The North American Soccer League unveiled its 2014 Best XI today which featured goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer and defender and captain Carlos Mendes of the New York Cosmos. The NASL Best XI is voted on by all 10 of the league’s head coaches and honors the best 11 players in the league each year.
Maurer recorded a league-high 11 shutouts in 24 appearances for the Cosmos in 2014. His 0.91 goals against average (GAA) was second highest in the league and he finished tied for second in the league in saves (67). Maurer posted a 10-7-6 record on the year and was named to the NASL Team of the Week twice during 2014.
“It’s just a huge honor,” said Maurer on his selection. “The league was really strong this year. Thank you first and foremost to the team and our coaches – my goalkeeper coach, Memo Valencia. We do tons of video and training to help me get better every game.
Mendes made 25 starts for the Cosmos in 2014 and was a key contributor to the team’s strong defensive performance throughout the year. The central defender played in the second-most minutes (2,238) on the team in 2014 and helped lead a backline that allowed the second fewest goals in the league (27). Mendes scored two goals and recorded one assist on the year and was named to the NASL Team of the Week a team-high five times in 2014. The Mineola, N.Y. native also took home NASL Player of the Week honors in Week 1 for his two-goal performance in the team’s 4-0 win over Atlanta.
“I’m excited to have been named to the NASL Best XI,” said Mendes on the distinction. “This award goes out to all the guys who have played alongside of me. We’ve worked hard all year, and they’ve been a big part of me winning this award.”
“It’s great to have two of our players make the starting XI for the year,” said head coach Giovanni Savarese on the accolades of Maurer and Mendes. “I’m very proud of both of them, and overall, the nomination of one or two players is always attributed to the hard work of our entire group. I’m proud of all my guys and what they did this year.”
2014 NASL Best XI:
Justin Davis (Minnesota United FC)
Carlos Mendes (New York Cosmos)
Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC)
Walter Restrepo (San Antonio Scorpions)
Fafa Picault (Fort Lauderdale Strikers)
Christian Ramirez (Minnesota United FC)
For more information on the New York Cosmos fans are encouraged to click here: