opta best xi
Corky Trewin

Stefan Frei, Nouhou and Nicolás Lodeiro named to Opta's Best XI from 2018 MLS season

Three Sounders were named to Opta’s Best XI from the 2018 MLS season, with goalkeeper Stefan Frei, defender Nouhou and midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro earning recognition as the league’s best at their respective positions.

Opta, a sports analytics company, entered partnership with MLS in 2011 and provides data for 30 sports in 70 countries. On Tuesday, it released a graphic of its Best XI on Twitter with corresponding facts to support each player.

Frei, 32, earns the nod after finishing second in MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting. Opta notes he prevented 15.7 goals in league play in 2018, while no other goalkeeper prevented more than 8.4. He also led all qualifying goalkeepers in save percentage (76.0 percent) and goals allowed average (1.03 GAA).

Nouhou, who made 28 appearances his second MLS season, was named the top left back in 2018. According to Opta, the Sounders conceded 0.9 goals per 90 minutes that Nouhou was on the field, compared to a 1.2 goals per 90 mark when he wasn’t playing.

In addition, Lodeiro was recognized after his impressive campaign that saw him set the club record with 16 assists. Opta states the Uruguayan playmaker averaged 3.6 chances per 90 minutes, which is tied for the eight-most in a MLS season since 2010.