[MLS] Soccer America's position-by-position rankings for the 2010 season continue as Ridge Mahoney rates the league's top right midfielders.
Occasionally players who shuffle between positions have to be pigeon-holed into one or another for the purposes of these rankings, and the 2010 poster boy for this dilemma is Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski. He played mostly up top for the first two-thirds of the season, then shifted to right mid for the balance of the season, though at times during the game he’d be moved up top. He’s been categorized as a forward for these rankings, but other players who toggled between this position and forward, such as Patrick Nyarko, are included among the right mids.
Soccer America's Top 10 MLS right midfielders for 2010
1. ATIBA HARRIS (FC DALLAS)
2. Patrick Nyarko (Chicago)
3. Dane Richards (New York)
4. Andy Williams (Real Salt Lake)
5. Eddie Gaven (Columbus)
6. Andy Najar (D.C. United)
7. Sanna Nyassi (Seattle)
8. Roger Torres (Philadelphia)
9. Sainey Nyassi (New England)
10. Arturo Alvarez (San Jose)
Atiba Harris ended the season playing up top, a tactical shift utilized by FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman. At right mid, his strength and stamina wears down opponents, and his modest numbers (four goals, two assists) belie his ability to draw defenders and open up space for the other attackers, notably David Ferreira and Jeff Cunningham.
Patrick Nyarko’s electrifying pace and increased savvy enabled him to finish among the league leaders with 10 assists. His nose for the net (one goal on 27 shots) needs improving. Dane Richards made more good decisions on the ball and used his pace more shrewdly than in past seasons; he finished with five goals and three assists. Andy Williams floats a bit in RSL’s diamond midfield and he managed to start all 30 games while scoring one goal and registering seven assists. Eddie Gaven played centrally as well as outside while scoring three goals and contributing five assists.
Andy Najar’s audacity and talent sometimes defy belief. He can be a really good one, and perhaps relatively soon. Sanna Nyassi flattened out in the playoffs after notching two goals and three assists, yet his threatening runs contributed significantly to Seattle’s strong second half of the season. Roger Torres, just 18, notched six assists in a very hit-or-miss season. Like his brother, Sainey Nyassi enjoyed some success and endured a few frustrating periods. Arturo Alvarez flip-flopped between the flanks for San Jose but aside from the occasional thrilling run and spectacular goal, remains more potential than production.