Ibrahimovic, Almiron and the Goal MLS Best XI

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The LA Galaxy and Atlanta United stars headline Goal's picks for Major League Soccer's team of the season for 2018

  1. Vaughn Ridley

    Stefan Frei | GK | Seattle Sounders

    The Seattle Sounders had an up and down year, finishing with a strong second half, but one of the few constants was Frei, who was key to helping the club surrender the second-fewest goals in MLS. The 32-year-old's 1.03 goals-against average was second in the league to New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles. 
  2. Kemar Lawrence | LB | New York Red Bulls

    The Jamacian speedster enjoyed a career year, emerging as a lock-down defender at the left back position while continuing to be a threat in the attack. His importance to the Red Bulls' league-best defense was clear after his absence from the Red Bulls' Eastern Conference finals loss to Atlanta United.
  3. Aaron Long | CB | New York Red Bulls

    The MLS Defender of the Year was a steady and reliable force at the heart of the league's best defense. His passing out of the back was key to New York's success and he was often asked to shut down the opposing team's top threat. The 26-year-old also emerged as an attacking threat on set pieces, finishing with three goals and two assists.
  4. Michael Parkhurst | CB | Atlanta United

    The highest scoring team in the league gave up just 44 goals, fourth best in MLS, with the veteran defender a big part of their success. His reading of the game was crucial for a side that often left itself open to counterattacks, with his passing out of the back helping to spark the league's best attack. 
  5. Graham Zusi | RB | Sporting Kansas City

    The move to right back in 2017 has worked out well for the former winger and for his club. Now firmly established as a veteran defender on one of the best defensive teams in MLS, Zusi still managed to provide two goals and seven assists on the year. 
  6. Diego Chara | MF | Portland Timbers

    One of the hardest-working midfielders in MLS, Chara had another strong season in 2018 despite being without long-time midfield partner Darlington Nagbe, who was traded in the off-season. The 32-year-old was instrumental in helping the Timbers enjoy a successful transition under first-year coach Giovanni Savarese.
  7. Jayne Kamin-Oncea

    Carlos Vela | MF | Los Angeles FC

    Brought in as LAFC's first designated player, Vela proved to be worth the investment, driving the expansion club's high-flying attack. The Mexico international led the expansion outfit in both goal (14) and assists (13) and helped the club to an MLS playoff spot in its first year of existence. 
  8. Elsa

    Miguel Almiron | MF | Atlanta United

    While Josef Martinez won league MVP honors, a strong case can be made for Almiron having been Atlanta United's most important player. The Paraguayan playmaker's speed, vision and ability to take on defenders made things easier for his teammates and helped him produce 12 goals and 14 assists.
  9. Ignacio Piatti | MF | Montreal Impact

    Playing on a Montreal team that he was often forced to carry through mediocre play, Piatti still terrorized opposing defenses, amassing 16 goals and 13 assists for a club that had the fourth-worst scoring record in the league. 
  10. Josef Martinez | FW | Atlanta United

    The Venezuelan striker's second season in MLS exceeded all expectations, as he shattered the long-standing MLS single-season goals record on his way to an MVP campaign. Martinez finished with a whopping 31 goals to lead Atlanta United's league-best attack.
  11. Jonathan Daniel

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic | FW | LA Galaxy

    No player made a more impressive MLS debut in 2018 than Ibrahimovic, who scored two goals in his first LA Galaxy match, including the Goal of the Year winner. He showed no ill effects from the knee surgery that kept him out for much of 2017, with the Swedish star scoring 22 goals and delivering 10 assists, making him the only player in MLS to reach the 20 and 10 mark.
  12. Goal's MLS Team of the Season

    So, there's our selection. What are your thoughts? Anyone who doesn't deserve to be in there? Any glaring omissions? Let us know in the comments section!