The MLS Best XI is adopting a bold 3-3-4 formation this year. Sebastian Giovinco, Victor Vazquez and Justin Morrow squeeze into the team of the year, giving Toronto FC more players in the lineup than any other team.
All three players have received accolades for their performances in 2017. Giovinco is a nominee for MVP, while Morrow placed second in the Defender of the Year voting and Vazquez fourth for the Newcomer of the Year prize.
Atlanta United, who were second only to Toronto in terms of goals scored during the regular season, have two selections in forward Josef Martinez and midfielder Miguel Almiron.
The league’s top defensive team, Sporting Kansas City, contributes two players at the back end of the pitch in goalkeeper Tim Melia and centre-back Ike Opara.
The lineup is rounded out by forwards Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire) and David Villa (New York City FC), midfielder and probable MVP Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) and defender Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps).
Like the rest of the MLS awards, the Best XI is voted on by club management, players and members of the media. They must choose a goalkeeper, three defenders, three midfielders and two forwards but then write in the final two players from any position, hence the heavily tilted nature of the final result.