Seattle Sounders FC forward Obafemi Martins and central defender Chad Marshall were named to Major League Soccer’s Best XI team Tuesday.
Sigi Schmid was runner-up for the league’s coach of the year award, and goalkeeper Stefan Frei was third in comeback player voting as the league continued doling out its postseason honors.
Ben Olsen won the coaching award after leading D.C. Untied on a worst-to-first journey that saw them finish atop the Eastern Conference regular-season standings with a 17-9-8 record. United had finished last in the East the previous season — also under Olsen — with a 3-24-7 record.
Olsen was the top choice of all three voting blocs: MLS clubs, players and media. Schmid, a two-time coach of the year selection, finished second, followed by Gregg Berhalter of Columbus and Oscar Pareja of FC Dallas.
Frei finished third for comeback player despite receiving the most votes from clubs and media. However, the players’ votes were enough to give the award to forward Rodney Wallace of Portland, with forward Charlie Davies of New England as the runner-up.
The selection of Marshall and Martins to the Best XI was not surprising as Marshall had already been named defender of the year and Martins is among three finalists for the league MVP award, which will be announced Wednesday.
Martins set a Sounders record and was fifth in the league with 17 goals and tied a club record and was tied for fifth in the league with 13 assists. Seattle went 12-0-0 in games in which he scored a goal.
Here is the full Best XI roster: goalkeeper Bill Hamid (D.C.), defenders Marshall, Bobby Boswell (D.C.) and Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles); midfielders Lee Nguyen (New England), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Diego Valeri (Portland) and Thierry Henry (New York); and forward Robbie Keane (Los Angeles), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York) and Martins.
The Best XI team was announced as part of commissioner Don Garber’s annual State of the League event.
Garber also said:
Garber also cited Seattle right back DeAndre Yedlin as an example of the league’s homegrown talent and forward Clint Dempsey as a star player who returned from Europe while still in his prime because “he wanted to make MLS a league of choice.”