Breakout young stars, international icons named to MLS is Back Tournament Best XI presented by BODYARMOR
Four MLS clubs and eight countries represented in Best XI
NEW YORK (Thursday, August 13, 2020) – Major League Soccer today revealed the MLS is Back Tournament Best XI presented by BODYARMOR, recognizing the top players at each position during the historic competition. The 11 players named to the MLS is Back Tournament Best XI hail from eight different countries and represent some of the league’s most exciting and accomplished talents comprised of international icons and breakout young stars. Four different MLS clubs are represented on the Best XI with the champion Portland Timbers having four players, runners-up Orlando City SC and semifinalists Philadelphia Union each with three players, and the Los Angeles Football Club with one player.
MLS is Back Tournament Best XI presented by BODYARMOR
Goalkeeper:Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
Defenders: Larrys Mabiala (Portland Timbers), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), João Moutinho (Orlando City SC), Ruan (Orlando City SC)
Midfielders:Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Sebastián Blanco (Portland Timbers), Diego Chara (Portland Timbers)
Forwards: Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers), Nani (Orlando City SC), Diego Rossi (Los Angeles Football Club)
Sebastián Blanco, the MLS is Back Player of the Tournament presented by adidas, headlines a midfield trio in the Best XI after helping the Timbers to the tournament title. The Argentine registered five assists, tied for the most in the tournament, while his three goals were tied for sixth. Fellow Timber Diego Chara also makes the Best XI after anchoring Portland’s midfield, playing a full 90 minutes in each of the club’s seven matches. Rounding out the midfield is 19-year-old Philadelphia academy product and U.S. Men’s National Team breakout star Brenden Aaronson, who registered a team-high three assists, tied for seventh-most in the tournament.
International soccer icon Nani is among the three forwards in the Best XI after guiding Orlando to the MLS is Back Tournament Final presented by Wells Fargo behind four assists (tied for third-most) and three goals (tied for sixth-most) in tournament play. Joining the Best XI forwards is LAFC’s 22-year-old Diego Rossi, who captured the Golden Boot presented by Audi with seven goals scored and was named Young Player of the Tournament presented by AT&T 5G after leading all players with a combined 10 goals and assists. Timbers and U.S. Men’s National Team 23-year-old Jeremy Ebobisse rounds out the Best XI forwards after scoring four goals, tied for third most in the tournament.
Manning the Best XI defense is 21-year-old Philadelphia academy product and U.S. Men’s National Team defender Mark McKenzie, who anchored a Union backline that posted two clean sheets and allowed a mere five goals in six matches played. Both of Orlando’s starting fullbacks in 22-year-old João Moutinho and 25-year-old Ruan also made the Best XI. A former No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, Moutinho emerged as a breakout defensive force in the tournament while contributing a crucial assist and tournament saving goal in the Knockout Stage. Ruan, meanwhile, played all but six minutes for a backline that allowed seven goals in as many matches. Larrys Mabiala rounds out the Best XI defense after helping Portland to the title, scoring the first goal in the MLS is Back Tournament Final while also registering a game-winning assist in the Knockout Stage.
Philadelphia Union’s Andre Blake suits up between the posts on the Best XI. The Jamaica National Team captain led all goalkeepers with 32 saves and posting a tournament best 86.5 save percentage. Blake, a former No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and the 2016 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, was named winner of the MLS is Back Tournament Golden Glove presented by Allstate after leading the Union to the Semifinals.
The MLS is Back Tournament Best XI presented by BODYARMOR was determined by voting from media members who provide regular coverage of Major League Soccer.