CHICAGO (Nov. 30, 2017) – Chicago Fire forward Nemanja Nikolic has been selected to the 2017 MLS Best XI, recognizing the league’s top players at each position on the field as determined by media, MLS players and MLS technical staff. The 11 players named to the Best XI represent some of the league’s most exciting and accomplished talent comprised of international stars, breakout players and top newcomers to the league.
This year’s MLS Golden Boot winner, Nikolic was the first Chicago player to lead the league in scoring with 24 goals. In his first year with the Fire, Nikolic broke the club’s 17-year-old goal scoring record of 18 goals, previously set by Ante Razov in 2000. Nikolic also became the quickest in club history to ten goals with his brace against the Colorado Rapids on May 17. This is the third country in which Nikolic has led his respective league in goal scoring.
The Hungarian international led the league with six multi-goal games, including a hat trick against the Philadelphia Union on Oct. 15, to lead the Fire back into the post season for the first time since 2012. Five of his goals were game-winners, and his attacking prowess helped the Fire to the third-highest team goal total in the league with 61. In addition to his goals, Nikolic tallied four assists, including the assist on Luis Solignac’s game-winning goal on June 17 against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
Nikolic finished second in voting for 2017 Newcomer of the Year award and is one of five finalists for the Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Award, which will be announced on Dec. 4
2017 MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper: Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)
Defenders: Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Midfielders: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Víctor Vázquez (Toronto FC), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
Forwards: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire), David Villa (New York City FC)