Monday, November 26, 2012

Four Sporting Players Named to Best XI

Today during the State of the League address, Don Garber announced this year's Best XI team as voted on by teams, media, and players.  Sporting KC ended up leading the way in players selected for the team with 4.  San Jose and LA each had 2, while New York, DC, and Seattle all had 1.  KC's four consisted of KC's goalkeeper of the year finalist, Jimmy Nielsen, their two defender of the year nominees, Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin, and MVP finalist Graham Zusi. 

Nielsen's selection likely means that he's also been selected as goalkeeper of the year this year.  Nielsen played every minute this season for KC in league play.  And played all but 90 minutes in all competitions, only missing KC's 3-2 win over Orlando in the US Open Cup.  Nielsen had 15 shutouts, one short of a league and team record.  He also set team records for non-shootout wins with 18 and goals against average with .79

Besler coming off winning defender of the year played in 31 of KC's 34 league games and plenty of Nielsen's stats can be seen as a helping hand for Nielsen as well.  Collin is like Besler in that regard, while Collin helped to anchor the back like for 29 games this year.

Zusi led MLS in assists this year with 15 and added in 5 goals to his total as well.  Zusi also established himself as a regular call up for the national team this year as well.  A very strong season for Zusi.

The rest of the roster saw Victor Bernardez and Chris Wondolowski from San Jose, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane from LA, Thierry Henry from New York, Chris Pontius from DC, and Osvaldo Alonso from Seattle.

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