Back in April, I gave you the All-Underrated Best XI, aka the "Dom Badji All-Stars". In the wake of the release of the official MLS Best XI – yes, we all have takes – here’s another crop of Best XIs from 2018.
Before you get all bent out of shape, I reserve the right to run out whatever formation fits my own machinations, so long as there is at least one goalkeeper and three defenders. Rules are rules, right?
Also, shout out to the group chat, aptly named “More 🌎 Less Kansas,” for their sometime valuable and sometimes worthless assistance putting these together.
Good seasons on bad teams XI
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I’m defining “bad teams” as any that failed to make the playoffs. I’m also excluding anyone who made the 2018 Best XI (e.g. Ignacio Piatti and Zlatan Ibrahimovic) or who won an MLS MVP award in the past (e.g. Giovinco). Let’s spread that spotlight around a bit.
GK: Evan Bush (Montreal Impact)
I make the rules, and El Homie and Run DMB are sharing the honors.
DM: Samuel Piette (Montreal)
CM: Saphir Taider (Montreal)
CM: Yoshi Yotun (Orlando City)
CAM: Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC)
ATT: Romain Alessandrini (LA Galaxy)
ATT: Darwin Quintero (Minnesota United)
FWD: Mauro Manotas (Houston)
Seattle's Chad Marshall in action. | USA Today Images
Where are all my American attackers? This feels like a problem.
GK: Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
This team needs attacking help, so Zusi gets the nod over Reggie Cannon.
Forced to pick between Beasley and Castillo this year, I’ll take Castillo.
All-Concacaf (including Canada) XI
GK: Andre Blake (Philadelphia)
LB: Kemar Lawrence (RBNY)
CB: Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
CB: Francisco Calvo (Minnesota)
RB: Michael Murillo (RBNY)
DM: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders)
CM: Roger Espinoza (SKC)
CM: Carlos Vela (LAFC)
ATT: Alphonso Davies (Vancouver)
ATT: Alberth Elis (Houston)
FWD: Cory Burke (Philadelphia)
Atlanta duo Martinez and Almiron lead the CONMEBOL XI | USA Today Images
You try to pick from the attacking talent. It’s close to impossible. We are #blessed to have such an incredible South American contingent in our league.
OK, so I broke one of my rules. There isn’t a CONMEBOL ‘keeper in MLS right now, and we’ve got a glut of attacking talent … which means I’m shamelessly adding another attacker. Who needs a goalkeeper with this squad?
GK: Stefan Frei (Seattle)
Frei is a US citizen and eligible for the USMNT, but he was born in Switzerland. We need the best ‘keeper we can get for this squad, so in he goes.
DM: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire)
CM: Julian Gressel (Atlanta)
CM: Alexander Ring (NYCFC)
CAM: Borek Dockal (Philadelphia)
FWD: Wayne Rooney (D.C.)
FWD: Bradley Wright-Phillips (RBNY)
FWD: Zlatan (LA)
Hamid returned to D.C. midseason and helped the team's second-half revival. | USA Today Images
GK: Bill Hamid (D.C.)