Jimmy Conrad          5.50    6.38    4.88   16.76
    Danny Califf          5.57    2.84    4.40   12.81
    Chris Albright        2.41    3.55    3.10    9.05
    Tyrone Marshall       3.16    4.96    0.71    8.84
    Michael Parkhurst     0.96    2.13    2.98    6.07
    Greg Vanney           1.99    2.84    1.19    6.02
    

    MIDFIELDERS

                        Players    C/GM    Media    Total
    Dwayne De Rosario     3.59     6.86     4.99    15.44
    Shalrie Joseph        4.42     4.90     3.57    12.90
    Christian Gomez       3.94     2.45     3.87    10.26
    Clint Dempsey         2.54     3.92     3.72    10.18
    Ronnie O'Brien        3.42     2.94     3.50     9.85
    Amado Guevara         2.28     1.47     2.60     6.35
    Ricardo Clark         1.62     2.45     0.74     4.82
    Steve Ralston         1.62     2.45     0.74     4.82
    

    FORWARDS

                        Players    C/GM    Media    Total
    Taylor Twellman      12.02    14.14    11.52    37.68
    Jaime Moreno          9.09     8.08     5.41    22.58
    Landon Donovan        3.23     3.03     6.11    12.36
    Jeff Cunningham       3.62     3.03     1.22     7.87
    Carlos Ruiz           1.76     3.03     1.22     6.01
    


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