Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
MLS Positional Rankings: Alonso tops holding midfielders
by Ridge Mahoney, November 27th, 2012 3:45PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

By Ridge Mahoney

Since it joined MLS in 2009, the Seattle midfield has been anchored by a Cuban defector who is one of the league's savviest players and toughest tacklers: Osvaldo Alonso.

Two of the mainstays at holding midfielder are again at the top of the 2012 list, but longtime veteran Shalrie Joseph, traded during the season from New England to Chivas USA, wasn’t able to crack the top 10 this year.

A holding mid may be primarily defensive, but this position has evolved in MLS to the point that some very good passers fill the job. Either as outlet options or through winning the ball themselves, what they do with the ball is just as important as how often they collect it. Screening the back line and pouncing on loose balls are critical elements of team defensive play, and these guys do that grunt work, too.

TOP HOLDING MIDFIELDERS (SA 2012 RANKINGS)
1. Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle)
2. Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)
3. Sam Cronin (San Jose)
4. Adam Moffat (Houston)
5. Logan Pause (Chicago)
6. Perry Kitchen (D.C. United)
7. Marcelo Sarvas (Los Angeles)
8. Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado)
9. Brian Carroll (Philadelphia)
10. Terry Dunfield (Vancouver)

Alonso isn’t quite as hot-tempered as he used to be, though his season ended with a red card handed out in the final seconds of Seattle’s last playoff game. He’s also cut down on his giveaways, which combined with his sharp tackling and intelligent use to the ball moves him to the top of the class.

Beckerman’s production (4 goals, 4 assists) was impressive but his foul count (57) was rather high and he was twice sent off. Cronin contributed six assists and played very steadily as the Quakes captured the Supporters’ Shield. Moffat, a midseason addition last year, again played a key role as Houston rolled to a second straight MLS Cup appearance. Pause knitted together a Fire team that underwent midseason changes and faltered late.

Kitchen, in his second season, took on a lot of responsibility for United and grew into one of its more reliable players. Sarvas struggled through some inconsistent stretches to play well for L.A. down the stretch. Deprived of regular partner Pablo Mastroeni (concussion), Larentowicz soldiered through a very tough season for the Rapids. Carroll has slipped a bit from his days in D.C. and Columbus yet still brings spirit and experience to a Union team in transition. Dunfield played a few different positions as the Whitecaps sorted out a difficult period at the end of the season.



2 comments
  1. j t
    commented on: November 27, 2012 at 7:47 p.m.
    Same fools that pick this must be the ones who have never given Brad Davis a legitimate shot with National Team. He has what we need to be successful; quick mind, good connector on the final pass, and quality restarts. We can't possess on the world stage, so our only hope is quick counter. The problem is our midfielders are only destroyers or runners and none can complete the attack, when the opportunity arises.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: November 28, 2012 at 7:36 p.m.
    J must be talking about efficacy and soccer IQ. May i suggest that a stat be kept on giveaways (a major weakness in MLS); since the TV commentators are mum on this issue while gabbing away.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Bruce Arena is a safe bet compared to the gamble U.S. Soccer took on Klinsmann    
It was an exciting and hopeful time, when U.S. Soccer hired Jurgen Klinsmann in the summer ...
Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. years    
More than five years with Jurgen Klinsmann in charge of the U.S. team ended Monday when ...
Tony DiCicco: Jill Ellis has USA on the right track despite Olympic setback    
Tony DiCicco remains the only coach who has guided the U.S. women to a World Cup ...
Klinsmann's promises of progress are not to be found    
The 4-0 blowout loss in Costa Rica Tuesday night is grounds for real concern, not just ...
Asleep at the wheel, an old U.S. habit    
First things first, the better team won on Friday night. Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio recalled ...
Americans' sporadic performance mars a great night for soccer    
A decade and a half of dominance crashed to earth Friday night in Columbus, where Mexico ...
Kinnear is anxious for 'awesome' encounter in Columbus    
Every time the USA plays Mexico those who have taken part in the rivalry think about ...
USL president Jake Edwards on Division II, expansion, MLS relationship and FC Cincinnati phenomenon    
Jake Edwards just completed his second season as the president of the USL. The league expanded ...
Big names laid big eggs in the MLS conference semifinals    
The byzantine MLS playoff schedule goes into hiatus at just the right time, allowing more time ...
Jermaine Jones will get USA audition in Sunday's Rapids-Galaxy playoff game    
After nearly four months on the shelf rehabbing a knee injury, midfielder Jermaine Jones has returned ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives