Darlington Nagbe - Columbus Crew SC - keeps possession
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Who's the best passer in MLS? Here's what the data from 2019 and 2020 says

So that’s why Columbus Crew SC shelled out $1,050,000 million in allocation money and a 2020 international roster spot when acquiring Darlington Nagbe via trade from Atlanta United last November.

While perhaps not the sole reason, Nagbe’s place atop the passing accuracy chart from 2019 and the early stages of 2020 certainly reinforces his importance to the Crew’s broader project. The midfielder, whether it’s as a No. 6 or No. 8, has completed 92.27% of his passes to lead the entire league. 

The competition is stiff near the top, though, with LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos (92.20 percent) and Minnesota United midfielder Ozzie Alonso (92.02 percent) both right on Nagbe’s heels. Dos Santos is a staple of Mexico's national team, while Alonso is one of the top midfielders in MLS history.

Another trio of deep-lying midfielders then clocked in the 90s, with Matias Vera of the Houston Dynamo, Diego Chara of the Portland Timbers and Galaxy standout Sebastian Lletget all reaching that metric. While they're deputized in different roles, each acts as a metronome of sorts who springs attacks forwards and cycles possession.

But it’s not just midfielders who are passing aces, with LAFC center back Eddie Segura and San Jose Earthquakes outside back Tommy Thompson both topping 89% accuracy. Instead of clearing the ball upfield, they’re more inclined to play it safe or find a midfielder’s feet with a probing pass.

Rounding out the top 10 are a pair of midfielders at Canadian clubs, as Toronto FC staple Michael Bradley and Russell Teibert of the Vancouver Whitecaps made the cut. 

*Minimum 2,000 minutes

Are there any surprise inclusions here? Any player you thought would have made the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

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