LAFC, in conjunction with Major League Soccer, revealed today the 2019 MLS Best XI, recognizing the league’s top players at each position as determined by media, MLS players and MLS club technical staff. LAFC led all teams with three players named to the Best XI: defender Walker Zimmerman, midfielder Eduard Atuesta, and forward Carlos Vela.
2019 MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper: Vito Mannone (Minnesota United FC)
Defenders: Ike Opara (Minnesota United FC), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Walker Zimmerman (Los Angeles Football Club)
Midfielders: Eduard Atuesta (Los Angeles Football Club), Carles Gil (New England Revolution), Maxi Moralez (New York City FC), Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto FC)
Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club)
Atuesta, 22, experienced a breakout season in his second year in Major League Soccer. He appeared in 30 regular season matches, tallying three goals and 11 assists for the Club, and finished among the top 15 contributors in MLS in 2019. The central midfielder also earned his first call to represent the Colombia U-23 National Team in August. This marks Atuesta’s first MLS Best XI selection.
Vela led LAFC to a record-breaking season, both collectively and individually. Vela was the 2019 MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi when he set an MLS single-season record with 34 goals, to go along with 15 assists, as that combined total of goals and assists (49) is also a league record. He fueled LAFC to an MLS single-season record 72 points, a league-tying, single-season record of 85 goals as a Club, and the Club’s first Supporters’ Shield. Earlier this season, he was voted to captain the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target for the second consecutive season. This is Vela’s second MLS Best XI selection (2018, 2019).
Zimmerman started all 25 regular season matches he appeared in for the Club, anchoring an LAFC defense that allowed the fewest goals in MLS this season (37) and posted the best goal differential all-time (+48). The 26-year-old added one goal and one assist in 2,169 minutes logged. Zimmerman has also gained playing time for the U.S. Men’s National Team since debuting in 2017, becoming a regular this season with seven caps and featuring in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup. This is Zimmerman’s first MLS Best XI selection.
The 11 players hail from eight different countries and represent some of the league’s most exciting and accomplished talent comprised of international stars, breakout players and top newcomers to the league. Seven different MLS clubs are represented by this year’s Best XI squad, all of which qualified for the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.