Clinical forwards, crafty midfielders and a solid back line: bundled into a 4-3-3 for your consideration as the best group of players from MLS Week 11.
G Jeff Attinella (Real Salt Lake): Attinella has a tough assignment - to fill in for one of the best 'keepers in the league, Nick Rimando, during his absence for the World Cup. So far, so good. He stood up to a Colorado Rapids fightback, made some key saves at key moments, so by the time the Rapids did find the net, it was too little too late to prevent RSL from taking the win.
LB Chris Tierney (New England Revolution): Why is a defender for a team that conceded three goals this week getting praise? Because his team won 5-3, and he scored one of those and set up another.
CB Jermaine Taylor (Houston Dynamo): Ten clearances, nine recoveries, seven interceptions - Taylor came up big for his team as part of a disciplined defensive effort that kept the Galaxy scoreless and the Dynamo to grab three points with just one goal against the Galaxy.
CB David Horst (Houston Dynamo): Is the Dynamo getting a lot credit for a 1-0 home win over a lackluster Galaxy? Yes, but Horst did make a damn good goal-line clearance this week.
RB Jalil Anibaba (Seattle Sounders): Standing in for DeAndre Yedlin is a challenge, albeit one made easier by the fact San Jose has very few forwards available at the moment. Still, Anibaba helped Seattle bounce back from last week's catastrophe in New England to not merely win, but grab its first shutout since March.
M Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution): Nguyen's form is a huge part of the Revs' current run (this week's win was their fourth in a row). He set up New England's second goal; scored the third when the Union were threatening to get back into the game; and even provided the minor distraction required for Tierney to bang in the fourth.
M Federico Higuain (Columbus Crew): Scored the goal of the week in this column's estimation - a sublime chip from a distance that should have been no threat. And slotted in a penalty. And gifted Hector Jimenez a chance he ought to have converted. And set up Ethan Finley's opportunity to bounce the Crew's third goal in off Futty Danso. The Crew didn't win, but it didn't lose either - and the loss would have been heavy but for Higuain.
M Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo): In very simple terms, the reason the Dynamo beat the Galaxy this week was that Barnes could get a shot on target despite a very narrow target, and Samuel could not.
FWD Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders): Should it have taken something quite so extraordinary as this goal from Martins to edge Seattle past the depleted Quakes? Probably not, but some goals are so unlikely they should count double. This was one of them.
FWD Mike Magee (Chicago Fire): Earlier in the season, the Fire was skewing penalties all over the place and leaving points on the field. This week, reigning league MVP Magee stepped up to lead his team to its first home win of the year courtesy of two spot kicks.
FWD Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC): Don't let the 2-0 scoreline fool you, Defoe's goal - a powerful finish he made look a lot simpler than it was - beat RBNY this week. The second was merely garnish on a job already done by the time it was scored.
Coach Jay Heaps (New England Revolution): After a 2-1 win on the road against Kansas City earlier in the week, it seemed as though Philadelphia Union might have got its act together. And then Heaps brought his swaggering Revs into PPL Park and thrashed the Union in front of an understandably unhappy home crowd. The dog days are back in Philly; and New England remain top dogs in the East, perhaps even the league (they play RSL on July 4th).