As I’m sure you’re aware, every year MLSsoccer.com puts out their 24 Under 24 list. It’s, in their eyes, the 24 best players under the age of 24. While younger players with loads of potential is very exciting and very exciting, the staff of Total MLS wanted to give the old guys some credit too. After all, old guys rule, right? So, we put together a list of the 30 best players over 30. Enjoy.
So how did we get this list? Well we realized that coming to a consensus would be impossible with the entire staff so we weighted each ranking and had every member of staff make their top 30 list. We tabulated the totals and the results are what you see below.
ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a cutoff date. You had to be 30 at the start of the season which was March 6th, 2016. That means no Valeri, no Chara, no Collin, etc. There were a number of 29 years old that turned 30 midseason that could have been added here, but they have plenty of years left in their 30s to enjoy the honors.
30. Ashley Cole
Despite the drama around some comments he made a few years ago, Ashley Cole has been an above average leftback in MLS. He'd be higher up the list if he wouldn't have received those two silly red cards.
29. Steven Gerrard
Another high drama signing for LA, that clearly hasn’t lived up to the billing. But, if you look at the production, Steven Gerrard has been pretty decent. When not given the responsibility of defending or not injured, Gerrard has been able to pick up some nice assists.
28. David Ousted
Ousted has consistently been a top 5 keeper in the league since joining the whitecaps. One stable force for a shaky whitecaps backline that's young & inexperienced.
27. Sebastian Le Toux
Sebastian’s move to Colorado has not stopped the frenchman from producing. In fact, his time on the field has yet to skip a beat since leaving Philadelphia. Le Toux’s presence has assisted the Rapids in the regular season race, and the team is still in heavy contention for the Supporters Shield.
26. Laurent Ciman
Laurent Ciman has been one of, if not the best, defenders in MLS since coming to the league last season. His defense last season saw him win the 2015 MLS Defender of the Year. But, with him being gone for the Euros and a bit of regression in play, he’s further down the list than some would expect.
25. Jermaine Jones
The Colorado attacking midfielder has missed a lot of time do to call ups and injury, but the American destroyer turned playmaker for Colorado was the driving force behind Colorado’s early season surge.
24. Javier Morales
The wizard of Rio Tinto might be showing a few signs of decline, but he still pulls the strings for the Western Conference contenders. Four goals and four assists so far in 2016 showcase his importance to the RSL cause.
23. DaMarcus Beasley
A USMNT legend, the 34 year old is still a dangerous threat to any right sided defenders.
22. Tranquillo Barnetta
The Philadelphia Union midfielder has been ever present for his side, aiding their cause with five goals and four assists so far this campaign. His passing awareness and skill with set pieces have helped secure the Union valuable points.
21. Kei Kamara
Kei has a new home in New England, and the striker has started to repay their faith in bringing him over with five goals and one assist since his mid-season move.
20. Kyle Beckerman
The RSL midfielder has been a cog at Rio Tinto for years and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. His continued involvement in the US midfield also shows his quality.
19. Chris Wondolowski
He scores goals. That’s one thing you know you’re going to get with Wondo. One of the best goal scorers in league history, Wondo’s inclusion in this list just feels right.
18. Benny Feilhaber
Feilhaber’s career has seen a rebirth at Sporting Kansas City, becoming one of the better midfielders in MLS. While Jurgen Klinsmann may not be watching, our staff certainly is.
17. Drew Moor
After a successful career in Colorado, Moor has moved to Toronto and helped solidify the defense for one of the best teams in MLS. Moor is your prototypical veteran, leader, at center back.
16. Nick Rimando
Like a fine wine, Rimando continues to impress between the posts for RSL. His shot stopping ability, especially on penalty kicks, is second to none in MLS.
15. Luis Robles
Since coming back to MLS from Europe, Robles has been a rock on the backline for the Red Bulls. He’s fundamentally sound and comes up with the spectacular, game-saving stops as well.
14. Andrea Pirlo
It was a rough start for Andrea Pirlo in MLS, but he’s quickly turned perception around this year. He’s a key cog in one of the best teams in the East, pinging balls to NYCFC’s playmakers game after game.
13. Osvaldo Alonso
Ozzie has been one of the best defensive midfielders in MLS for a long time. He covers a ton of ground and hardly ever loses possession as one of the first names on the Sounders’ teamsheet.
12. Burrito Martinez
Burrito has the substance to back up his flash. The winger is deadly 1 v 1 and has been a very important part of RSL’s rebuilt attacking trio.
11. Clint Dempsey
Though Dempsey’s early form and later physiological conditions have stunted his playing time, he has still managed to find the goal eight times this year. His contributions have seen the Sounders in a position to continue to fight for a playoff spot.
10. Frank Lampard
Like Pirlo, Lampard didn’t get his MLS career off to the best start, missing almost all of last season due to injury. But now he’s healthy and 12 goals in 18 games is proof of why NYCFC shelled out the big money for Lampard.
9. Jelle Van Damme
Coming in to MLS this season, Van Damme was a bit of a question mark. He answered all those questions proving to be one of the best defenders in the league and contributing greatly to LA’s success.
8. Didier Drogba
What’s their to say about Drogba that hasn’t been said? His resume speaks for itself. His time in MLS has had ups and downs but his class is permanent.
Being “the guy” for an expansion team is a tough task but Kaka has handled it nearly flawlessly. Even in the midst of a coaching change this season in Orlando, the Brazilian has been the constant for the Lions in their first 2 seasons.
6. Robbie Keane
Keane has 8 goals and 2 assists on the season, despite his time out for injury and international duty, making him available for only 15 games. He continues to be a mentor to the younger offensive players on the team and offers that extra spark of energy and passion the team needs.
5. Ignacio Piatti
Ignacio Piatti leads the Montreal Impact in goals scored with 14 and is fourth on his team in assists with 5. His efforts combined with that of Didier Drogba keep Montreal in playoff contention in the very close race of the Eastern Conference.
4. Tim Howard
Tim Howard’s sudden arrival has been complemented by a sudden uptick in clean sheets for Colorado. He’s averaging close to four saves a match, and the team has only given up multiple goals in only three matches since his arrival.
3. Sacha Kljestan
Sacha Kljestan is leading MLS in assists this year with 16. He's played 28 games and scored 5 goals for the New York Red Bull's in his second year back in MLS and has made his triumphant return to the USMNT in September.
2. David Villa
The Spaniard has been a model professional for NYCFC and his on field production is second to (almost) none. 17 goals and 2 assists this campaign are the main reason why NYCFC are still in the hunt for a Supporters’ Shield. Many predicted he was only here for a paycheck, but Villa has earned every penny and then some.
1. Bradley Wright-Phillips
Wright-Phillips has maintained a level of consistency worthy of the DP status given to him two years ago. Even though his age has slowly increased, his performance has not seen a decline at all in New York. BWP will surely be in the MVP running at the end of the year.