Don Garber spoke to reporters today to announce the league's best XI and talk a bit about the 2012 season. The only Seattle Sounder named to the Best XI was goal-keeper Kasey Keller. Keller, in his final professional season, anchored one of the league's top defenses. He led all league goalkeepers with 18 wins and made a career-high 110 saves. His 1.09 goals against average tied for fifth and his nine shutouts tied for third-most in the league. In addition, Keller is a finalist for the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award and many of his saves are up for Save of the Year (including that incredible 4-save sequence against the San Jose Earthquakes).
The Los Angeles Galaxy lead all teams with four players named to the Best XI. Seven other teams (including the Sounders) had one player each named to the best XI. Forwards Thierry Henry and Chris Wondolowski were the two forwards named ahead of Fredy Montero. As usual, no defensive midfielders were named to the Best XI although the case can certainly be made that one of either Osvaldo Alonso or Kyle Beckerman deserved a nod (you all know whom I'd choose).
The Best XI recognizes the league's top 11 players at each position on the field. You can see the full Best XI here.
More about the 2012 schedule after the jump:
The other bit of big, if not terribly surprising, news that came out of the conference call was the move back to an unbalanced schedule for 2012. Despite adding another team (the Montreal Impact) the league will not add more games. On the positive side, the change will help with a very congested schedule for the Sounders next season and should reduce total travel with more regional games planned. Also, Garber announced that the league was looking at having the team with the best regular season record host the MLS Cup final (kinda like LA this year except without the back-room deals).
Also today, MLS announced that Mark Geiger is the 2011 MLS Referee of the Year and Corey Rockwell is the Assistant Referee of the Year. Gieger was generally one of the more consistent referees throughout the year. My only complaint with him was letting the first leg of the Sounders playoff get out of control with some very physical play by Real Salt Lake early in the game. Still, its hard to say Gieger was at fault for the absolutely abysmal play by the Sounders in that first leg.
I have no complaints about the referee and assistant referee selections although I'm sure many, many of you will!