This week's lineup celebrates more than the usual number of defenders, so they're set up in a 5-4-1...
GK Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders): One senses the Sounders' morale might be a little fragile after taking just three points from the 12 available prior to this week. So Frei's first-half penalty save, which prevented Houston from taking an early lead in Seattle, might not have been the prettiest or most difficult bit of goalkeeping this week, but was perhaps the most psychologically important for its impact on his team.
LB Michel (FC Dallas): He played left midfield this week, but still found time to put in some defensive work - clearing a shot off his own goal line. He also set up both the goals his team scored from open play, largely because Colorado apparently hadn't read the scouting report and decided to give him lots of space and time to tee up his crosses. Throw in a goal from the penalty spot, and you have one of the more complete performances by any player this week.
CB Matt Hedges (FC Dallas): FCD's 3-1 home win wasn't as straightforward as the scoreline might indicate. Hedges led a sterling defensive effort with 12 clearances, 4 blocks and 4 interceptions. One of those blocks stopped a certain goal; and he found time to score one himself.
CB Jason Hernandez (San Jose Earthquakes): San Jose did extraordinarily well to get out of a lopsided game in LA with a 2-2 draw. The Galaxy fashioned 24 chances, but only six were on target - and nine shots were blocked. Hernandez was the busiest member of the Quakes' back line, so he gets to take a place in this week's team on their behalf.
CB Chris Schuler (Real Salt Lake): Scored twice while playing his part in a back line which restricted DC United to just two shots on target. Three points, two goals and a clean sheet is an excellent return for any center back.
RB Lovel Palmer (Chicago Fire): The reason Chicago beat New York Red Bulls was because the referee awarded the home side a quite dubious penalty. But the reason the Fire didn't lose - and RBNY didn't score - was because of solid defensive performance that prevented the visitors from converting 60% possession into very much of anything. Palmer finished the game credited with six interceptions - representative of Chicago's ability to stifle RBNY's opportunities in the attacking third.
RM Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union): Two more goals for Le Toux brought the Union a much-needed three points, as well as boosting the forward-turned-midfielder-turned-back-into-a-forward-again to a total of 10 goals for the season to date. His career high in MLS is 14 goals in a season (2010) - and that personal best is now in sight.
CM Pedro Morales (Vancouver Whitecaps): On his day, he's perhaps the best creative attacking midfielder in MLS. He had one of those days this week, as he was instrumental in creating both goals in Vancouver's 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City.
CM Matias Perez Garcia (San Jose Earthquakes): Played the Yannick Djalo role in the Quakes' newfound focus on craft and guile over brawn, and linked up as well with Chris Wondolowski as the currently-injured Djalo had done in the back-to-back wins preceding this week's 2-2 draw. A goal on his MLS debut highlighted his potential value to his new club.
LM Rodney Wallace (Portland TImbers): A sentimental pick perhaps, but Wallace has had a long road back from an injury which cost him a run at Costa Rica's World Cup squad. His goal in Portland's 2-0 win over Chivas offers some hope he's still the player he was threatening to be before he was forced to take a break from the game.
FWD Luke Moore (Toronto FC): One goal and two assists brought TFC three goals and three points in Columbus. Toronto was expecting big things from an English forward this season, and Moore is stepping up in Jermain Defoe's absence.
Coach - Sigi Schmid (Seattle Sounders): 200th career MLS win? Sure, that's worth some recognition. The 2-0 home win over Houston was not representative of the fast and fluid style the Sounders are capable of at their best, but the team had lost three of its previous four matches. Points win prizes, and Schmid didn't hit the 200-win milestone by being a coach who lacks pragmatism.