2018 MLS Best XI
The 2018 season was a banner year for MLS in terms of the growth of quality and depth in the league talent pool. With that said, selecting this year's official 2018 MLS Best XI was as difficult as the process has ever been. And the resulting squad is one that would strike fear into the heart of nearly any opponent in the world.
And in honor of a season in which goals-per-game soared to 3.19, this year's Best XI lines up in an offensive-minded 3-4-3 formation. Overall, the squad boasts 123 goals between them this season — which is 53 more than Atlanta scored this year as the league's most productive offensive side. The front line alone has 65 goals, more than all but four MLS teams.
So without further ado, here is our official 2018 MLS Best XI ...
Signing with the Galaxy earlier this year, Ibrahimović stormed into the league with two late goals during his LA Galaxy debut on March 31. For 2018, he tallied 22 goals and 10 assists, becoming only the third player in league history to record a 20-goal, 10-assist season. His 32 combined goals and assists this season tie for the sixth highest total in MLS annals. Full stats and highlights
Josef Martínez shattered the MLS single-season scoring record with 31 goals, winning the Golden Boot. In only two seasons in the league, Martínez has broken the MLS career hat trick mark, scoring three goals in six different instances. The 37 combined goals and assists by Martínez this season are the second most in MLS history. The 25-year-old Martínez makes his second appearance on the MLS Best XI squad. Full stats and highlights
Arriving to MLS after a midseason transfer, Rooney pushed D.C. United from the bottom of the league to fourth place in the Eastern Conference behind 12 goals and seven assists in 20 games played, helping the club to a 12-4-4 record in matches he played during the regular season. Full stats and highlights
Acosta experienced a breakout season for D.C. United, helping the club to an incredible second-half turnaround, registering career-highs with 10 goals and 17 assists, the latter ranking second in MLS. A product of Argentine club Boca Juniors famed academy, Acosta helped D.C. United to a 9-2-5 record during matches where he recorded a goal or an assist this season. Full stats and highlights
A member of the Paraguay National Team, Almirón starred for his country in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup before breaking out in 2016 at the Copa America Centenario. The 24-year-old had an impressive first season, recording nine goals and 14 assists, for which he was named 2017 MLS Newcomer of the Year. This season, Almirón scored an MLS career-high 12 goals to go along with 14 assists. This is Almirón’s second MLS Best XI selection (2017, 2018). Full stats and highlights
The Montreal Impact star scored 16 goals along with an MLS career-high 13 assists this season. A model of consistency, Piatti recorded 17 goals and six assists in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Piatti has made the MLS All-Star team each of the last three seasons (2016-2018). This is the second MLS Best XI selection for Piatti (2016, 2018).Full stats and highlights
In his debut MLS season, Vela helped LAFC to the most points ever by an expansion club behind his 14 goals and 13 assists, ranking as one of 11 players across the league to register double digits in each category. Full stats and highlights
Lawrence paced a New York defense that allowed a league low 33 goals this season en route to posting the best season in MLS history with a record 71 points. Originally discovered via the inaugural MLS Caribbean Combine in 2014, Lawrence recorded a career-high 28 games played in his fourth season with the Red Bulls. Full stats and highlights
Long experienced a breakout 2018 season, winning MLS Defender of the Year and earning his first All-Star Game selection. The 26-year-old defender helped New York register the best season in MLS history with a record 71 points, while the club’s 33 goals allowed were the fewest in the league. Long developed through the Red Bulls’ USL team, earning the league’s Defender of the Year in 2016, before emerging as a starter for New York in 2017. Full stats and highlights
A three-time MLS Defender of the Year winner (2008, 2009, 2014), Marshall shined for Seattle this season, helping the club finish second in the Western Conference with the second-stingiest defense in the league. Marshall tied an MLS career-high with four goals scored to go along with one assist in 30 regular season matches. The hulking defender has 11 caps for the United States Men’s National Team. This is Marshall’s fourth selection to the MLS Best XI (2008, 2009, 2014, 2018). Full stats and highlights
In his second full season with Columbus, the 23-year-old Steffen won the Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award after registered a career-high 10 shutouts and helping the club to a fifth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. From April 28-July 13 of this season, Steffen recorded the eighth-longest shutout streak in MLS history with a career-high 525 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal. Full stats and highlights