On Tuesday, Major League Soccer announced the league's 2013 Best XI, recognizing its top 11 players at each position on the field and including many of its well-known stars.
2013 MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper – Donovan Ricketts (Portland Timbers)
Defender – Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
Defender – Jose Goncalves (New England Revolution)
Defender – Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
Midfielder – Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls)
Midfielder – Will Johnson (Portland Timbers)
Midfielder – Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
Midfielder – Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forward – Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact)
Forward – Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Forward – Mike Magee (Chicago Fire)
Only seven teams roster Best XI selections
The Portland Timbers, who finished the regular season atop the Western Conference, led all MLS teams with three players named to the Best XI. Reigning MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy roster two of the Best XI (Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez), as does 2013 MLS Cup host Sporting Kansas City (Graham Zusi and Matt Besler.) Four teams (Montreal Impact, Chicago Fire, Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls) each boast one selection to the Best XI.
Five players have previously been named to the MLS Best XI: Ricketts, Besler, Gonzalez, Zusi and Keane. Four members of the Best XI were named to the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game First XI and eight were named finalists for 2013 MLS awards.
2013 MLS Best XI
Donovan Ricketts Goalkeeper Portland Timbers Nationality: Jamaica Born: July 6, 1977
A finalist for the Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year, Ricketts ranked among the league leaders in wins (13), goals-against average (0.97) and saves percentage (73%). This is his second MLS Best XI selection.
Jose Goncalves Defender New England Revolution Nationality: Portugal Born: September 17, 1985
In his first MLS season, Goncalves was named the 2013 MLS Defender of the Year and finalist for Newcomer of the Year, played every minute of the season and anchored a defense that accounted for a club-record 14 shutouts on the way to their first playoff appearance in four seasons.
Matt Besler Defender Sporting Kansas City Nationality: USA Born: February 11, 1987
Last year’s Defender of the Year and runner-up for this year’s award, Besler has established himself as one of the best central defenders in the League and for the U.S. national team. He led a defense that allowed the fewest goals (30) this season, while contributing two assists. This is his second consecutive MLS Best XI selection.
Omar Gonzalez Defender LA Galaxy Nationality: USA Born: October 11, 1988
A finalist for Defender of the Year and the youngest among this year’s Best XI selections, Gonzalez helped the LA Galaxy keep 10 clean sheets in 2013. This is his third MLS Best XI selection.
Tim Cahill Midfielder New York Red Bulls Nationality: Australia Born: December 6, 1979
In his first full MLS season, the two-time World Cup participant and English Premier League veteran was the driving force behind the New York Red Bulls Supporters’ Shield-winning season. Cahill scored 11 goals and added five assists, while starting 27 matches.
Will Johnson Midfielder Portland Timbers Nationality: Canada Born: January 21, 1987
In his first season with the Timbers, Johnson scored a single-season career-high nine goals and added five assists. His strong play and leadership helped the Timbers claim the best record in the Western Conference (14-5-15), which included a 15-game unbeaten streak.
Diego Valeri Midfielder Portland Timbers Nationality: Argentina Born: May 1, 1986
A finalist for Newcomer of the Year, Valeri signed with the Portland Timbers as a Designated Player from Argentina’s Club Atlético Lanús. The cunning playmaker led MLS in assists with 13 and added 10 goals, propelling the Timbers to an MLS club single-season record with 14 wins. This is his first MLS Best XI selection.
Graham Zusi Midfielder Sporting Kansas City Nationality: USA Born: August 18, 1986
Zusi scored a single-season career-high six goals and tallied eight assists in 27 league appearances. The dynamic midfielder helped Sporting KC advance to MLS Cup and solidified his spot on the U.S. national team. This is his second consecutive MLS Best XI selection.
Marco Di Vaio Forward Montreal Impact Nationality: Italy Born: July 15, 1976
A finalist for the 2013 Volkswagen MLS MVP Award, Di Vaio netted 20 goals for the Montreal Impact all from the run of play (no PK or free-kicks), with five of those coming as game-winners.
Robbie Keane Forward LA Galaxy Nationality: Ireland Born: July 8, 1980
A finalist for the 2013 Volkswagen MLS MVP Award, Keane finished third in MLS with eleven assists and fourth in MLS with sixteen goals. Keane is Ireland’s all-time leader in goals and their current captain and this is his second MLS Best XI selection.
Mike Magee Forward Chicago Fire Nationality: USA Born: September 2, 1984
A finalist for the 2013 Volkswagen MLS MVP Award, Magee finished second in the league with 21 goals while adding four assists. After being traded from the LA Galaxy on May 25 to his hometown Chicago Fire, Magee scored seven goals in his first seven matches.