Now that we have finished up the defensive portion of this series, we can move forward into midfield. Today's position: central midfielders. So sit back, relax, and enjoy part four of the MLS 11.

Honorable Mentions: Christian Roldan, Maxi Moralez, Jonathan Dos Santos

1. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire are having a historic season. After an abysmal start to the year, a sudden shift has put them on the fast track to a high playoff seed. You know who has been behind that shift? Bastian Schweinsteiger. Coming over from Manchester United earlier this season, Schweini has shown the whole world just how much he still has left in the tank. He has unbelievable technical abilities, good strength, and an extremely high soccer IQ. Could you really expect anything less from a former World Cup winner?

2. Michael Bradley, Toronto FC

As the United States Men's National Team captain, there are certain expectations placed on Michael Bradley at both the club and international level. Bradley has exceeded both sets since the start of the 2017 season. He helped lead the USMNT Gold Cup squad to a championship and has been instrumental in a record breaking Toronto FC season. In Greg Vanney's 3-5-2 system, Michael Bradley is a perfect fit to hover right above the TFC defense, linking the back line with the attack. Led by Bradley, TFC are Major League Soccer Cup favorites right now.

3. Dax McCarty, Chicago Fire

One of Bastian Schweinsteiger's midfield partners, Dax McCarty has been a well-loved MLS mainstay since joining the league in 2006. Since then, McCarty has only improved. He is a great passer out of midfield, capable of creating chances in the final third. He is also a great defender, tracking opponent's runs and cutting them out before they create any real danger. Between McCarty and Schweini, Chicago Fire fans should count themselves lucky that they have such a dynamic, masterful midfield.

4. Kellyn Acosta, FC Dallas

Another USMNT international, Kellyn Acosta was a key contributor in the United States' recent Gold Cup championship. At the club level, however, things have been even better. Acosta is the motor in FC Dallas' midfield, moving from box to box and reeking havoc in between. He's got good pace, great passing instincts, and a positive defensive work rate. Now that two of Dallas' main players, Mauro Diaz and Walker Zimmerman have returned from injury, the rest of the league should be wary of Kellyn Acosta and FC Dallas.

5. Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders

When the casual MLS fan thinks of the Seattle Sounders, their mind likely goes straight to Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, and Nico Lodeiro. While that attacking trio is absolutely vital to the team's success, there is another perhaps more overlooked critical component to success in Seattle: Osvaldo Alonso. Alonso is truly the heart of Seattle. He sits deep in midfield, ready to dispossess any attacker that dares to come in his defensive area. The rest of MLS already knows this, but just in case you missed it: watch out for Osvaldo Alonso.

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Published by Joseph Lowery