The 25 Greatest presented by AT&T

The 25 Greatest are not ranked. They are all equally worthy of this prestigious honor. The list below is in alphabetical order.

Jeff Agoos

DEFENDER

  • 3x MLS Best XI
  • 2001 MLS Defender of the Year
  • 5x MLS Cup winner
  • D.C. United: 1996-2000
  • San Jose: 2001-2004
  • MetroStars: 2005

A serial winner and respected teammate wherever he went, “Goose” anchored two of the best teams of MLS’s first decade, collecting five MLS Cups, two Supporters’ Shields and U.S. Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions Cup and Copa Interamericana trophies with D.C. United and the San Jose Earthquakes. A member of the MLS All-Time Best XI compiled in 2005, Agoos was a rugged, tireless defender who could also strike a wicked free kick. He served his country with distinction, too, earning more than 100 caps and taking part in two World Cups with the U.S. men’s national team.

Kyle Beckerman

MIDFIELDER

  • 1st all-time in MLS games played (498)
  • 2009 MLS Cup winner
  • Fusion: 2000-2001
  • Colorado: 2002-2007
  • Salt Lake: 2007-present

A member of the epochal 1999 U.S. U-17 national team side that launched U.S. Soccer’s Bradenton Residency program, “KB5” became an MLS lifer, the only one in league history to play 20 seasons, owner of the record for most appearances by a field player (498) and a nine-time All-Star. Both tenacious and intelligent, the holding midfielder won a Supporters’ Shield with the since-defunct Miami Fusion and set the tempo for the Real Salt Lake sides that won the 2009 MLS Cup, reached the final of the 2011 Concacaf Champions League and set a new standard for attractive soccer in MLS.

David Beckham

MIDFIELDER

  • 2011 MLS Best XI
  • 2x MLS Cup winner
  • LA Galaxy: 2007-2012

A name that needs no introduction. First Beckham changed the trajectory of MLS merely by leaving Real Madrid for the LA Galaxy at the height of his powers in 2007, drawing unprecedented global attention and legitimacy to a young league. Then he overcame a tough start on the pitch to make the LA Galaxy a dynasty, working alongside the likes of Bruce Arena and Landon Donovan to win two MLS Cups (and reach a third) and two Supporters’ Shields in a four-year period. He continues to contribute to the game’s growth as president and co-owner of Inter Miami CF.

Carlos Bocanegra

DEFENDER

  • 2x MLS Best XI
  • 2x MLS Defender of the Year
  • Chicago: 2000-2003
  • Chivas USA: 2013-2014

One of the best pure defenders MLS has ever seen, “Boca” was also one of its first true homegrown success stories, rising through the college system and SuperDraft to become a star – and two-time U.S. Open Cup winner – with the Chicago Fire. The rugged left-footer then moved to Premier League club Fulham, carrying the U.S. flag in England, France, Scotland and Spain before completing his career stateside with Chivas USA. Along the way he represented the United States with distinction, playing in two World Cups and two Confederations Cups, winning two Gold Cups and captaining the USMNT for six years.

Dwayne De Rosario

MIDFIELDER

  • 9th all-time in MLS goals scored (104)
  • 2011 MLS MVP
  • 6x MLS Best XI
  • 2011 MLS Golden Boot
  • 4x MLS Cup winner
  • San Jose: 2001-2005
  • Houston: 2006-2008
  • Toronto: 2009-2011
  • NY Red Bulls: 2011
  • D.C. United: 2011-2013
  • Toronto: 2014

Probably the league’s greatest-ever Canadian, De Ro arrived at the San Jose Earthquakes from USL side Richmond Kickers with little fanfare in 2001 and helped the Quakes win the 2001 and ‘03 MLS Cups and the ‘05 Shield. Growing from an impact supersub to a showcase star with a flair for the dramatic, the seven-time All-Star showed equal aplomb as a creator and finisher. He and his teammates won two more Cups after they moved to Houston and became the Dynamo, and he went on to hoist three more trophies with D.C. United and Toronto FC and was ferociously dominant in his 2011 league MVP campaign.

Clint Dempsey

FORWARD

  • 2x MLS Best XI
  • 2016 MLS Cup winner
  • New England: 2004-2006
  • Seattle: 2013-2018

An all-time great who not only dominated MLS for most of his nine seasons in the league but also represented the domestic game with distinction abroad, both at the club level and across three World Cups with the USMNT. “Deuce” shot to prominence as a flashy, driven attacker with the New England Revolution, then turned heads in the Premier League and Europa League with Fulham and a single year at Tottenham. He returned to MLS as a bona fide superstar in 2013, joining the Seattle Sounders in a multi-million-dollar blockbuster transfer that proved the prelude for an incredible run of success on Puget Sound marked by MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup titles. Retired with 79 goals and 45 assists across 209 career MLS regular-season and playoff games.

