SBN Soccer Awards: MLS Best XI

SB Nation Soccer kicks off our postseason MLS awards by naming our Best XI.

The SB Nation Soccer postseason award voters really liked midfielders, it seems. They liked them so much that six of the top seven vote-getters in our MLS Best XI were ostensibly midfielders. Rather than shoehorn our team into some kind of preconceived formation, we decided to go with their will. The result was a Best XI that would play like a 3-6-1.

Over the next few days, SBN Soccer will release our own MLS postseason award winners. This seemed like the logical place to start.

Defenders

Omar Gonzalez: Our voters didn't agree on much, but just about all them felt the big Los Angeles Galaxy center back deserved a spot on our team. His name appeared on 19 of 25 ballots, making him the player with the second most votes. It's not hard to see why, as he was the driving force behind the league's best defense.

Carlos Valdes: The Philadelphia Union center back was apparently very popular among our voters, as he also received strong support as Defender of the Year. Perhaps even more than goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, the Colombian deserves a healthy dose of credit for transforming the Union from one of the league's worst defenses into one of the better ones.

Todd Dunivant: Perennially underrated, the league seems to finally be paying attention to the Galaxy left back. He too received strong support as Defender of the Year and, like Gonzalez, could soon be in line for a national team call-up.

Midfielders

Dwayne De Rosario: Win the Golden Boot, get strong support for Best XI, as he appeared on 21 of 25 ballots. De Rosario would actually give our team a pretty solid withdrawn forward if we decided to play that way. His 16 goals and 12 assists were a major reason DC United stayed in the playoff hunt as long as they did.

Brad Davis: The league leader in assists (16), he was also one of our top contenders for MVP. The Dynamo midfielder was an absolute assassin on set pieces this year.

Brek Shea: Prior to a late-season swoon in which he finally started to show some of the wear and tear that comes with playing in three club competitions as well as receiving regular USMNT call-ups, he was the front-runner for MVP. Still his contributions to FC Dallas' fourth-best record were undeniable.

David Beckham: After years of leaving MLS fans frustrated, the Galaxy midfielder finally showed what he could do when he stays healthy. Undeniably the best set-piece taker in the league, he also showed a remarkable willingness to play defense and really was the leader the Galaxy had always wanted him to be.

Mauro Rosales: Oh what could have been. The Sounders midfielder's season was cut short by an injury, but not before he registered five goals and 13 assists. Our voters still thought he showed plenty, despite playing in just 26 matches.

Landon Donovan: Despite playing in just 23 games, the fewest he played since 2005, the Galaxy midfielder still posted solid, if unspectacular, numbers. His 12 goals and three assists were actually the fewest combined points he had scored since 2002, but he was instrumental in leading the Galaxy to one of the best seasons in MLS history.

Forward

Thierry Henry: At 34 years old, the New York Red Bulls forward showed he still has it after scoring 14 goals and registering four assists. He also showed that he's as passionate as ever -- maybe even too passionate -- after picking up three yellow cards and two red cards this year. He was the only forward to appear on more than 10 ballots (12).

Goalkeeper

Kasey Keller: Our voters clearly had a tough time with this one as nine different players appeared on ballots. Keller appeared on six, which narrowly beat out Nick Rimando (5) and Dan Kennedy (4). His third -- and final -- year in MLS turned out to be his best, as he was among the league leaders in almost every major goalkeeping category.

Be sure to follow this StoryStream to find out who SBN Soccer's editors picked as the best coach, rookie, newcomer and defender, as well as our MVP.

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