The Ultimate Assist Master Carlos Valderrama Earns a Spot in All-Time Best XI

Carlos Valderrama is arguably the greatest passer in MLS history, and he's also one of the most iconic players in league history. Both facts combined made him an easy selection for Rapids fans to place 'El Pibe' in the All-Time Best XI.

Valderrama is currently MLS fourth all-time in assists with nearly half the number of games played of the top three (Landon Donovan, Steve Ralston and Brad Davis). While his stint with the Rapids was brief, he played just 39 games, he tallied 19 assists. Those numbers put him in the top-10 in team history, and, most importantly, he still holds the record for the most assists in a single season by a Rapids player with 16. Above all, the Colombian's remarkable ability, smooth effortless style and flair for the dramatic remain etched in many fans of the sport.

Valderrama joined the Rapids in 2001 and played in the Centennial State for two seasons. In 2002, he helped lead the Rapids to the postseason and tallied a team-leading 16 assists. He also occupies the fifth spot all-time for game-winning assists (7).

Outside of his time with the Rapids, Valderrama boasts a remarkable resume. In the early years of MLS, he was an icon, earning the league's first-ever MVP award in 1996 with the Tampa Bay Mutiny. In seven MLS seasons, he made the MLS All-Star roster five consecutive times (1996-2000) and once more in 2002 with the Rapids. Valderrama still to this day holds the record for the most assists in a single season in league history with 26 and added 114 total assists in a mere 175 total games. In 2005, Valderrama was named to the MLS All-Time Best XI.

On the international side, he earned 111 caps for the Colombian national team and remains the most capped player in the country's history. He also appeared in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 world cups. 

El Pibe will always be remembered by his trademark hair, his impact on Colombian soccer and the skill and recognition he brought to the league during its founding years. While his stint with the Rapids was brief, there is no doubt that he is one of the best players to ever represent the club, as he remains known as one of the best players to come through North American soccer.


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