Whether it’s a winger in acres of space or a midfielder looking to shimmy free in possession, there’s that moment of disbelief when a player gears up to dribble a defender.
Will they really pull it off? Are they going to cut inside again or drive down the endline? What’s in their bag of tricks this time? Can they rise to the occasion or will a counter attack start?
While no attacker has a perfect success rate on the dribble, these MLSers have proven especially adept during 2019 and the first two matches of 2020. And there’s plenty to digest when breaking down the list, with star power found across the board.
The top spot, by a narrow margin, belongs to San Jose Earthquakes attacker Valeri “Vako” Qazaishvili. He leads the way in completed dribbles (100) and success rate (68.97%), with teammate Cristian Espinoza third (81) in the former category.
LAFC forward Carlos Vela, the reigning Landon Donovan MLS MVP, has the highest dribble volume, but has completed just under 50 percent of those attempts. Despite that gap, he’s second in dribbles completed (95). The top group also includes LAFC midfielders Latif Blessing and Eduard Atuesta, who are quick to drop their shoulder and evade pressure in the central third.
Several elite newcomers from 2019 also crack the top tier, including New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil and Toronto FC maestro Alejandro Pozuelo. There's also New York City FC midfielder Alexandru Mitrita and since-departed D.C. United winger Lucas Rodriguez.
On the theme of former clubs, Houston Dynamo attacker Darwin Quintero and LA Galaxy winger Aleksandar Katai are both eager to try their odds in the final third. Respectively, they spent last year with Minnesota United and the Chicago Fire.
Is there anyone you think should have made the list? Any surprises or sure-things stick out to you? Let us know in the comments section below.