Sounders FC Unveils Results for Best XI Campaign
SEATTLE, WASH. - Sounders FC yesterday announced the results of its Best XI campaign, which names the all-time top Sounders lineup and bench from the team's MLS era, as voted on my fans, media and high-level club stakeholders. The Best XI vote is part of Sounders FC and Premera Blue Cross' "Celebrating 10 Years in MLS" initiative announced earlier this season, and is being publicly recognized at the club's home match this Sunday vs. Atlanta United FC (12:55 p.m. PT / ESPN, ESPN Deportes, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
Fan voting took place over a four-week period, with each position group - goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards - open for one week, beginning on May 15 with goalkeepers. The final Best XI was determined by a weighted vote, similar to the MLS All-Star and end-of-season league awards processes, with the fan vote counting for 25% of the total. The remaining 75% was determined by select media (25%), Alliance Council (25%) and high-level club stakeholders (25%) such as ownership, front office members and the club's technical staff. The positional breakdown of the Best XI includes one goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders and three forwards.
SOUNDERS FC ALL-TIME BEST XI
GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI (2014-PRESENT)
Sounders FC's all-time leader in every goalkeeping category, Frei joined the club via trade from Toronto FC on December 10, 2013, and has made 183 starts for the Rave Green. The 33-year-old ranks in the top 10 among goalkeepers in MLS history in games played (265), starts (265), minutes (23,735), wins (108), saves (875) and shutouts (72). Frei was named Sounders FC MVP for the first time in 2018 after setting a franchise record with 114 saves and posting a career high in goals against average (1.03). The Altstaetten, Switzerland native posted nine consecutive wins from July 21-September 15, 2018, the longest stretch in league history in the post-shootout era (since 2000). On June 13, 2018 at the Supporters' Shield-winning New York Red Bulls, Frei established a single-match club record with 11 saves. In the 2016 MLS Cup Final, Frei recorded seven saves to lead Sounders FC to its first MLS Cup title while garnering MLS Cup MVP honors.
DEFENDER CHAD MARSHALL (2014-2019)
Marshall came to Sounders FC via trade prior to the 2014 season after 10 years with Columbus Crew SC. In his five-plus seasons with Seattle, the reliable defender started 154 of his 156 career regular-season appearances (fourth in club history in both categories), recording 10 goals and six assists. Marshall helped the club to its first Supporters' Shield and fourth U.S. Open Cup title in 2014, earning MLS Defender of the Year and Best XI honors. He was part of Seattle's back-to-back MLS Cup appearances in 2016 and 2017, then finished runner-up for MLS Defender of the Year and earned his fourth Best XI selection in 2018.
DEFENDER ZACH SCOTT (2009-2016)
"Mr. Sounder" retired from professional soccer at the conclusion of Sounders FC's 2016 MLS Cup-winning campaign, closing the book on a distinguished 15-year career in Seattle at the USL and MLS levels. Scott made 352 total appearances in a Sounders uniform, including his last eight seasons in MLS, where he made 116 career regular-season appearances. The Haiku, Hawaii native won 12 trophies throughout his time in Seattle, including two USL league titles, four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups, the 2014 Supporters' Shield and 2016 MLS Cup, as well as four Cascadia Cup titles.
DEFENDER DEANDRE YEDLIN (2013-2014)
Signed as the club's first Homegrown Player prior to the 2013 campaign, Yedlin instantly won the starting job at right back and started 55 of 56 regular-season appearances over his two seasons in MLS, adding one goal and six assists, earning MLS All-Star selections both years. After playing for the U.S. Men's National Team at 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the Seattle native was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League following the 2014 season in which Sounders FC captured the Supporters' Shield and U.S. Open Cup. He currently plays for Newcastle United.
