Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My Midseason MLS All-Star Team(s)

Lemme tell ya, there was no shortage of tooough picks in making both the first and the second teams here. I opted to put both units in a 4-3-3, simply because I think it spreads the glory around most evenly to all the specific positions, especially in midfield.  Let's quickly go through the positions for a little explanation.

GK: The easiest pick of the bunch, really.

RB: To be honest, this is not the strongest year for right backs. That said, without Sutter, Orlando City are below the red line. I could have easily gone with the solid Beitashour as second pick, but Polster has been exemplary in his eight starts at this position (which is just enough to make my cut-off). 

CB: Opara is a no-brainer, and I'd say Hedges ain't far behind him in that regard. Guys like Meira and Spector just missed out on the second pairing.

LB: Unlike right back, there are too many top-notch left-siders to choose from. I could have just as easily gone with Jones and Lawrence here. Still, Morrow earned extra brownie points for also cutting it on the left side of a three-man back line when Toronto FC was shorthanded.

DM: The Dax-man is a key reason for Chicago's turnaround, which put him a cut above other standouts like Ring, Alonso, Guzman and Sanchez.

CM: This was a very tough call. In the end, I couldn't deny Basti Fantasti's impact on the Fire, both on the field and in a mature leadership role. Acosta narrowly squeaked past a hot field that includes Medunjanin, Roldan and Alex.

AM: Going in, I really didn't expect to tab Almiron, but the added factor of his defensive work tipped it. Very honorable mentions go out to Nguyen, Vazquez and Dzemaili (who given a few more games, might have cracked the top two).

RW: Another easy choice, for both units.

F: Nikolic has more goals, but Villa does everything up front for NYCFC. His importance cannot be understated. I had the TFC duo of Altidore and Giovinco not terribly far behind those two.

LW: Like their fullback running mates, it's already been a banner year for left wingers. Piatti and Asad weren't far off my top two.

First team:

Second team:

- Greg Seltzer

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