KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Major League Soccer coaches, players, and members of the media cast their ballots for the 2021 MLS Best XI, a combination of the 11 best players in the league to create the best starting lineup.
Both of Sporting Kansas City’s top goal-scorers who led the team to a top-three finish in the conference were left off the list.
For much of the season, Sporting Kansas City forward Dániel Sallói battled for the 2021 MLS Cup Golden Boot with the three players selected to the Best XI.
The Hungarian led Sporting KC with 16 goals and eight assists in his career season. His injury toward the end of the season slowed down his season tally, but his comeback caliber season helped keep Sporting KC near the top of the table.
Sallói’s omission is the first time in MLS history that an MLS MVP candidate does not make the team and almost ensures that he did not win the MVP award.
His fellow winger and Sporting KC captain Johnny Russell was right behind him with 15 goals and 8 assists. The Scotsman scored in eight straight games and broke Preki’s franchise record of six consecutive games with a goal.
The two combined for a 47 goal-plus-assist total.
The 2021 MLS Best XI marks the fourth consecutive year that a Sporting Kansas City player is not selected to the roster, and continues the club’s history of never having a forward on the list in the league’s 26-year existence.
The last time a Kansas City player made the Best XI was in 2017 when Tim Melia and Ike Opara made the cut.