Landon Donovan

FORWARD

  • 1st all-time in MLS assists (136)
  • 2009 MLS MVP
  • 7x MLS Bext XI
  • 2008 MLS Golden Boot
  • 6x MLS Cup winner
  • San Jose: 2001-2004
  • LA Galaxy: 2005-2014, 2016

If there’s an automatic choice on this list, it’s Donovan, a legend with San Jose and the Galaxy who shifted the paradigm by choosing MLS ahead of Europe and racked up so many individual and team achievements that the league named its MVP award after him. Consistently devastating whether in midfield or up top, playmaking or finishing, LD has won more MLS Cups than any other player and he ranks first on the league's all-time assists chart (136), second in all-time goals (145) and his G+A total of 218 is far and away the most in MLS history. He’s also a USMNT legend: The program’s all-time leading scorer in the World Cup and a four-time Gold Cup winner.

Marco Etcheverry

MIDFIELDER

  • 7th all-time in MLS assists (101)
  • 1998 MLS MVP
  • 4x MLS Best XI
  • 3x MLS Cup winner
  • D.C. United: 1996-2003

El Diablo was one of MLS’s first stars, a fiery, charismatic maestro instantly recognizable by his skillful touches and flowing mullet. He made D.C. United the league’s first dynasty, too, reaching the first four MLS Cup finals and winning three of them in addition to Supporters’ Shield, U.S. Open Cup, Concacaf Champions Cup and Copa Interamericana glory. An All-Time MLS Best XI honoree, his defense-splitting passes, mazy dribbles and wicked free kicks made the Black-and-Red both fearsome to face and fun to watch.

Robin Fraser

DEFENDER

  • 5x MLS Best XI
  • 2x MLS Defender of the Year
  • LA Galaxy: 1996-2000
  • Colorado: 2001-2003
  • Columbus: 2004-2005

A calm, cerebral center back with a classy passing range, Fraser was quietly and consistently superb in the backlines of the LA Galaxy, Colorado Rapids and Columbus Crew over the league’s first decade, winning two Supporters’ Shields and reaching two MLS Cup finals. Born in Jamaica, Fraser and his family emigrated to Miami during his adolescence and he went on to represent the United States with distinction at the international level.

Sebastian Giovinco

FORWARD

  • 2015 MLS MVP
  • 3x MLS Best XI
  • 2015 MLS Golden Boot
  • 2017 MLS Cup winner
  • Toronto: 2015-2018

“The Atomic Ant” strode into MLS and made it his playground for four incredible seasons at Toronto FC, scoring 73 goals and 57 assists in 125 regular-season and playoff matches, many of them simply breathtaking in their skill and daring. Quick, bold, inventive, the diminutive Italian helped transform the culture at TFC, powering the Reds to an unprecedented treble achievement in 2017 that ranks as perhaps the greatest single season the league has ever witnessed.

Kevin Hartman

GOALKEEPER

  • 2nd all-time in MLS shutouts (112)
  • 1999 MLS Best XI
  • 1999 Goalkeeper of the Year
  • 2x MLS Cup winner
  • LA Galaxy: 1997-2006
  • Wizards: 2007-2009
  • FC Dallas: 2010-2012
  • NY Red Bulls: 2013

The picture of consistency in goal, Hartman racked up a 180-143-89 career record in regular-season play across three different clubs, a level of longevity second only to Nick Rimando in MLS annals. “El Gato” backstopped some of the LA Galaxy’s best teams ever, winning two MLS Cups, two Supporters’ Shields, two U.S. Open Cups and a Concacaf Champions Cup, one of only two MLS teams to achieve the latter.

Cobi Jones

MIDFIELDER

  • 9th all-time in MLS assists (91)
  • 1998 MLS Best XI
  • 2x MLS Cup winner
  • LA Galaxy: 1996-2007

Already a US national team icon at the dawn of MLS, Jones was one of several USMNTers who returned home from abroad to pitch in and help the fledgling league get off the ground. Easily recognizable thanks to his dazzling smile, dreadlocks and relentless running and service along the right flank, he paced the LA Galaxy for much of their first decade, making more than 300 appearances for his hometown team and helping them win seven major trophies during that time. Jones represented the United States at three World Cups.

Robbie Keane

FORWARD

  • 2014 MLS MVP
  • 4x MLS Best XI
  • 3x MLS Cup winner
  • LA Galaxy: 2011-2016

Great expectations greeted the Irishman when he joined the LA Galaxy as a Designated Player in 2011, and the Irishman managed to meet or exceed all of them, playing a lead role in a run of three MLS Cup titles in four seasons as well as a Supporters' Shield. Individually, his 0.69 goals per 90 minutes ranks him among the most efficient scorers in MLS history and his clever movement and finishing made him a four-time MLS Best XI honoree and the MVP of both the 2014 season and that year's MLS Cup final.

