Could This MLS Starting XI Compete In Europe?
September 15, 2016
We all know that an MLS team would get slaughtered in any of Europe’s top leagues. But what if you made a super team, comprised of the best players in the league? How would they fare?
I’m not talking about the MLS All-Star game, which is a glorified scrimmage against a weary European team’s reserves. I’m talking about the best 11 players in MLS competing in a real match against middling club in a top 4 league, like a Stoke City or a Cagliari.
Do they have a chance?
Tim Howard – GK
There's power in that big beard of his. Howard may have had a down year in the Premier League last year, but we all know what he's capable of.
Ashley Cole – LB
Ashley Cole instantly became the best left-back in MLS when he joined from Roma in early 2016.
Jelle Van Damme – CB
Jelle Van Damme is the archetype for a center-back. Does he look like a man you want to upset?
Matt Besler – CB
Matt Besler has consistently been one of the best center-backs in MLS. He's solidified his starting spot next to Geoff Cameron on the UMSNT; no easy feat from Klinsmann's least favorite league, MLS.
Steve Birnbaum – RB
If Steve Birnbaum had his druthers, he'd be a center-back over an outside-back but MLS is short on quality right backs, so you're playing on the outside, Steve.
Ozzie Alonso – CDM
Ozzie would have gotten looks with the USMNT if US-Cuba relations had warmed up a few years earlier. He's been a stalwart in midfield since joining the Sounders in 2008, a year after he defected from Cuba.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Giovani dos Santos – LM
We're in a Giovani dos Santos renaissance right now. He's been scoring bangers right and left for the Galaxy this year.
Darlington Nagbe – RM
Darlington Nagbe is one of the more slept on players in MLS. He's a complete midfielder; dangerous on the ball and poised without it.
Nico Lodeiro – CAM
Nico Lodeiro set MLS on fire when he arrived from Boca Juniors in July. He might just be the best player in the league.
Sebastian Giovinco – F
You won't find a craftier player than Sebastian Giovinco. The reigning MLS MVP could return to Europe at the drop of a hat if he wanted to.
Clint Dempsey – F
Wonky heartbeat notwithstanding, Clint Dempsey hasn't missed a step as he enters the twilight of his career. He's still one of the most dangerous Americans to ever take the pitch.