Major League Soccer announced its Best XI for 2012 Monday afternoon. Hard to disagree with most of the list, as Richard Farley mentioned previously on the blog, but I do see one name perhaps conspicuous by his absence:
Jay DeMerit of the Vancouver Whitecaps:
Most Whitecaps matches I watched, the veteran, former U.S. international was somewhere between “composed and steady” and “just this side of heroic.” Considering the players around him (mostly in the good-but-not-great category), I thought DeMerit deserved a Best XI spot.
Who I would subtract from Monday’s official list? Sporting Kansas City did have a great defense, leading MLS in goals allowed with 27. But three men from the rear guard on the Best XI (two defenders and a goalkeeper)? There must be some mathematical formula that demonstrates how one Best XI reduces the need for others around them to be of Best XI quality. Hence: Aurélien Collin was not on my list.
Let’s put it this way: I know Collins is younger, but if I were starting an MLS team and offered one of these two, it’s a no-brainer. Consider the leadership and the volatility factor – DeMerit doesn’t have much of it, Collin is chock full of it – it’s no contest in my book.