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Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Carlos Vela named to MLS Best XI team

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Carlos Vela named to MLS Best XI team
Galaxy midfielder Romain Alessandrini, right celebrates a goal with teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic during a match against Minnesota United on Aug. 11. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Ptess)

The Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Carlos Vela of the Los Angeles Football Club were both named Sunday to the MLS Best XI, the league’s postseason all-star team.

Both made their MLS debuts in 2018, with Ibrahimovic leading the Western Conference with 22 goals and topping his team with 10 assists while Vela had a team-high 14 goals and 13 assists. Both players are also finalists for the league’s MVP award, which has yet to be announced.

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“Carlos had a phenomenal season with our club and this award is a reflection of not just his world-class talent, but his dedication and hard work during the course of the year,” John Thorrington, LAFC’s vice president of soccer operations, said in a statement. “We are grateful to have a player like Carlos committed to LAFC and are pleased that he has been rightfully recognized as one of the top players in the league.”

Ibrahimovic is from Sweden and Vela from Mexico, just two of eight countries represented in the Best XI. Also making the team were U.S. national team players Zack Steffen of Columbus and Aaron Long of the New York Red Bulls; Venezuelan Josef Martinez , who broke the MLS single-season scoring record with 31 goals for Atlanta United; and former Manchester United standout Wayne Rooney, who carried D.C. United to the MLS playoffs after joining the league last summer.

The team:

2018 MLS Best XI

Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC) Defenders: Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC) Midfielders: Luciano Acosta (D.C. United), Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club) Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimović (L.A. Galaxy), Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Wayne Rooney (D.C. United)

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