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MLS Team of Week 31

Just about the only thing Carl Robinson didn't win this week was a playoff place...

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

Back to an old favorite, the 4-4-2, for this week's lineup...

GK Tyler Deric (Houston Dynamo): He couldn't stop DC putting in three against him on his home ground, and that loss cost Houston any last remaining hope of making the playoffs this year. But the only reason such hope survived all the way until the end of week 31 is because Deric pulled off six saves - including that of a penalty - in Toronto, to help Houston nab three points on the road. Shame they team couldn't savor the victory for longer than four days.

RB Sean Franklin (D.C. United): He tangled with Ricardo Clark on a set piece to give away the penalty that let Houston back into the game, but Franklin led DC in tackles (five) and interceptions (three), as well as contributing two assists to his team's 3-1 win on the road.

CB Bobby Burling (Chivas USA): The Goats made hard work of beating Colorado, allowing the Rapids to fire in 21 shots. But only six of those were on target. Burling led a rearguard performance with four tackles, four interceptions and four blocks - keeping Chivas in the game long enough to allow two second-half goals deliver the Goats' second consecutive home win.

CB Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps): The 'Caps 1-0 win in Seattle was the most impressive result of week 31. Much needed and hard won, three points were gained largely through stoic defending. Waston finished the match credited with 18 clearances, to go with four tackles, four interceptions and three blocks.

LB Taylor Kemp (D.C. United): Defensively, he's still got some work to do, but Kemp is a useful full back on the overlap, as he proved by popping up in the final third to slap home DC's opening goal of week 31.

RM Andres Escobar (FC Dallas): Had a hand in both the goals FCD used to beat LA Galaxy and stay in the hunt for third place in the Western Conference.

CM Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls): The Red Bulls made a 3-1 home win over a demoralized opponent look really, really difficult. But McCarty simply wouldn't let his team quit. He turned Bradley Wright-Phillips's off-target shot into a goal, and bailed out Richard Eckersley after an unfortunate mistake almost let Toronto in to score. And then, as team leader should, he jumped up to instruct Eckersley on the importance of never doing anything like that again.

CM Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City): Out of position in this lineup, but it's not possible to leave him out of this week's team after he chipped in a goal and an assist to get KC just its third win in its last 10 games.

LM Rodney Wallace (Portland Timbers): The Timbers scored three goals to get three points against San Jose, and Wallace was instrumental in delivering the result. He scored the first, won the penalty that led to the second, and hammered a shot off Jon Busch for Diego Valeri to tap in for the third.

FWD Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact): Delivered a couple of first-time finishes to remind us all of what we will be missing once he retires at the end of the season.

FWD Jairo Arrieta (Columbus Crew): The Crew's phenomenal five-minute turnaround (from 2-0 down in the 78th minute to 3-2 up in the 82nd) owed a great deal to Arrieta, who joined the game in the 73rd minute. First, he put Fabinho under a little pressure, forcing a loose pass that gave Columbus possession and momentum which turned into its first goal of the game. More hustle set Justin Meram loose on a run that brought the equalizer. And then he scored the winner himself.

COACH Carl Robinson (Vancouver Whitecaps): Beating Seattle on the road was not in the script for Vancouver, but Robinson guided his team to its third win in a row - and its most impressive of the sequence - to keep the Caps in the hunt for the last remaining Western Conference playoff spot. Oh - and the win means Vancouver won Cascadia Cup for the second year running, and is now favorite to claim Canada's spot in next year's CONCACAF Champions League.