The NASL released their 2016 Best XI list on Friday, naming the players they felt exemplified play at their respective positions. In 2015, the Cosmos landed a single player on the list in Carlos Mendes. This year, the club claimed the most spots of any team in the league.The Cosmos captain made his third straight appearance on the year-end honor roll. The Long Island native anchored the middle of the Cosmos back line and made 27 appearances on the year.
Ayoze started 29 of 30 appearances at left back this year, adding two assists to the campaign and also earned himself a nomination for the NASL Golden Ball. It is the first appearance on the NASL Best XI for the Spaniard, who’s been with the Cosmos since 2013.
In his first year with the New York Cosmos, Juan Arango came in second in goals and assists, has made the NASL Team of the Week (10), Player of the Week (2), Player of the Month (1), and claimed the Emirates Player of the Year and NASL Golden Ball. The Venezuelan, unsurprisingly, now claims a spot in the league’s best XI.
The Cosmos were the lone team to claim three spots in this year’s list, an all-time high for them that surpasses their previous high in 2014 when Jimmy Maurer and Mendes were placed on the list.
Cosmos on the Modern NASL Best XIs:
2013 – Marcos Senna
2014 – Carlos Mendes, Jimmy Maurer
2015 – Carlos Mendes
2016 – Carlos Mendes, Ayoze, Juan Arango