The stats don’t lie.
30 goals and 7 assists in 29 appearances says it all really. With this in mind it’s no surprise LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was named to the Opta MLS Best XI, named after the British sports analytical company that provides statistical data on league clubs. (As pointed out in the piece, Ibra contributed to roughly 64% of LA’s goals this season)
We’re a little surprised Jonathan dos Santos didn’t make the cut, but the experts at Opta know what they’re doing. C’est la vie.
24 - The LA Galaxy won 24 points from Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 30 goals in 2019 - 10 more than any other team had from one player’s goal total. Ibrahimovic had eight multi-goal games this year, the most by any player since 2007. Hunter. #OptaXI pic.twitter.com/IZMLlYVo0S— OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) October 8, 2019
As each regular season winds down, Best XI conversations tend to surface. Who stood out above the rest and delivered a year-long level of performance that’s deserving of the accolade? It’s largely a subjective conversation, even if several players are shoe-ins.
To level the debate, Opta has provided a stats-driven Best XI that takes into account advanced data from across the MLS regular season. The team is organized in a 4-2-3-1 formation and features plenty of stars, but also a few names that might surprise you.