November 26, 2012
Donovan, Keane earn MLS honor
NEW YORK – LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan and forward Robbie Keane were each named to the MLS 2012 Best XI this afternoon. The Best XI recognizes the League’s top 11 players at each position on the field. The Galaxy, who finished in fourth place in the Western Conference with a 16-12-6 record for 54 points before knocking off Vancouver, San Jose and Seattle to reach MLS Cup 2012, have now had two or more players on the Best XI in each of the last three years and in eight of the 17 years of Major League Soccer.
This is fifth straight year that Donovan has been named to the Best XI after scoring nine goals and adding 14 assists, including a co-MLS-best five game-winning assists, in 26 regular season games. The Galaxy were 11-1-1 on the season when Donovan had a goal or an assist and he has carried that form into the postseason, scoring the game-winning goal in the Knockout Round win over Vancouver before adding three assists in series wins over San Jose and Seattle. This was the sixth time in Donovan’s 12-year MLS career that he has been named to the Best XI, equaling the MLS record for career appearances in the Best XI.
Playing in his first full season with the Galaxy, this is Keane’s first appearance on the MLS Best XI. The 32-year-old scored a team-best 16 goals while adding nine assists in 28 regular season games before adding an MLS Cup Playoffs-high five goals and an assist in five postseason games. Keane was at his best after returning from the European Championships in late June, helping the Galaxy climb the standings and cement their spot in the playoffs by tallying a goal or an assist in 15 or the 19 games that the Galaxy played in that time. LA were 14-3-2 in the regular season when Keane had a goal or an assist, including a 4-0-0 mark when he scored multiple goals, something he has done twice more in the postseason.
This year MLS players, club leadership, and media members voted one goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders and three forwards to the Best XI, listed below in alphabetical order within each position:
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)