In early March, the MLS will officially begin play in its 23rd season. And as the league closes in on nearly a quarter-century of action, it’s time to take a look at the best players in the MLS today.
5. Tim Melia (Kansas City)
The American goalkeeper is the premier player at his position in 2018. Melia was the backbone of a team that struggled mightily to score last season – finishing with 40 totals goals, the second-lowest of any team in the MLS. While Sporting KC continues to under-perform, Melia keeps chugging along; winning the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award last season.
4. Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto)
Two Toronto players have already been included in the list, and now Giovinco makes a third. The 31-year-old racked up the second-most shots on goal last season enroute to the MLS Cup. He has scored a total of 55 goals in just his three seasons in the league. Will Giovinco power Toronto to another title this year?
3. Josef Martinez (Atlanta)
The 24-year-old Venezuela native took the league by storm in 2017. In just 15 appearances, Martinez scored 17 goals. The United have only been around for a few seasons and this is easily the most excited the fan base has been in their brief existence. Martinez could very well become the face of the MLS with another stellar performance this season.
2. Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago)
Take a look at the statistical leaderboards and you will find his name everywhere. First in goals (24) and third in shots (118); 2017 was just another year in Nikolic’s incredible career. Many speculated that the 31-year-old was on the downside of his career when he entered his first season in the MLS last March, but they were obviously misguided.
1. David Villa (NYC FC)
Much like Nikolic, Villa is supposedly on the wrong side of 30 as he enters another MLS campaign. In his three seasons with NYC, Villa has scored a total of 63 goals. And last year was his best season yet, potting 22 goals in just 31 contests. Villa helped NYC FC to 57 total points in 2017, trailing only Toronto FC, the eventual MLS Cup winners.