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Los Angeles Galaxy Name 4 To MLS Best XI

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst INovember 16, 2010

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 31:  Head Coach Bruce Arena of the Los Angeles Galaxy looks on during the 1st leg playoff game against the Seattle Sounders FC at Qwest Field on October 31, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

In spite of their 3-0 season-ending defeat to FC Dallas, Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy saw four of its players named to the MLS Best XI this season.

The Galaxy are the first team to send four players to the Best XI since DC United in 2006, and are the fifth team in league history to achieve this honor.

Edson Buddle enjoyed the best season of his 10-year MLS career in 2010, scoring a career-high 17 goals, including nine of the Galaxy’s first 10 of the season. His 17 goals were the second most in MLS and came despite missing six weeks of action while with the U.S. National Team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Including the postseason, the Galaxy were 13-1-1 when Buddle scored a goal, while his seven game-winning goals were the second most in MLS and the most by a Galaxy player since 2005.

Buddle added two goals in the Galaxy’s Western Conference Semifinal Series win over Seattle, giving him a total of 19 in all competitions for the Galaxy in 2010.

One of seven players in league history with 90 career goals, Buddle showed the ability to score with both feet and his head this year, tallying 10 of his 19 goals with his right foot, six with his head and three with his left foot.

On October 3 against Chivas USA, Buddle became the first player in MLS history to score 40 or more goals with two different teams, also doing so with his first club, the Columbus Crew.

Landon Donovan has been selected to the MLS Best XI, earning his fourth appearance on the team. The MLS leader in assists with a career-high 16 this season, Donovan helped the Galaxy win the Supporters’ Shield for the first time in his time with the club.

In addition to his 16 assists, which were the second most in Galaxy history, LA's No. 10 added seven goals, meaning that he had a hand in 23 of the 44 goals that the club scored during the regular season, despite missing six weeks of action while with the U.S. National Team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The Galaxy were 11-2-2 this season when Donovan had a goal or an assist in a game this season, including a 3-0-0 record when he had more than one assist. On August 1 against Chicago, he became the sixth player in MLS history to score 100 career goals and then became the all-time leading scorer in Galaxy history with his 71st career regular season goal for the club on September 18.

Only three players have been named to the MLS Best XI more times: Chris Armas, Dwayne DeRosario and Robin Fraser, all with five appearances.

2009 Rookie of the Year Omar Gonzalez made his first appearance of the MLS Best XI. A finalist for the MLS Defender of the Year award and the recipient of the Galaxy’s Defender of the Year award this season, Gonzalez appeared in and started 28 of the Galaxy’s 30 games this season, helping the club record an 18-5-4 record in games that he played. His 28 games started and 2,520 minutes played were the most for any outfield player on the club, playing the full 90 minutes in each of those games.

The 22-year-old center back was also active at the attacking end of the field, scoring twice with headers off corner kicks, one of which came in second half stoppage time at Chicago on September 4, earning LA a 1-1 draw, snapping a two-game losing streak. Gonzalez added the game-winning goal in the Galaxy’s 2-1 win over Seattle in the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series on November 7, heading home a David Beckham freekick.

Finally, Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was named to the MLS Best XI. This is his first appearance. Ricketts set a club record with a 0.90 goals against average, allowing 26 goals in the 29 games that he played this season. He had a league-best record of 18-7-4 on the season and kept 11 clean sheets, tying a club record that was set in 1999, while the 26 goals allowed by the club were the second fewest in MLS this season and the fewest in club history.
A two-time MLS All-Star and the starting goalkeeper in this year’s All-Star Game against Manchester United, his 0.96 career goals against average is the lowest in MLS history amongst goalkeepers that have played 500 minutes or more. In the two seasons in which Ricketts has played for the Galaxy, the club has allowed 57 goals in 60 regular season games after surrendering 62 in 30 regular season games during the 2008 campaign.

The Jamaican international is the first Galaxy goalkeeper since Kevin Hartman in 1999 to be named to the MLS Best XI.

Others named to the MLS Best XI include Real Salt Lake defenders Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave, Toronto FC midfielder Dwayne De Rosario, FC Dallas midfielder David Ferreira, Philadelphia midfielder Sebastien Le Toux, Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales and San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski.


INS & OUTS

On the MLS Reserve Division

“It’s their strong view [of the MLS Technical Committee] that we need to have a Reserve Division that’s a central part of the player development ladder in the United States,” Major League Soccer commissioner Garber said on teleconference call earlier this week.

So what is this all about?

The Reserve Division season will consist of a 10-game regular season. Clubs will be split into three regions consisting of six teams each. Teams will play opponents in their region twice a season. Matches will take place the day after the first teams or during midweek.

The best eight teams in the Reserve Division regular season will advance to the playoffs, which will determine a champion.

In addition to participating in the Reserve Division, MLS reserve squads may also schedule matches against other teams, including NASL or USL-Pro clubs.

Eligibility rules will also be strict as to which players can participate in these matches.

“These matches can only have players who are on the club’s roster or are on trial with the club or are members of the club’s academy,” Garber said.

MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski and MLS Cup finalists Jeff Larentowicz and Omar Cummings of the Colorado Rapids are products of the previous incarnation of the Reserve Division from 2005 to 2008.

“Their paths to success illustrate the value of this initiative," Garber said.

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