The 2014 World Cup was a fantastic one for Major League Soccer. Twenty-two players made World Cup rosters — up from just six in 2008. They have not disappointed. Many — including RSL's Kyle Beckerman — showed the world that MLS is a league on the rise.
Whose stock went up? Who struggled?
We ranked the 15 players who have played during group play and Round of 16 in Brazil.
Davis is the machine that makes the Dynamo go and Houston fans sing Let's Go Dynamo. But he played in just one match (60 minutes against Germany) and didn't make much of an impact.
Marvin Chavez didn’t do too much for Honduras, playing in only two of the three group stage games. Chavez was a bulldog in the midfield at points, but he did little to make an impact at the World Cup.
Named after legendary Polish striker Zbigniew Boniek, the midfielder didn't score any goals in the World Cup. But he did play 204 minutes in Honduras' three games, completing 71.1 percent of his passes and picking up one yellow card.
Like Beckerman, Zusi was highly reliable for the United States. His streaking runs up the wings and crosses into the box were much of the offensive production that USA produced. For a team that didn’t get off the ground offensively, Zusi did provide some successful balls into the box and kept the pressure on the USA’s opponents.
Bernardez is well known to RSL fans after his two goals ruined 3-1 RSL's halftime lead in the second match of the 2014 season. He was also a game-changer for Honduras in the World Cup — just not the way he wanted. He went down with a non-contact leg injury in the team's opening game against France. He recovered to play in the next two matches, but Los Catrachos went 0-3.
Bengtson has had trouble cracking the New England Revolution’s roster, but he did get a shot with his Honduras side. He didn’t score any goals, but he was a pest up front and pressured the ball consistently in his matches.
The son of former USMNT coach Bob Bradley was among the best American players during World Cup qualifying. He also had a successful career in Europe (earning the nicknames General Bradley and Lex Luthor) before joining Toronto for this season. In Brazil, however, he struggled. There are many reasons for this, but he can hang his hat on a fantastic assist to Julian Green against Belgium.
Many doubted whether Omar Gonzalez would make an impact in the World Cup. But when he came in to play for the United States against Germany, everything changed. Gonzalez showed time and time again why he’s a well-paid player in MLS and why he deserves to be on the national roster.
Who would think that Costa Rica would be in the quarterfinals of the World Cup? Some of that success is due to Gonzalez, a stable defender for the Ticos, who has kept former champions Italy, England and Uruguay at bay in the group stage.
Nobody's stock rose more than the speedy defender. Yedlin came onto the field in the USA’s 2-1 loss to Belgium in the Round of 16 after little warmup and had one of the best games of his career. He’s surely a player on the rise and will do well in the future.
A late bloomer, the former MLS defensive player of the year was the most reliable of USMNT's center backs. His days at Sporting KC may be numbered as his strong play has earned "enormous interest" from major clubs from around the world.
Few did better for the United States than Kyle Beckerman, who kept things contained in the midfield and showed a heavy amount of defensive discipline. He started and played all 90 minutes in the USMNT’s group matches and was a heavily reliable player for the team.
He's the most likely of all the MLS players to lift the World Cup on July 13. One of the three big names to sign with Toronto FC during the winter, Cesar showed off his talents in Brazil's tense shootout victory over Chile.
The "other" Red Bulls striker helped Australia punch above its weight and gave Netherlands and Chile surprising scares. Against Chile he scored on a header that could only be described as Cahillian. Oh, yeah, and he had arguably the best goal of the tournament.
Dempsey hasn’t just been one of the best United States players, but also one of the standouts in the World Cup overall. His pair of goals were enough to get the U.S. out of the Group of Death and give the Americans a push into the Round of 16.