Two FC Dallas players have been named in the 2016 Major League Soccer (MLS) Best XI which was released by MLS on Monday afternoon. Matt Hedges and Mauro Diaz were the two players named to the squad with Hedges marking his second straight time in the squad, the second Dallas player to do so.
Matt Hedges was named in the MLS Best XI defense, consisting of the three best defensive players in the league, all three in the Western Conference. Hedges is joined by Colorado’s Axel Sjoberg and LA Galaxy’s Jelle Van Damme.
Hedges is named to the squad in no shock having also been awarded the 2016 MLS Defender of the Year award. He was a vital rock in the defense of the team which won their first ever Supporters Shield and won the US Open Cup.
Under Hedges guidance the FC Dallas back line kept teams out on their way to the Supporters Shield and their second straight 60-plus point season. Hedges played over 2000 minutes again, a big part of the reason FC Dallas has managed to be so strong defensively. Hedges celebrated his award by signing a new contract through to 2020 on Tuesday afternoon.
Diaz is surrounded by three other creative players in the MLS Best XI midfield, a diverse collection of MLS stars. Giovani dos Santos of LA Galaxy, Sacha Kljestan of New York Red Bulls and Ignacio Piatti of Motreal Impact join Diaz in the midfield four.
It was another strong season from Diaz as he was able to come third in the league assists charts with 13, a crucial part in the Dallas trophy winning side. Diaz was strong throughout the season, controlling things for FC Dallas.
Diaz’s 16 assists was his career best, the second straight season that Diaz managed to hit a career best for assists in a row. Diaz is one of only five players in the league to have managed double-digit assists for the past two years.
2016 MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
Defenders: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids), Jelle Van Damme (LA Galaxy)
Midfielders: Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact)
Forwards: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), David Villa (New York City FC), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)