MIDFIELDER OSVALDO ALONSO (2009-2018)
Sounders FC's all-time leader in appearances, starts and minutes after signing with the club prior to its inaugural MLS season in 2009, Alonso helped Sounders FC to four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles (2009-2011, 2014), the 2014 Supporters' Shield and the 2016 MLS Cup championship. The San Cristobal, Cuba native is a five-time Sounders FC MVP (2010-2013, 2016), four-time MLS All-Star (2011-2014) and a 2012 MLS Best XI selection. His 339 appearances across all competitions are just 13 behind "Mr. Sounder" Zach Scott for the most in Sounders history dating back to 1974. He currently plays for Minnesota United FC.
MIDFIELDER BRAD EVANS (2009-2017)
The former captain ranks second in club history with 200 appearances, third with 179 starts, fifth with 27 assists and tied for seventh with 20 goals in MLS regular-season play. The Sounders FC original was selected in the 2008 MLS Expansion Draft after two seasons in Columbus and was a mainstay in the Seattle lineup until his departure following the 2017 campaign, logging time at every position on the field other than goalkeeper. A member of the squad for all of Seattle's major trophies, including four U.S. Open Cup trophies (2009-2011, 2014), the 2014 Supporters' Shield and 2016 MLS Cup, Evans retired from professional soccer following the 2018 season.
MIDFIELDER NICOLÁS LODEIRO (2016-PRESENT)
Lodeiro became Sounders FC's all-time leader in assists in just his third season in 2018, while also setting the club record for assists in a single season with 16. He joined the club as a Designated Player on July 27, 2016 and earned MLS Newcomer of the Year honors while helping to lead Sounders FC to its first MLS Cup title. The Uruguayan ranks second in team history with five postseason goals - just one behind Clint Dempsey - and fifth with 189 shots in 88 games played.
MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN (2015-PRESENT)
Seattle's 2015 First Round MLS SuperDraft selection out of the University of Washington, Roldan has played 137 games for Sounders FC in five seasons. In 2018, he became the first field player in club history to start all 34 MLS regular-season matches and record 3,000 minutes in a single season. As a 23-year-old in 2017, Roldan was named Sounders FC MVP after a breakout season in which he solidified his place as one of the top players at his position in MLS.
FORWARD CLINT DEMPSEY (2013-2018)
After joining Sounders FC in August of 2013, Dempsey started 100 of 115 appearances in regular-season play and scored 47 goals - tied with Fredy Montero for the club record - to go along with 28 assists (his 57 goals across all competitions trail only Montero's 60). He partnered with Obafemi Martins up front to lead Sounders FC to the 2014 Supporters' Shield with a league-record 20 wins, as well as the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title. He is also the only Sounders FC player to record multiple hat-tricks, including one against Portland, who he scored nine total goals in 12 career regular-season appearances against. He is also Sounders FC's all-time leader with six goals in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
FORWARD OBAFEMI MARTINS (2013-2015)
One of the most explosive, productive forwards to ever wear Rave Green, Martins started 66 of 72 regular-season appearances for Sounders FC after signing as a Designated Player in March of 2013 from Spanish side Levante. The Nigerian forward scored 40 goals and recorded 23 assists in just three seasons - leading the club in scoring each year. In Seattle's 2014 Supporters' Shield and U.S. Open Cup-winning campaign, Martins scored a club-record 17 goals and added 15 assists (tied for second highest total in club history) en route to a runner-up finish for 2014 MLS MVP. Martins scored some of the flashiest goals in club history, most notably an audacious volley against the San Jose Earthquakes in May of 2014 that won MLS Goal of the Year.
FORWARD FREDY MONTERO (2009-2012)
Montero is tied with Clint Dempsey for the club's all-time lead in goals scored with 47, and is tied for second in team history with 34 assists. An original Sounder, Montero played 119 games in the Rave Green across four seasons. The Barranquilla, Colombia native owns Sounders FC's team record for shots in a single season with 126 in 2012. He also ranks second in club history in shots in a career with 411, behind only Clint Dempsey's 426.
BENCH: Kasey Keller (GK), Brad Smith (DF), Román Torres (DF), Leo Gonzalez (DF), Mauro Rosales (MF), Steve Zakuani (MF), Raúl Ruidíaz (FW)
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