It took 10 seasons, but Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara is finally a member of the MLS Best XI.
Chara, 34, was on the 11-player all-star team announced Friday, Nov. 20, for the 2020 regular season. The native of Cali, Columbia, has been one of the top defensive midfielders in MLS since arriving in Portland in April 2011, just a month after the Timbers played their first MLS match.
Chara also was named to the all-tournament team for the MLS is Back Tournament this summer in Orlando.
In 20 regular-season games (all starts), Chara led the Timbers in minutes played (1,800). He scored one goal and had a career-best six assists.
Chara's 282 regular-season games played are the most by a player selected to the MLS Best XI for the first time.
"Well deserved. Perhaps overdue," Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said. "We're very happy for him. And he's playing at a very high level, not only because of the things he is doing without the ball, which is what everybody talks about, but most of all is what he's doing with the ball, which not many people talk about."
The MLS Best XI recognizes the top players at each position in regular season play. It is selected by a combination of votes from media, MLS players and MLS coaching staffs.
The Timbers open the MLS Cup Playoffs at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, at home against FC Dallas. That winner advances to face either Seattle or Los Angeles FC in the conference semifinals.
Here is the complete Best XI:
Goalkeeper: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union).
Defenders: Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew SC), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC).
Midfielders: Brendan Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Diego Chara (Portland Timbers), Nicolás Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders FC), Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto FC).
Forwards: Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Diego Rossi (Los Angeles Football Club), Raúl Ruidíaz (Seattle Sounders FC).
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