Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
MLS Positional Rankings: Pontius is No. 1 among left mids
by Ridge Mahoney, November 28th, 2012 1:31PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

By Ridge Mahoney

In the world player market, left-sided players are second in demand only to goalscorers, and whether they deploy them as wingers or floaters, teams with strong players on this flank tend to do well in MLS.

There have been outstanding left-footed midfielders in the 17-year history of MLS yet not all of them have worked mostly up the flank.

Eddie Lewis could swing in serves with the best of them, but a lefty playmaker like Marco Etcheverry couldn’t be confined to one side or the other. There’s also the concept of a midfielder cutting inside from the left to shoot or cross with his right foot, which is the choice several teams make if no left-footed option is enticing enough.

With the classification of lefty Brad Davis as an attacking midfielder, and the understanding many of them were moved around in 2012, here are the rankings for the players most influential on that side:

TOP LEFT MIDFIELDERS (SA 2012 RANKINGS)
1. Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
2. Jamie Castrillon (Colorado)
3. Marco Pappa (Chicago)
4. Brad Evans (Seattle)
5. Mike Magee (Los Angeles)
6. Joel Lindpere (New York)
7. Will Johnson (Real Salt Lake)
8. Lee Nguyen (New England)
9. Darlington Nagbe (Portland)
10. Brek Shea (FC Dallas)

Pontius started the season on the right side and also occasionally played up top as other lineup changes and a late-season injury to Dwayne De Rosario required United to re-tool regularly. Pontius led D.C. with 12 goals, equally divided between home and road games, and contributed four assists to earn his first Best XI selection.

Castrillon (8 goals, 4 assists) took to the teachings of Coach Oscar Pareja better than many of his teammates as they fell well short of the playoffs. Pappa (6, 5) left for Holland in late August yet still finished second on the team in scoring. Evans (4, 4) again played myriad positions for the Sounders as they finally got past the first playoff round. Magee (5, 4) did his usual solid work during the regular season and hit a few timely postseason goals as well.

Lindpere (5, 5) didn’t match his numbers of 2011 (7, 7) yet his presence out wide opened up space for Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper to score a combined 33 goals.

Johnson (3, 3) played on both sides of the RSL midfield diamond and though his stronger games were as good as ever there weren’t as many of them. Nguyen (5, 2) brazenly went at opponents and livened up many Revs games with his touch and daring. Nagbe (6, 1) also played centrally as Portland juggled players and roles to mediocre effect. Shea (3, 2) labored through a terrible start and injuries and some disagreements with Coach Schellas Hyndman, then underwent offseason foot surgery, so 2013 can’t come soon enough.



1 comment
  1. James Madison
    commented on: November 28, 2012 at 9:36 p.m.
    How about Simon Dawkins of San Jose?


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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Record TV audience will be great, but it's still all about building base    
One of the big winners when the USA beat Germany, 2-0, in Tuesday's semifinals at the ...
Our MLS Best of June awards    
Who's leading the MVP race? Which goals stood out? Is there a favorite for Rookie of ...
USA rides talent -- more than luck -- into final    
You need luck to win a major tournament like the Women's World Cup -- and the ...
USA and Germany share hotel at Women's World Cup -- and much more     
The Women's World Cup participants have pointed out another way in which FIFA treats them differently ...
'Wow' moments are in short supply so far at Women's World Cup    
I am holding out hope for the 2015 Women's World Cup, but so far, I must ...
Five reasons I'm rooting for France    
France plays Germany Friday afternoon in the must-watch match of the Women's Women's World Cup. Most ...
A special moment for Robbie Rogers    
More than two years after signing with the Galaxy as the first openly gay player in ...
Women's World Cup: Ranking the final eight    
The Women's World Cup moves into the quarterfinals with two games on Friday and two more ...
Does Jill Ellis have the guts to bench Abby Wambach?    
I remember when Abby Wambach really impressed me. It was during the 2011 Women's World Cup, ...
Tony DiCicco: If USA's scoring comes around, it will not be stopped    
The last time the USA won a Women's World Cup came in 1999 when Tony DiCicco ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives