MLS Aces Staff All Star Team
So starting a few weeks ago I sent out text messages and DMs to the guys here who contribute at MLSAces. If you don’t know we have five people; me (@MLSAces), Jason Vevang (@JasonVevang), Uncle Sam Nelson (@Uncle_SamXIII), Vaughn Pollman (@vipollman), and Dave Brouillette (@Sounders253). I had all the guys vote on their best XI players from the first half of the MLS season. After reading each of their best XI’s, with some explanations, and different formations, I have put together the MLS Aces All Stars for the 2019 season:
GK: Bill Hamid - D.C. United
The argument for Hamid: After 17 weeks of MLS games Hamid is tied with Guzan with a league leading 8 shutouts. Though Guzan has 2 less games played than Hamid, Hamid has racked up 40 more saves in that time and have a 11% higher save percentage. D.C. United is in the top 5 best defenses in MLS and this has to be due in part to HUGE games from Hamid.
CB: Walker Zimmerman - LAFC
The argument for Zimmerman: I mean… this one isn’t too much of an argument. Zimmerman plays on the best defense in MLS and has played in 15 of their 17 games. The only reason he has missed two games for LAFC is due to international duty where he has been a 1st choice center-back for Burhalter’s USMNT squad. Just to throw it in… Zimmerman also has a goal added to his resume on the season.
CB: Miles Robinson - Atlanta United
The argument for Robinson: He has truly exploded onto the scene as a top young player in MLS this season. Robinson is a starting center-back on a top two defense in MLS this season and has played in all 17 games for the club. Miles Robinson is starting to truly create a name for himself in MLS circles and being a starter on a top defense in the league helps that.
CB: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez - Atlanta United
The argument for LGP: Pirez may have a similar argument as Robinson but his skill set is so different. Pirez has started all 17 games for Atlanta United this season and has an assist to his name as well. But Pirez does it differently than his center-back partner Robinson. Where Robinson is the “brick wall” of the backline, Pirez is the creative one. Pirez will play with the ball at his feet, he’ll push up the field, and make plays happen from the backline.
CDM: Mark Anthony Kaye - LAFC
The argument for Kaye: The former USL standout is now an All Star in MLS. Besides being a top defensive midfielder that is playing in front of the best back-line in MLS, Kaye has added to the attack as well. MAK has added 3 goals and 5 assists to his total this season. He is such a versatile talent that really allows others on LAFC to shine.
CM: Ezequiel Barco - Atlanta United
The argument for Barco: The former most expensive player in MLS has blossomed this season. The 20 year old has stopped sliding into teammate’s girlfriend’s DMs and has started to slide in more goals. Barco has only played in 8 games this season… but between his time with the Argentina U-20’s and some injured weeks, he really has shined. Barco has 4 goals and an assist on the year and before the recent explosion of Josef and Pity, was the best player on this team for the majority of the year.
CM: Maxi Moralez - New York City FC
The argument for Moralez: Is there any player in MLS more overlooked than Maxi? And no… that wasn’t a short joke (lol). But despite his 5’3 stature, Morales has been the biggest player on the field for a HOT NYCFC squad. The 32 year old has 13 games played on the year with 5 goals in total. He also has the league lead in assists with 11 assists on the year.
CM: Alejandro Pozuelo - Toronto FC
The argument for Pozuelo: TFC just keep bringing in these unknown superstars every few years. Pozuelo was brought on to replace Giovinco and he has been a fantastic player for them. He has been able to play in 15 games for TFC so far this season, scoring 7 goals, and recording 8 assists. He has been able to play a key part in keeping TFC high in the Eastern Conference and someone who I feel can be an even bigger part in a playoff run.
CF: Wayne Rooney - D.C. United
The argument for Rooney: Rooney has continued his hot start to being in MLS with miracle plays and key off the field leadership in 2019. Rooney has played in 18 games for D.C. so far this season, scoring 10 goals, and recording 5 assists. Rooney is by far the best player on the field whenever D.C. step on the field, and always threatening to make a big play happen.
ST: Carlos Vela - LAFC
The argument for Vela: I think the so far consensus vote for MLS MVP is also the only other person besides Walker Zimmerman to get 5/5 MLS Aces votes. Besides being the front runner for MLS MVP, Vela is leading the way in the Golden Boot race with 16 goals in 17 games played. Vela has been an absolute force scoring and also in assisting goals with a total of 10 on the season. If he can stay hot it is a shoe in for LAFC to win the Supporter’s Shield.
ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic - LA Galaxy
The argument for Zlatan: MLZ, Major League Zlatan is a real thing. He is one of a handful of guys in MLS that when the ball is at his feet, he is a threat to score. Zlatan right now sits in 2nd in MLS with 11 goals scored on the season. He has also added on 3 assists to his 2019 campaign. Though he brings his antics and his attitude, Zlatan is a deserving All Star and one of the best to do it in MLS… oh sorry, MLZ.