When looking back on the 2013 season, we will remember it as the year some of the league’s best players made moves to unfamiliar surroundings and flourished with new teams. It was also a good year for some of the league’s most high-profile players.
The Goal USA MLS Best XI for 2013 features designated players such as Tim Cahill and Robbie Keane, as well as new faces in the league like Diego Valeri and Jose Goncalves.
Cahill followed up a forgettable first season with the New York Red Bulls by putting together a year that pushed him into the MVP conversation. Robbie Keane played his way to the front of that MVP line with his dream regular season with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
In terms of faces in new places, Will Johnson and Jamison Olave led the exodus from Real Salt Lake as the team made wholesale changes to its roster. All Johnson and Olave did was help lead their respective teams to regular season conference titles and, in Olave’s case, a Supporters' Shield.
Some of the league’s new talent made the biggest splashes, with Goncalves playing well enough in the heart of New England’s defense to earn Goal USA’s MLS Defender of the Year honors, while Valeri spearheaded Portland’s attack on his way to Goal USA Newcomer of the Year.
Here is a closer look at the Goal USA MLS Best XI, as selected via voting by the Goal USA staff: