The MLS is one of the most underrated leagues in world football and the USA’s top football competition continues to see stars of past and present shine each and every year. Despite the 2020 season being truncated and disrupted, thanks to COVID-19, the league has still managed to soldier on and put together a full set of fixtures. Through the back end of the year, players have fought tooth and nail to help their sides reach the playoffs with both new names and familiar faces shining brightly in each round of fixtures. But who really shined each week to be deemed best of the best? We still don’t know when the 2021 MLS season will begin but here are the MLS players who made the best impression on us during 2020.
Best MLS Players 2020
Andre Blake (Goalkeeper | Philadelphia Union)
It’s been a breakthrough year for the Union and a lot of it can be put down to their Jamaican shot stopper Andre Blake. Blake has been in the form of his career in 2020 and was arguably the best performer in the MLS is Back tournament in July. Having kept 8 clean sheets throughout the regular season, he has been one of the best keepers in the competition and will play a big part in helping the Union navigate through the playoffs.
Anton Tinnerholm (Defender | New York City FC)
If there was ever someone who encapsulated the meaning of a juggernaut, it would be NYC’s Anton Tinnerholm. The Swedish right-back has been a sensation since moving stateside 2 years ago and he has enjoyed his best season yet thwarting attacks as well as commencing them week in and week out. Having made no less than 4 Team of the Week appearances this season, Tinnerholm has made himself out to be a star in the making in New York. Undoubtedly one of the best players in the MLS in 2020.
Winston Reid (Defender | Sporting Kansas City)
If there was ever a comeback story needed to be told in 2020, it’s that of Winston Reid. The New Zealand international has spent most of the last few years battling numerous injuries woes in England with West Ham having failed to feature regularly for a team in over 2 years. A loan move to Kansas City has proved to be a godsend and a timely reminder of why the Kiwi was so highly regarded a few years ago. A physical threat in either penalty area and a cool head has made him a valuable addition to Sporting KC who no doubt will do anything to make his move permanent heading into 2021.
Alejandro Pozuelo (Midfielder | Toronto FC)
In the past 2 years, few players have been more menacing from midfield than Toronto’s Alejandro Pozuelo. Continuing from a blistering debut season in 2019, the Spaniard has run defences ragged scoring a respectable 9 goals in 23 games over the regular season. His consistently was on show throughout September where he scored 4 goals and made 2 assists in 6 games to claim the MLS Player of the Month award. This constant threat and skill has made him a big draw for crowds both sides of the border.
Jordan Morris (Midfielder | Seattle Sounders)
If Seattle are to retain their crown this season, it will be thanks to the performances from stars like Jordan Morris. The Sounders home-grown star is looking set to record the best form of his career having scored 10 goals in just 22 games beating the milestones he set last season. If you add 8 assists into the mix as well, it’s not hard to see why Morris is such an integral part of the Sounders lineup and why he is the heart of their devastating attacking unit.
Diego Rossi (Diego Rossi | LA FC)
If there is one name to underline as a future star, then it will most likely be LA FC’s explosive striker Diego Rossi. The Uruguayan prodigy has stolen the headlines time after time claiming the league’s Golden Boot award with 14 goals in 23 games. There are very few awards that Rossi has failed to win including MLS Young Player of the Season Award as well as being part of the MLS is Back Tournament Player XI at the end of the tournament. There are bigger things on the horizon for Rossi and it will be his exploits in this year’s season to thank for whatever rewards come his way.
Daryl Dike (Forward | Orlando City)
It’s hard to think that 2020 was Daryl Dike’s first professional season in football when you looked at how he performed. Showing nerves of steel and a lethal finishing ability, he has enjoyed a debut year to remember despite all the shenanigans this year has encountered. He was in deadly form back in August scoring 6 goals in 5 games as well as 2 assists claiming the Player of the Month award in the process. At just 20 years of age, the world is calling for Dike to conquer it and he could be the next big star of both the MLS and American football as a whole should he continue to perform at this level. Winning recognition as one of the best players in the MLS in your debut season in no mean feat and, if 2020 is anything to go by, Dike has a huge future.