Chad Marshall

DEFENDER

  • 4x MLS Best XI
  • 3x MLS Defender of the Year
  • 3x MLS Cup winner
  • Columbus: 2004-2013
  • Seattle: 2014-2019

Never flashy, all too often overlooked at international level, “the Air Marshall” was a fundamental building block of championship sides in Columbus and Seattle, collecting two MLS Cups, four Supporters’ Shields and a U.S. Open Cup along the way. On an individual level, his decision-making was superb, his aerial dominance unparalleled and his value in the locker room respected. The savvy center back won Defender of the Year so many times that some of his colleagues advocated for simply naming it after him.

Josef Martinez

FORWARD

  • 2018 MLS MVP
  • 3x MLS Best XI
  • 2018 MLS Golden Boot
  • 2018 MLS Cup winner
  • Atlanta: 2017-present

Few strikers have achieved as much in three-plus MLS seasons as the Venezuelan, whose prolific finishing, hard work and snarling intensity set the tone for Atlanta United out of the gates, making the Five Stripes one of the most impressive expansion sides the league’s ever seen. He stands at 77 career regular-season goals and counting, highlighted by an imperious 2018 campaign in which he smashed the then-single-season MLS scoring record with 31 strikes en route to an MLS Cup win and league MVP and Golden Boot honors.

Tony Meola

GOALKEEPER

  • 5th all-time in MLS saves
  • 2000 MLS MVP
  • 2000 MLS Best XI
  • 2000 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
  • 2000 MLS Cup winner
  • MetroStars/NY Red Bulls: 1996-1998, 2005-2006
  • Wizards: 1999-2004

It’s not often that a goalkeeper dominates a league like Meola did in 2000, when he spearheaded the Kansas City Wizards to their first MLS Cup triumph and bagged a bevy of individual awards along the way. Yet that exceptional season was merely the high point of a resilient MLS run that spanned the league’s first 11 years, and ran parallel to a highly impressive career with the US national team that began way back in 1988 and comprised a century’s worth of caps, including some of the biggest games in the program’s history.

Jaime Moreno

FORWARD

  • 4th all-time in MLS goals (133)
  • 5x MLS Best XI
  • 4x MLS Cup winner
  • D.C. United: 1996-2002, 2004-2010
  • MetroStars: 2003

The Bolivian striker’s class lit up MLS’s early years, as he joined D.C. United midway through their 1996 debut campaign following a difficult stint with England’s Middlesbrough and sparked a phase of sustained dominance for the capital club. With his guile and inventiveness, he crafted a telepathic attacking understanding with his countryman Marco Etcheverry that produced goals by the dozen. Moreno would show his resilience in 2004, returning from a career-threatening back injury to lead D.C. back to MLS Cup glory, and a 2008 U.S. Open Cup trophy ran his stateside hardware haul to 12 major trophies over 15 years.

Eddie Pope

DEFENDER

  • 4x MLS Best XI
  • 1997 MLS Defender of the Year
  • 3x MLS Cup winner
  • D.C. United: 1996-2002
  • MetroStars: 2003-2004
  • Salt Lake: 2005-2007

While Moreno and Etcheverry were lighting up the D.C. United attack in those early years, Pope patrolled behind them, imperiously anchoring the D.C. backline just as he did the US national team’s in three World Cups. His rain-soaked extra-time golden goal to cap a dramatic 3-2 comeback win in the inaugural MLS Cup remains one of the league’s most memorable moments and the National Soccer Hall of Famer remained highly effective in latter stints with the MetroStars and Real Salt Lake.

Preki

MIDFIELDER

  • 2x MLS MVP (1997 & 2003)
  • 4x MLS Best XI
  • 2x MLS Golden Boot winner
  • 2000 MLS Cup winner
  • Wizards: 1996-2000, 2002-2005
  • Fusion: 2001

Even before he arrived in MLS with the Kansas City Wizards, Predrag Radosavljevic had already enjoyed an exceptional – and unique – career that took him from Red Star Belgrade in his homeland to the American indoor game and the Premier League with Everton. Though he turned 33 during MLS’s inaugural campaign, he proved an ageless wonder with a knack for bamboozling defenders with his signature “chop” onto his elegant left foot, the usual prelude to one of his 89 career goals or 112 assists across 268 league and playoff matches. He played until he was 42 and took home two MLS MVP awards, two Golden Boots, a place in the All-Time Best XI, one MLS Cup, one U.S. Open Cup and two Supporters' Shields.

