The North American Soccer League named the 2011 NASL Best XI team today. The Best XI was selected by a vote of the coaches of the eight teams that played in the 2011 season. This year’s Best XI in alphabetical order is as follows: Mike Ambersley, Etienne Barbara, Hassoun Camara, David Foley, Brad Knighton, Lance Laing, Kupono Low, Pascal Millien, Shaun Saiko, Toni Stahl, and Matt Watson. Forwards
Mike Ambersley, FC Tampa Bay
Ambersley joined FC Tampa Bay in 2011 after spending the 2010 season with AC St Louis. He ranked tied for third in the NASL with a team-high 11 goals and third in the NASL with a team-best seven assists in 2011. He also led FC Tampa Bay in minutes played (2,275).
Etienne Barbara, Carolina RailHawks
In his second season with the RailHawks, Barbara led the NASL in scoring with 20 goals and eight assists. Barbara was recognized as the NASL Golden Boot winner on Tuesday, and twice earned NASL Player of the Month awards (April & May). Midfielders
David Foley, Puerto Rico Islanders
An attacking midfielder, Foley scored seven goals and added six assists for the Islanders in 2011. He joined Puerto Rico in 2010, after seven seasons with Hartlepool United in his native England.
Pascal Millien, FC Tampa Bay
The pacey Haitian international netted four goals and added five assists in his second season with FC Tampa Bay. A classic winger, Millien was named NASL Offensive Player of the Week on July 5th.
Shaun Saiko, FC Edmonton
A local product, central midfielder Saiko topped FC Edmonton in both goal scoring (9) and assists (5). The 21-year-old appeared in 27 NASL games and one Nutrilite Canadian Championship game during the 2011 season and helped lead his team to the post season in their inaugural professional season.
Matt Watson, Carolina RailHawks
A rugged defensive midfielder, Watson has been a member of the RailHawks since 2008. Watson appeared in 24 matches and played 2,031 minutes, contributing three goals and two assists. Defenders
Hassoun Camara, Montreal Impact
During his first season with the Impact, Camara led the team with 22 starts and anchored a stalwart Montreal back line that permitted opponents less than one goal a game. The French central defender also tallied two goals and an assist.
Lance Laing, Fort Lauderdale Strikers
In his first Strikers’ season, Laing was second on the team in minutes played. Laing, from Trelawny, Jamaica, began his professional career with Jamaican pro clubs Harbour View FC and Village United. The outside back has represented his country at both the youth and senior national team levels.
Kupono Low, Carolina RailHawks
Hawaiian-born Low appeared in 26 matches and led all RailHawks field players in minutes played (2,300). In his fifth season at Carolina, Low captained the RailHawks following the July transfer of Brad Rusin to Danish top flight side HB Køge.
Toni Stahl, Fort Lauderdale Strikers
A 6-3 center back from Finland, Stahl provided consistency in the Strikers’ defense. After being named the 2009 Big East Midfielder of the Year at the University of Connecticut, Stahl was drafted by the Philadelphia Union in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. Goalkeeper
Brad Knighton, Carolina RailHawks
In his first season with the club, Knighton played every minute between the pipes for the NASL Regular Season Champions. He recorded a stellar 0.94 GAA, 113 saves, and eight shutouts while finishing as the runner up for the NASL Golden Glove award.http://www.nasl.com/index.php?id=3&newsid=1365