They'd rather be playing for the MLS Cup this weekend, but being named to the MLS Best XI is a nice consolation prize for Real Salt Lake players Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers and Javier Morales.
The announcement was made Tuesday in conjunction with the MLS Cup in Toronto.
The trio becomes the first Best XI winners for Real Salt Lake since Jeff Cunningham was named to the team in 2006 by winning the Golden Boot Award.
Other members of the Best XI were Donovan Rickets (L.A. Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (L.A. Galaxy), Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto), Landon Donovan (L.A. Galaxy), David Ferreira (FC Dallas), Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia), Edson Buddle (L.A. Galaxy) and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose).
Olave, who was named the MLS Defender of the Year a few weeks ago, and Borchers anchored a back line that set a new MLS record by allowing only 20 goals this year.
Borchers started all 30 games for RSL, and scored two crucial goals late in matches this year. His performance earned him a call-up to the U.S. National Team as it prepares to take on South Africa in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Cape Town today.
Olave started 27 MLS matches this year and scored three goals.
Morales was one of the key cogs in a midfield that was regarded as one of the best in MLS this year. He finished with a team-leading nine assists and chipped in with seven goals. He was also voted onto the MLS All-Star Team earlier this summer.
EXPANDING ROSTERS: MLS commissioner Don Garber made some big announcements in his state of the league teleconference with the media on Tuesday.
In conjunction with the return of the Reserve Division in 2011, the league is also expanding teams' rosters from 24 to 30 players to better develop the young players in MLS. The six additional roster spots are for players 24 and under, and their salary will not count toward the $2.67 million salary cap.
The league previously had a Reserve Division from 2005 to 2008.
The Reserve Division will consist of three pools of six teams, with each team playing the teams in their pool twice for a 10-game season. The top eight will advance to a Reserve Division playoffs.
The league is also looking for ways to encourage teams to prioritize the CONCACAF Champions League by offering potential incentives such as allocation money.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company