Duels aren't the flashiest stat out there, but they're one of the primary areas coaches look at when assessing effort level and the degree to which their team imposed their will on a game.

Given that, who are the preeminent duel-masters in MLS in 2021?

We crunched the numbers and the final list includes names that are both obvious guesses and unexpected faces. For the purposes of this exercise, a duel is defined as a 50-50 contest between two players of opposing sides in the match. Every duel won includes a corresponding duel lost, with both of those numbers used to calculate a duel success percentage. Data comes from Stats Perform, and players had to register at least 100 duels.

In case you needed any more evidence of Miles Robinson's quality, the Atlanta United center back tops the list with a 69.91% success rate out of his 113 total duels, winning 79 of them as he amasses a Defender of the Year-caliber campaign. FC Cincinnati's struggles on the defensive side of the ball have lingered, but Orange & Blue center backs Geoff Cameron (67.38%) and Nick Hagglund (66.04%) both find themselves in the top five through success rate. Some of that likely has to do with the fact that they're part of a backline that's frequently under siege.

Seattle's Yeimar Gomez Andrade (66.49%) and Philadelphia's Jack Elliott (65.76%) also occupy top-five spots, with Gomez Andrade's 129 duels won giving him the top mark of any player in that department. LAFC's Eddie Segura remains in the No. 6 spot despite a season-ending knee injury, while Atlanta United's Ezequiel Barco and New England Revolution MVP candidate Carles Gil are also inside the top 10 – an impressive feat for two attack-minded midfielders.

Check out the full list below.

MLS duels – 2021 season
Player
Duels won
Duels lost
Duels total
Duel success %
1. Miles Robinson (ATL)
79
34
113
69.91%
2. Geoff Cameron (CIN)
95
46
141
67.38%
3. Yeimar Gomez Andrade (SEA)
129
65
194
66.49%
4. Nick Hagglund (CIN)
70
36
106
66.04%
5. Jack Elliott (PHI)
121
63
184
65.76%
6. Eddie Segura (LAFC)
66
36
102
64.71%
7. Ezequiel Barco (ATL)
86
47
133
64.66%
8. Carles Gil (NE)
116
66
182
63.74%
9. Xavier Arreaga (SEA)
79
45
124
63.71%
10. Maxime Chanot (NYC)
84
48
132
63.64%
11. Dax McCarty (NSH)
83
48
131
63.36%
12. Samuel Piette (MTL)
66
39
105
62.86%
13. John Tolkin (DAL)
71
42
113
62.83%
14. Jesus David Murillo (LAFC)
81
49
130
62.31%
15. James Sands (NYC)
70
43
113
61.95%
16. Nick Belser (RSL)
75
47
122
61.48%
17. Sean Nealis (RBNY)
78
49
127
61.42%
18. Jonathan Mensah (CLB)
87
55
142
61.27%
19. Andy Najar (DC)
121
77
198
61.11%
20. Miguel Angel Navarro (CHI)
66
43
109
60.55%

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