Monday, November 24, 2008

My Best XI

I always love seeing who makes an all star team, and I dutifully vote for who I think are the top players. Naturally, my votes lean toward the Columbus Crew (this year for very good reason). However, I have some favorite players who don't play for the Crew - these are my Best XI of non-Crew players. Note that they aren't necessarily the best players, only my favorites.
  • Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake): He typifies the motto: make the easy saves look hard and make the hard saves look impossible. Yes, I know there are better 'keepers out there (Jon Busch comes to mind), but who's more high flying than Rimando?
  • Jim Curtin (Chivas USA): I can remember his first game as a Chicago Fire player. I believe he scored an own-goal AND got red-carded. You can't get much better than that.

  • Craig Waibel (Houston): He even looks scary.

  • Chris Klein (LA): I don't think he's really a defender, but I've always liked the way he gets up the sideline.

  • Marvell Wynne (Toronto): This guy can fly. He's gaining some ball skills, too. When his skills catch up with his speed... watch out!


  • Dave van den Bergh (New York): His work rate was second to none, and as he went, so went the Red Bulls. He contantly serves dangerous balls into the area.

  • Steve Ralston (New England): He's the best midfielder playing. New England lost everything at the end of the season because of Ralston's broken leg. Not that I wanted them to win... but I really like the way he plays.

  • Dema Kovalenko (Real Salt Lake): Who wants to mess with him? He even looks like a bulldog, and he's probably the scrappiest player in MLS right now. Plus he's an Indiana U graduate, which always gains a player points with me.

  • Ronnie O'Brien (San Jose): Best crosser ever.


  • Chris Rolfe (Chicago): He was on a tear by the end of the season, and he played his college ball down the road in Dayton.

  • Juan Pablo Angel (New York): Pure scorer. That's all there is to it. He finds a way to score goals, no matter what. I'd love to have him as my forward; just get the ball to him near the goal, and he'll put it in.

Honorable Mention:

  • Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago): How can you not dislike him? He's ugly, he dives and flops, he plays on the Mexican National Team AND the Chicago Fire... still there's something about the cheeky moves he pulls...

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