Who’re the top 5 center backs in MLS? Extratime debates

Joined by former Seattle Sounders star Steve Zakuani, earlier this week the Extratime crew debated the top center backs in MLS. 

Andrew Wiebe took the wheel in ratting off his top 5, which included a number of US males’s national team players as well as some international taste.

As for honorable mentions, Antonio Carlos from Orlando City SC and Miles Robinson from Atlanta United have been each kicked round. Wiebe additionally gave a nod to Ike Opara, although the Minnesota United defender’s availability isn’t clear, and Zakuani gave a hometown shoutout to Yeimar Gomez Andrade.

Right here’s the full rundown, going from No. 1 to No. 5.

1. Walker Zimmerman – Nashville SC

After being named the 2020 MLS Defender of the Yr, Wiebe gave top billing to Nashville’s leader on the back. Zimmerman powered Nashville to an expansion-year playoff run a season in the past, and now expectations are to construct upon that with a basis established. 

It additionally helps that Zimmerman, all through his 162 MLS video games, has chipped in 15 goals and 4 assists.

“I just assume, all issues thought-about, his menace on set pieces – definitely we all know how dangerous he’s there – however what he was capable of present so far as a basis and as really a force multiplier for Nashville last year,” Wiebe said. “ … He was, in so many occasions, the premise of what they have been doing and constructing round.” 

2. Jonathan Mensah – Columbus Crew SC 

Mensah captained Columbus to an MLS Cup title last year, anchoring the backline throughout his fourth year with the membership. As they enter the Concacaf Champions League this year and open New Crew Stadium, the two-time World Cup participant with Ghana will once more be counted upon.

“What he did within the playoffs, what he did by means of the whole thing of last season is just unreal,” Wiebe said.

3. Eddie Segura – LAFC

Eddie Segura is getting into his third LAFC season | USA At this time Sports activities

Throughout the last two seasons, Segura has quietly been one in every of LAFC’s top players. Layer within the Colombian’s budding partnership with compatriot Jesus David Murillo, and Wiebe doesn’t envision the 24-year-old’s affect shedding any steam.

“Jesus Murillo can in all probability get a shot in right here as a complementary piece to Segura – each of them collectively have been very, superb – however I’ve Eddie Segura at three for LAFC,” Wiebe said.

4. Matt Hedges – FC Dallas

Soon to turn 31, Hedges has been instrumental for FC Dallas since getting into MLS in 2012. He’s racked up 16 goals and 4 assists throughout 262 appearances, injecting management on all fronts to Luchi Gonzalez’s team.

A rock on the back, Hedges has discovered consistency with whichever player he’s joined by within the coronary heart of defense.

“You just write him into the lineup, you set the C on him, he’s often mistake-free and has gone by means of variety of center-back companions and quite a lot of young players round him,” Wiebe said.

5. Aaron Lengthy – New York Red Bulls

To some pushback on Extratime, Wiebe concluded his list with Lengthy. However the USMNT mainstay may thrive in RBNY head coach Gerhard Struber’s system, even with longtime companion Tim Parker traded to Houston Dynamo FC this offseason.  

Earlier this winter, Lengthy was once more linked to a European switch that didn’t materialize.  

“I do know that last year was not a classic year for Aaron Lengthy,” Wiebe said, “however I feel on the grand scheme of talent, of capacity, on the percentages of bouncing back with a new coach who will put him back within the positions that he was so comfy and efficient in with Jesse Marsch, I feel Aaron Lengthy completely has the chance to have an enormous resurgent season.”
 
Did Extratime get it proper? Are there others who ought to be on the list? Examine out the complete present right here for extra.

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