Steve Ralston

MIDFIELDER

  • 2nd all-time in MLS assists (135)
  • 3x MLS Best XI
  • Mutiny: 1996-2001
  • New England: 2002-2010

A true assists guru, Ralston was an ever-present on the right wing over the league’s first 14 years, first with the Tampa Bay Mutiny and later the New England Revolution, delivering sterling service to the likes of Roy Lassiter and Taylor Twellman. Blessed with a relentless engine and a refined soccer IQ, the Missouri native helped the Revs reach four MLS Cup finals and was MLS’s all-time career leader in assists (135), appearances (378), starts (372) and minutes played (33,143) when he retired in 2010.

Nick Rimando

GOALKEEPER

  • 1st all-time in MLS shutouts (154)
  • 2x MLS Cup winner
  • Fusion: 2000-2001
  • D.C. United: 2002-2006
  • Salt Lake: 2007-2019

Dubbed “the Wall of the Wasatch” thanks to his sustained heroics in goal for Real Salt Lake, Rimando overcame doubts about his 5-foot-9 frame to become one of the premier ‘keepers in MLS’s existence, showcasing incredible durability to play 20 seasons and set league records in appearances (514), goalkeeper wins (223), clean sheets (154) and saves (1701). No goalkeeper has saved more penalty kicks, and his most famous such stops came in RSL’s upset shootout win over the LA Galaxy in the 2009 MLS Cup, one of his two league championships. Rimando also won the Supporters’ Shield twice and earned eight All-Star nods.

Carlos Valderrama

MIDFIELDER

  • 4th all-time in MLS assists (114)
  • 1996 MLS MVP
  • 3x MLS Best XI
  • Mutiny: 1996-1997, 1999-2001
  • Fusion: 1998-1999
  • Colorado: 2001-2002

“El Pibe” brought his starpower to MLS after charming US audiences with Colombia at the 1994 World Cup, lighting up the league with his distinctive hair and dazzling playmaking skills. A true magician on the ball, he notched 114 assists over his MLS career and his single-season record of 26 dimes in 2000 will likely never be broken. An MLS MVP award, three MLS Best XI honors and five All-Star nods point to his effectiveness on the field, as well as the easygoing charisma that charmed fans of all stripes.

Diego Valeri

MIDFIELDER

  • 10th all-time in MLS assists (88)
  • 2017 MLS MVP
  • 3x MLS Best XI
  • 2015 MLS Cup winner
  • Portland: 2013-present

A consistently outstanding performer since his arrival in Portland in 2013, “San Valeri” has also endeared himself to the Timbers faithful with his wholehearted embrace of the city’s culture and values. Though his career in the Rose City isn’t done yet, the Argentine playmaker is already a club icon by virtue of his personal productivity (84 goals and 88 assists in regular-season play, plus another 6g/8a in the playoffs) and the team success (a 2015 MLS Cup triumph and another trip to the final in 2018) he has inspired.

Chris Wondolowski

FORWARD

  • 1st all-time in MLS goals (166)
  • 2012 MLS MVP
  • 3x MLS Best XI
  • 2x MLS Golden Boot winner
  • 2x MLS Cup winner
  • San Jose: 2005
  • Houston: 2006-2009
  • San Jose: 2009-present

Someday someone may eclipse Wondo’s all-time career MLS scoring record of 166 goals. Odds are, however, that no story will ever match his Cinderella tale. A 2005 Supplemental Draft pick out of NCAA Division II program Chico State, he toiled in the Houston Dynamo reserves for most of his first six seasons before suddenly breaking out with a Golden Boot campaign with San Jose in 2010, starting a decade-long streak of double-digit scoring seasons that eventually carried him to the all-time career MLS scoring record of 166 goals (and counting). Along the way he tied what was then the single-season scoring mark of 27 goals in 2012, leading the Quakes to the Supporters’ Shield as he himself won MLS MVP and Golden Boot that year. There’s only one Wondo.

Bradley Wright-Phillips

FORWARD

  • 6th all-time in MLS goals (116)
  • 2x MLS Best XI
  • 2x MLS Golden Boot winner
  • NY Red Bulls: 2013-2019
  • LAFC: 2020-present

BWP – three letters that spell MLS goalscoring royalty. After reaching a cul-de-sac in his career in his native England, Wright-Phillips joined the New York Red Bulls after a trial stint in 2013 and set about becoming a club hero, stacking up an incredible 105 regular-season goals in a prolific five-year stint from 2014-18 that reaped two Golden Boots, two MLS Best XIs and two All-Star nods. RBNY lifted three Supporters’ Shields on his watch and after vanquishing a career-threatening groin injury, he joined LAFC at the start of 2020 and re-energized his career with eight goals and six assists to earn Comeback Player of the Year.

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