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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week Twelve

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Breton Bonnette

With the World Cup in its latter stages, Major League Soccer resumed and the crowds did not disappoint. Even in Toronto, where all hell is breaking loose, 18,000 plus made it out to watch what unfortunately turned out to be an utter stalemate. The story of the week, however, was the opening of PPL Park. A packed house, fresh off the disappointment of the USMNT crashing out in the Round of 16, were treated to a Union come from behind victory. The vote for ASN’s Player of the Week came down to two strikers less than 100 miles apart – the Union’s Sebastien Le Toux and RBNY’s Juan Pablo Angel. Read on to see who came out on top…

GK: Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake – 8.5

Nick’s quietly impressed anyone paying attention to Rio Tinto stadium, as he’s been solely responsible for RSL’s strong run of form. Nick has saved late attempts on goal in the past two matches and seems poised for another solid post-season performance. – Patrick McShane, ASN Real Salt Lake

DEF: Ike Opara, San Jose – 7.5

In tandem with Bobby Burling, rookie Opara helped return the Quakes to fine defensive form as they left Salt Lake with a vital point. Going up against an opponent that have a 16 game unbeaten streak at home is not easy, especially coming off a 2-week break for the World Cup. Opara and Burling looked solid in defense and got in the way of plenty of Salt Lake chances, making Jon Busch’s debut with San Jose just a little bit easier.

DEF: Shea Salinas, Philadelphia – 7

The pacy option to prevent Montero from running wild like he did in the opener and to especially guard against rising star Steve Zakuani, becoming more and more confident at the back with every passing appearance.   For the first time, really seemed to take on primary defensive responsibilities and showed himself to be the aggressor.  Started to push forward in the 2nd half, with Jordan Harvey staying back.  The highlight of his forays forward was the clipped ball towards Moreno that drew the foul call in the box that resulted in the penalty kick and the Union’s first goal. – Sam Toma, ASN Philly

DEF: Carlos Mendes, New York – 7.5

Rarely made a bad tackle. Disrupted the Kansas City offense and stayed composed throughout the full 90. It’s pretty interesting to see him making his first Best XI of the year. He has been on the fringe of the squad for so long that even Red Bull fans are starting to forget him. This performance will ensure Hans Backe gives him a second look or two throughout the rest of the season.

MID: Javier Morales, Real Salt Lake – 8

Despite the scoreless draw, Morales again put in a solid performance and probably deserved something better as he continually put RSL in position to score but wasn’t rewarded in the end. – Patrick McShane, ASN Real Salt Lake

MID: Fred, Philadelphia Union – 7

Played at his consistently solid level, providing useful touches around the box.  A bit more aggressive in the last third this match than in those previous, getting 2 shots on frame, both quality scoring chances (the second of which was the 79th minute goal off of Sebastien Le Toux’s corner kick).  Came off to a standing ovation and several “we are not worthy” salutes in the 81st minute. – Sam Toma, ASN Philly

MID: Bobby Convey, San Jose – 7.5

Convey’s efforts didn’t materialize into anything showing on the scoreboard but his work kept Real Salt Lake from attacking all game at Rio Tinto Stadium. Salt Lake pushed their unbeaten streak at home to 16 but Convey made sure at least San Jose was going home with a point. He has become the engine of a revitalized San Jose squad, possibly warranting a thought or two when it comes to All-Star voting.

MID: David Ferreira, FC Dallas – 7.5

El Torito had a hand in both Hoops goals that kept the FC Dallas momentum mounting. It was his corner that hit off Chivas USA fullback Ante Jazic to put Dallas up and his converted penalty that put the game away. Ferreira also did the dirty work off the ball – drawing fouls, throwing himself into tackles. Hoops fans are starting to see consistency and a lot of that can be attributed to the play of Ferreira.

MID: Sebastien Le Toux, Philadelphia – 8.5

As always, led the attack, but 3 shots on goal in the 1st half did not seem to overly worry Keller.  This all changed in the 2nd half, first putting away the equalizing penalty kick in the 54th minute, then becoming the point guard on the break.  Playing at midfield to accommodate Danny Mwanga’s recent addition to the first 11, Seba’s work rate really produced results in the final 45 minutes.  In addition to taking 6 corner kicks of the 8 Philadelphia created,  he was able to be the link between the midfield and the attack that this team has been looking for.  Direct involvement in all 3 goals and really should have had 2 assists, but for the fact that Mwanga’s was technically unassisted due to the fact that it was off the rebound – Sam Toma, ASN Philly

FWD: Juan Pablo Angel, New York – 8.5, ASN’s PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Angel made Aaron Hohlbein look silly on more than one occasion and helped deliver the Red Bulls a post-World Cup break win. His brace sealed a 3-0 win that may or may not spell the beginning of the end for Peter Vermes in Kansas City. Angel’s goals were his 7th and 8th of the season, scored in a span of 10 minutes. Could a partnership with Thierry Henry be on its way?

FWD: Emilio Renteria, Columbus – 8

Regardless of an atrocious Guillermo Barros Schellotto handball, Emilio Renteria put in one of his finest performances as a member of the Crew. The Colombian terrorized the right flank and clanged the shot off the post that led to Schelloto’s goal.


On to Week 13! We should have an interesting read up on the Best XI of the first 10 games of the season sometime soon. The World Cup break did us in for a while. Better late than never though.


Week 11, Best XI

Week 10, Best XI

Week 9, Best XI

Week 8, Best XI

Week 7, Best XI

Week 6, Best XI

Week 5, Best XI

Week 4, Best XI

Week 3, Best XI

Week 2, Best XI

Week 1, Best XI

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