MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced the 2012 Best XI during his annual State of the League teleconference call on Monday, recognizing the League’s top 11 players at each position on the field.
This year MLS players, club leadership and media members voted one goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders and three forwards to the Best XI.
Goalkeeper – Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
Defender – Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes)
Defender – Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
Defender – Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielder – Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielder – Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Midfielder – Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
Midfielder – Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forward – Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
Forward – Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Forward – Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
After finishing the regular season atop the Eastern Conference, Sporting Kansas City leads all teams with four players named to the Best XI. The San Jose Earthquakes, the 2012 Supporters’ Shield winners for best regular season record, and the LA Galaxy, the reigning MLS Cup Champions, each have two players named, while three other teams each have one player.
Three players have previously been named to the MLS Best XI, including Donovan, Henry and Wondolowski. Eight players are first-time Best XI: Alonso, Bernardez, Besler, Collin, Keane, Nielsen, Pontius and Zusi.
Donovan has been named to his fifth consecutive Best XI selection and sixth overall, tying Dwayne De Rosario for the most of any player in MLS history.
Six members of the Best XI were named to the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game First XI and eight were named finalists for other 2012 postseason awards.