Toronto FC playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo has been named to Major League Soccer's Best XI for the second straight year.
The 29-year-old Spaniard is the only player from a Canadian team to make the all-star squad as determined in a vote by media, MLS players and clubs' technical staff.
Pozuelo, a finalist for the Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Award, tied for the MLS lead in assists with 10 this season while finishing tied for eighth in the Golden Boot race with nine goals.
The lone Toronto player to start all 23 regular-season games, Pozuelo led the league in combined goals and assists (18), chances created (70) and game-winning goals (5).
Pozuelo is the fifth player in TFC history to make the Best XI, joining Dwayne De Rosario (2009, 2010), Sebastian Giovinco (2015, 2016, 2017), Justin Morrow (2017) and Victor Vazquez (2017).
The attacking midfielder/forward finished his MLS debut season in 2019 with 12 goals and 12 assists.
The 11 players honoured this year come from seven different clubs and seven countries. And they include all five MVP finalists: Pozuelo, Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake, Seattle midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro and forward Jordan Morris and LAFC forward Diego Rossi.
Blake was recently named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. The Best XI also includes Nashville centre back Walker Zimmerman, recently chosen MLS Defender of the Year.
Eight of the players named to the Best XI are first-time selections, with Blake and Zimmerman joining Pozuelo in making their second appearances. Among the seven countries represented, four are from the U.S., two from Uruguay, with one each from Colombia, Ghana, Jamaica, Peru and Spain.
For the first time in league history, three homegrown players have been honoured: Philadelphia's Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie and Seattle's Morris (Seattle Sounders FC) all named to the team.
At age 20 years 29 days, Aaronson is the youngest player ever selected to a Best XI.
League-leading Philadelphia leads all teams with three selections.
MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union).
Defenders: Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew), Walker Zimmerman (Los Angeles FC).
Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Diego Chara (Portland Timbers), Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders), Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto FC).
Forwards: Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Diego Rossi (Los Angeles FC), Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders).
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2020
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press