Best New MLS Players

Carlos Valdes
Text: Steve Davis/SI.com
Photo: Tony Quinn/Icon SMI

Carlos Valdes

Philadelphia center back

Two expansion clubs plus newly expanded rosters throughout the league created a rare double whammy in MLS personnel for 2011. The net out is a particularly intriguing crop of newcomers scattered throughout the league. It's quite a talented crop, but a lot to digest, even for the hardcore MLS follower. So here's a cheat sheet for you, the top 10 MLS new faces to know about:

The back line at PPL Park bears little resemblance to the disheveled, foul-prone group that kept things so painfully unpredictable in the 2010 expansion season. Valdes' experience is a big reason. His presence makes everyone around him better, more comfortable; Fellow center back Danny Califf looks like a different player this year thanks to his steadier pairing.

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