Major League Soccer announced the 2021 Best XI, with New York City FC forward Valentín ‘Taty’ Castellanos among those selected.
The Best XI – recognizing the league’s top players at each position as determined by media, MLS players and MLS club technical staffs – features some of the league’s most exciting and accomplished talent.
Representing eight nations and five clubs – all of which qualified for the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs – the group features a number of breakout stars selected to their first Best XI and several international stars on the brink of helping their national teams qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Castellanos was one of three forwards named to the team as he continues to enjoy a memorable 2021. The forward recorded 19 regular season goals and eight assists to help NYCFC finish fourth in the Eastern Conference. That return also helped him secure the league’s Golden Boot award, which made him the first NYCFC player and the first player from Argentina to secure the award.
Speaking after that accomplishment, Club captain Sean Johnson said, “What a person first and foremost, before we talk about the soccer player. He’s been somebody who's so hungry, who's given everything. I think he’s lead team minutes, game in and game out, how many midweek games we've had, through the good times and the bad. He's just been so hungry to score goals to help this team. He's been one player that you can never question his work ethic. He is the hardest worker in the group. He’s a great kid, great head on his shoulders and he has such a massive potential. I'm extremely happy for him and it's an accomplishment that can be proud of.”
2021 MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper: Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
Defenders: Yeimar Gómez Andrade (Seattle Sounders FC), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
Midfielders: Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution), Carles Gil (New England Revolution), Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC), João Paulo (Seattle Sounders FC)
Forwards: Gustavo Bou (New England Revolution), Valentín Castellanos (New York City FC), Raúl Ruidíaz (Seattle Sounders FC)