It would be criminal to discuss the best central midfielders without diving into the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps the rivalry that has defined MLS in the 2010s, both the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers have boasted dominant midfields throughout the decade. And so, this Team of the Decade midfield is fully stocked from the Pacific Northwest.
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Let’s start in defensive midfield. Portland provide Diego Chara, a bulldozing, ground-gobbling anchor who rumbles his way around Providence Park with terrific energy and deceptive quality. Then there is his rival, Ozzie Alonso, arguably the greatest midfielder in MLS history. There is a reason Seattle were one of the dominant teams of the decade.
Alonso was named to the Best XI in 2012, was an All-Star for four-straight years, from 2011 to 2014, and has won more individual matches than any player in the history of MLS.
The final piece is Diego Valeri, who had fewer than 20 combined goals and assists just once in eight years. And in that year, 2015, he only played 22 games and still provided ten combined goals and assists. He also provided one goal and four assists in the postseason as Portland went on to MLS Cup. MVP in 2017, a three-time MLS Best XI selection, was this really ever in doubt?
Honourable Mentions: Dax McCarty, Nicolas Lodeiro, Kyle Beckerman