FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph was voted to the 2009 Major League Soccer Best XI team, MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced during his annual State of the League address on Monday. This is Joseph's third consecutive Best XI selection and the fourth of his career, as he was also honored in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
The Best XI is voted on by the league's players, general managers, coaches and members of the media, and represents the top players at each position for the season.
Historically a player judged more for his powerful influence in the central midfield than for his statistical contribution, Joseph added that dimension to his game this season out of necessity with the Revolution's all-time leading scorer (Taylor Twellman) and the league's all-time leader in assists (Steve Ralston) both lost to season-ending injuries. The versatile 31-year-old almost single-handedly guided the Revs to a postseason berth with career-high marks in both goals (8) and assists (8), leading the team in both categories.
For his efforts, Joseph has been named one of three finalists for Volkswagen MLS MVP along with LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan and FC Dallas forward Jeff Cunningham, marking just the third time in club history that a Revolution player has been a league MVP finalist. The winner of the MVP award will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 19.
Joseph is joined on the MLS Best XI team by goalkeeper Zach Thornton (Chivas USA); defenders Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Wilman Conde (Chicago Fire) and Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew); midfielders Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo) and Freddie Ljungberg (Seattle Sounders FC); and forwards Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids) and Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas).