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Soccer MLS

Major League Soccer: A Proposed All-League Third Team

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2013 All-MLS Third Team

2013 All-MLS Third Team
Rick Osentoski-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 Third Team

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

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GK Nick Rimando

GK Nick Rimando
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Real Salt Lake

Age: 34

Games Played: 27

Minutes Played: 2,430

Record (Wins-Draws-Losses): 14-6-7

Goals Against Average: 1.04

Shutouts: 9

Birthplace: Montclair, CA

Highest Level of International Experience: 12 Caps for United States

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RB Kofi Sarkodie

RB Kofi Sarkodie
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Houston Dynamo

Age: 22

Games Played: 33

Minutes Played: 2,948

Goals: 0

Assists: 4

Birthplace: Huber Heights, OH

Highest Level of International Experience: 3 Caps for United States U-23

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CB Drew Moor

CB Drew Moor
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Colorado Rapids

Age: 29

Games Played: 32

Minutes Played: 2,793

Goals: 3

Assists: 0

Birthplace: Dallas, TX

Highest Level of International Experience: 5 Caps for United States

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CB Amobi Okugo

CB Amobi Okugo
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Philadelphia Union

Age: 22

Games Played: 32

Minutes Played: 2,879

Goals: 3

Assists: 3

Birthplace: Hayward, CA

Highest Level of International Experience: 4 Caps for United States U-23

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LB Chris Tierney

LB Chris Tierney
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Club: New England Revolution

Age: 27

Games Played: 29

Minutes Played: 2,352

Goals: 1

Assists: 5

Birthplace: Wellesley, MA

Highest Level of International Experience: None

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RM Sebastien Le Toux

RM Sebastien Le Toux
John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Philadelphia Union

Age: 29

Games Played: 32

Minutes Played: 2,222

Goals: 3

Assists: 12

Birthplace: Mont-Saint-Aignan, France

Highest Level of International Experience: None

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CM Federico Higuain

CM Federico Higuain
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Columbus Crew

Age: 29

Games Played: 29

Minutes Played: 2,592

Goals: 11

Assists: 9

Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Highest Level of International Experience: None

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CM Javier Morales

CM Javier Morales
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Real Salt Lake

Age: 33

Games Played: 28

Minutes Played: 2,281

Goals: 10

Assists: 13

Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Highest Level of International Experience: None

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LM Brad Davis

LM Brad Davis
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Houston Dynamo

Age: 32

Games Played: 26

Minutes Played: 2,204

Goals: 4

Assists: 9

Birthplace: Saint Charles, MO

Highest Level of International Experience: 12 Caps for United States

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FWD Dominic Oduro

FWD Dominic Oduro
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Club: Columbus Crew

Age: 28

Games Played: 34

Minutes Played: 2,854

Goals: 13

Assists: 4

Birthplace: Accra, Ghana

Highest Level of International Experience: 1 Cap for Ghana

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FWD Chris Wondolowski

FWD Chris Wondolowski
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Club: San Jose Earthquakes

Age: 30

Games Played: 29

Minutes Played: 2,610

Goals: 11

Assists: 3

Birthplace: Danville, CA

Highest Level of International Experience: 17 Caps for United States