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: Pontius is No. 1 among left mids
by Ridge Mahoney, November 28th, 2012 1:31PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

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
Random thoughts as the MLS season draws near    
The 2017 MLS season starts next Friday, March 3, more than a month earlier than the ...
Walker Zimmerman joins the U.S. centerback pool with solid performance    
Two FC Dallas centerbacks were summoned to the first U.S, camp of 2017 and after Matt ...
Rare USA golazo inspires some hope    
One swallow doesn't make a summer, but the USA delivered something impressive with its goal in ...
Greg Garza, soccer wanderer, finds place to start anew, again    
A long voyage to several continents has led U.S. international Greg Garza to the MLS startup ...
With first Arena game out of the way, U.S. players can re-focus on task at hand    
The message going forward for the U.S, team after it opened 2017 by tying Serbia 0-0 ...
MLS expansion teams address their needs directly    
The first SuperDraft of the expansion teams United is in the books. Minnesota went for a ...
Family team effort helps Abu Danladi rise to MLS No. 1 pick    
Abu Danladi's mother was unable to come from Ghana to join him in Los Angeles and ...
MLS 2017: How Eastern Conference teams look on the eve of preseason    
The New York teams finished one-two in the regular season, but the conference's 2015 MLS Cup ...
MLS 2017: How Western Conference teams look on the eve of the SuperDraft    
No more Robbie Keane or Bruce Arena in L.A., a coaching change in Houston, and a ...
USA's January Camp: It's all about the here and now    
When Bruce Arena accepted the job as U.S. national team coach for a second time in ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives