Houston Dynamo captain and defender Talen Maples received the news that he had honored as a member of the inaugural MLS Next Pro Best XI for 2022. The organization announced the honor on Friday afternoon ahead of the team's playoff match with the Tacoma Defiance.
Maples played every minute of 23 matches logging more than 2,000 minutes n the pitch for the Dynamo Dos. The one match he missed was due to a call-up for the U.S. Open Cup match with the first team.
The 6' 194 pound center back helped anchor a defense that had 11 clean sheets in 24 outings with five different keepers. His defense conceded the fewest goals in the league and surrendered just four goals at home. When it counted most, he anchored a backline that allowed just two goals over the final five games.
On the offensive side of the ball, he tallied three goals including the go ahead goal in a 3-2 over in state rival North Texas SC on April 23, 2022.
Interim Dynamo 2 head coach Daniel Roberts had this to say about Leander, Texas native's selection the Best XI.
“(Talen Maples) has been tremendous for us all year, he is a terrific leader. Terrific personality, both on-and-off the field. I have known Talen quite a while, he played for us with the under-23s in 2018 and 2019. Funny enough, we tried recruiting him for the Dynamo Academy before then. I've known him a long time, he's improved as a player, obviously, through his time in the academy system, but then also in college with SMU and over his first two years as a professional. He's someone that's only going to get better. His approach to his daily work, his commitment to getting better is tremendous. He has to take all the credit for what he's accomplished this year, he has been superb.”