VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Kendall Waston has been named to the 2015 MLS Best XI, the league announced today.
This is the first time a Whitecaps FC player has received the honour, which recognizes the league's top 11 players, since the club’s entry in MLS in 2011.
Voting for the 2015 MLS Best XI was conducted through write-in votes from MLS players, club leadership, and media members, with all players who appeared in a 2015 MLS regular season match eligible for nomination. The highest vote-getters from submissions formed a 3-4-3 formation: one goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders and three forwards.
2015 MLS BEST XI
Goalkeeper – Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
Defender – Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact)
Defender – Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Defender – Matt Hedges (FC Dallas)
Midfielder – Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielder – Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas)
Midfielder – Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls)
Midfielder – Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC)
Forward – Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
Forward – Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC)
Forward – Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Kendall being Kendall: The big man's biggest plays
Waston, who joined Whitecaps FC in August 2014 via transfer from Deportivo Saprissa, makes the best XI after his first full season in MLS. He's one of 10 first-ever selections on this year's list.
The selection is the latest accolade for the Costa Rican, who agreed to a multi-year contract extension with Whitecaps FC last week. The 6-foot-5 centre back was voted as the 2015 Whitecaps FC BMO Player of the Year last October, then finished as a runner-up for 2015 MLS Defender of the Year earlier this month. He also earned four MLS Team of the Week selections during the regular season.
The 27-year old San José, Costa Rica native led a Vancouver backline that tied for league-best in clean sheets (13) and goals conceded (36) this year. Individually, Waston finished the season in the top 15 in six statistical categories. Notably, he placed second in aerials won (121) and headed clearances (133) and tied for third in total clearances (195).
In addition, he tallied two goals in his 28 regular season starts in 2015.
This past year, Waston and the 'Caps enjoyed their most successful season in club MLS history, setting new records with 16 wins and 53 points, while reaching the MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals for the first time.
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