Starting this week, Once A Metro brings you its MLS team-of-the-week feature, and a disclaimer: this blog's perspective should be clear to all who read it. There may be more frequent appearances by RBNY players in these listings than are found in similar attempts to acknowledge the league's best. Read at your own risk.
For week 7, the line up is a conventional 4-4-2. Here's this week's best eleven players in MLS...
GK Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake): Rimando has never won the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award. A few more performances like the one he put in this week to keep Portland scoreless, and perhaps the adjudicators of the league's end-of-year awards will notice they have been overlooking a pretty special player.
RB Kevin Alston (New England Revolution): Alston was sent off for conceding the penalty which should have given Chicago all three points against the Revs. But it didn't. History is written by the winners, and Alston won this battle. Yes, he appeared to block a goal-bound shot with his arm, but that is the smart thing to do against a Chicago team which is apparently clueless as to the identity of its most reliable penalty-taker. Juan Luis Anangono took one of the most feeble spot-kicks you will ever see, and the Revs won a point on the road. And the reason for the point was Alston's acceleration - he got past Patrick Nyarko, and was himself fouled in the box. Lee Nguyen converted the penalty for the Revs. Alston will be suspended, but his antics at both ends of the pitch got the point for his team this week.
CB Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City): Unless you're a KC fan, it is pleasing to think of Collin as a depraved thug, an elbow-to-the-head delivery system, rather than a soccer player. Every once in a while, however, he confounds the stereotype. This week, he put on a Thierry Henry impression: a savvy near-post dummy helped create space for Dom Dwyer to score; and he scored a beauty himself. Collin's goal was a first-time, left-footed strike that beat the 'keeper at the near post. Henry would have been proud - so take a bow, Monsieur Collin.
CB Matt Hedges (FC Dallas): Collin isn't the only center back in the league who can score and create goals. Hedges' work was not as pretty as that of his KC counterpart, but arguably more important. Collin contributed to KC's beat-down of Montreal. Hedges helped FCD edge past a stubborn Toronto side. The big man's head scored the first Dallas goal and created the second.
CM Gonzalo Pineda (Seattle Sounders): He seemed to be involved in everything that went the Sounders' way this week. First, Pineda was the man who took the free kick which culminated in a Den Kennedy blunder and a Seattle equalizer. Second, he lured a number of Chivas players into risky tackles, including the one for which Marco Delgado was sent off. Finally, he picked out Obafemi Martins in traffic, starting the sequence which brought the Sounders' game-winner.
CM Ned Grabavoy (Real Salt Lake): Just breezed past Darlington Nagbe and punched a shot through an inexplicably large hole in Portland's defense for RSL's match-winner.
LM Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls): His versatility is both his strength and his limitation. Wherever Alexander slots into the RBNY starting lineup, he seems to to be keeping a better-qualified guy off the pitch. This week, usurping Jonny Steele's spot in left midfield, Alexander put in a performance to silence his critics: two assists for the two goals his team needed to win its first game of the year.
FW Dominic Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City): Last year, Dwyer scored two goals in the MLS regular season for KC. In week 7, he matched that tally in one game, and bumped his year-to-date scoring total to four goals in six appearances.
Coach: Sigi Schmid (Seattle Sounders) - The conventional wisdom of MLS says you win your home games and try to get a point or two where you can on the road. So far this season, Schmid is making a mockery of this theory. Seattle's week 7 win over Chivas in LA was its third consecutive road game - and its third win out of four matches played away from home. If the Sounders can bring such form back to Seattle, they'll win the Shield.