Major League Soccer: A Proposed All-League First Team

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2013 All-MLS First Team

2013 All-MLS First Team
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer will crown its 2013 champion on Saturday as Sporting Kansas City hosts Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup Final. In the buildup to this match, the league has been announcing several different offseason awards including Defender of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player. One of the other honors that they announced was the Best XI of 2013 as voted on by the players, managers, technical directors and some of the media.

There has been debate on whether players deserved their spot or not, as is often the case when a list like that is revealed. There was some discussion about the lack of fullbacks on the squad, though there were some very qualified players which led me to decide to create my own All-Major League Soccer squads using the generic 4-4-2 formation.

I compiled a list of every player in the league with their statistics and then eliminated players based on the following pieces of criteria.

The first piece of criteria that I used was for the player to have at least 20 appearances on the season whether they were starts or substitutions. 20 appearances out of the 34 regular season comes out to just under 60 percent of the matches, which I feel gives a good amount of opportunity to see how well a player plays.

The second piece of criteria was for a player to have logged at least 1,000 minutes of play. This eliminated those “always off the bench” players who may have appeared in more than 20 games, but only logged between 15 and 30 minutes a match.

To determine what position each player would be designated, I went and looked over every starting lineup the player was involved in during the 2013 season. Whichever position that they started at the most was the position that they were allocated to.

So with all of that — here is my 2013 All-MLS First Team

The selections made for these teams were done solely by me and are my opinion.

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GK Donovan Ricketts

GK Donovan Ricketts
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Portland Timbers

Age: 36

Games Played: 32

Minutes Played: 2,880

Record (Wins-Draws-Losses): 13-14-5

Goals Against Average: 0.97

Shutouts: 14

Birthplace: Montego Bay, Jamaica

Highest Level of International Experience: 100 Caps for Jamaica

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RB Sheanon Williams

RB Sheanon Williams
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Philadelphia Union

Age: 23

Games Played: 32

Minutes Played: 2,867

Goals: 2

Assists: 8

Birthplace: Boston, MA

Highest Level of International Experience: 2 Caps for United States U-20

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CB Jose Goncalves

CB Jose Goncalves
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Club: New England Revolution

Age: 28

Games Played: 34

Minutes Played: 3,060

Goals: 2

Assists: 0

Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal

Highest Level of International Experience: 3 Caps for Portugal U-21

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CB Aurelien Collin

CB Aurelien Collin
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Sporting Kansas City

Age: 27

Games Played: 29

Minutes Played: 2,565

Goals: 3

Assists: 1

Birthplace: Enghien-les-Bains, France

Highest Level of International Experience: None

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LB Chris Klute

LB Chris Klute
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Colorado Rapids

Age: 23

Games Played: 31

Minutes Played: 2,696

Goals: 0

Assists: 7

Birthplace: Grand Prairie, TX

Highest Level of International Experience: 2 Caps for United States U-20

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RM Darlington Nagbe

RM Darlington Nagbe
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Portland Timbers

Age: 23

Games Played: 34

Minutes Played: 2,848

Goals: 9

Assists: 4

Birthplace: Monrovia, Liberia

Highest Level of International Experience: None

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CM Tim Cahill

CM Tim Cahill
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Club: New York Red Bulls

Age: 34

Games Played: 27

Minutes Played: 2,243

Goals: 11

Assists: 5

Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Highest Level of International Experience: 64 Caps for Australia

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CM Diego Valeri

CM Diego Valeri
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Portland Timbers

Age: 27

Games Played: 31

Minutes Played: 2,277

Goals: 10

Assists: 13

Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Highest Level of International Experience: 3 Caps for Argentina

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LM Diego Fagundez

LM Diego Fagundez
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Club: New England Revolution

Age: 18

Games Played: 31

Minutes Played: 2,427

Goals: 13

Assists: 7

Birthplace: Montevideo, Uruguay

Highest Level of International Experience: 2 Caps for Uruguay U-20

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FWD Mike Magee

FWD Mike Magee
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Chicago Fire

Age: 29

Games Played: 32

Minutes Played: 2,793

Goals: 21

Assists: 4

Birthplace: Chicago, IL

Highest Level of International Experience: 2 Caps for United States U-20

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FWD Robbie Keane

FWD Robbie Keane
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Los Angeles Galaxy

Age: 33

Games Played: 23

Minutes Played: 1,980

Goals: 16

Assists: 11

Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Highest Level of International Experience: 131 Caps for Republic of Ireland

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