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MLS Team of Week 29

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An unusual degree of defensive solidity in this week's best-of selection...

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Who plays 3-5-2 these days? This team, because it has a lot of midfielders to try to accommodate...

GK Bill Hamid (D.C. United): How many games has Hamid helped DC cling on for points this year? This week, he kept his ninth clean sheet of the season, allowing his team to claim its sixth win by a margin of one goal, and its fourth by a score of 1-0.

DEF Jose Goncalves (New England Revolution): He cuts an unfortunate figure on the highlights for both the goals New England conceded in Kansas City - doing little to stop either beyond a forlorn appeal for offside on each occasion. But how many center backs have the confidence to simply run the ball out of their own half to the edge of their opponent's penalty area and lash a shot past the 'keeper from 20 yards? At least one: Goncalves.

DEF Nick Hagglund (Toronto FC): He gifted the Timbers their first goal of their game in Toronto by turning a pass out of the back into a through ball for Fanendo Adi. And he was one part of a series of defensive errors on the corner that turned into Steven Caldwell's own goal to put Portland two goals up. But the rookie took his lumps, and put his mind to making up for his earlier mistakes. Scoring once was good; scoring twice - in eight minutes - was extraordinary. Then he combined with his center back partner, Caldwell, to make the run into the six-yard box that froze Donovan Ricketts just long enough for Michael Bradley's free kick to sneak into the net for TFC's winner.

DEF A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy): It's no secret that Bradley Wright-Phillips is the New York Red Bulls' danger man. DeLaGarza did an excellent job of keeping the league's top scorer contained. BWP had three good chances to get his team on the score sheet, but only managed to shake off DeLaGarza for one of them. The other two were stifled by the Galaxy's less-celebrated center back, who cleared a ball out from under BWP's feet on one occasion, and shepherded the striker right into Jaime Penedo the next time it seemed the striker had found himself a scoring chance.


LM Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy): A goal, three assists (even if one was a little suspect) and a share of the league's all-time assist-making record is more than enough for LD to make TotW.

CM Pedro Morales (Vancouver Whitecaps): After Morales missed a penalty and RSL took the lead shortly after, it appeared he might have cost his team at least a point. But he got another chance from the spot, and converted. Next, he scored the match-winner.

CM Michael Bradley (Toronto FC): Led TFC's comeback from two goals down with an insistent performance in midfield, and a consistent set-piece delivery that ultimately won the day for his team. The Timbers' 'keeper, Donovan Ricketts, was frozen by the trajectory of Bradley's last-minute free kick, unable to challenge for the ball in the air - and unable to react when it bounced and skipped into the net.

CM Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution): Only one team won away from home this week, and the Revs did it because Jones appears to be very much enjoying himself.

RM Andres Escobar (FC Dallas): Helped FCD beat the Sounders in midweek by basically never slowing down. He nudged a ball to David Texeira to slap home Dallas's first; then Escobar took out the entire Seattle defense with a run-and-pass sequence that left Texeira with nothing else to do but tap in his team's second.


FWD David Texeira (FC Dallas): To beat the Sounders, a team has to take its chances. Teixeira took two, and led his team to a 3-1 win over the league leaders.

FWD Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders): He turned Seattle's second game of the week into a head-to-head contest between himself and Chivas USA. The Goats scored first; Martins equalized. The visitors scored again; the Sounders got one back when a pass intended for Martins was tipped into Lamar Neagle's path. Finally, Martins set up Clint Dempsey for Seattle's third, and then bagged another for himself.


COACH Carl Robinson (Vancouver Whitecaps): The Caps' playoff hopes looked to be dead after losing four out of six games, including handing six points to their only serious rivals for fifth in the West, Portland Timbers. Once Vancouver went a goal down to RSL in the 50th minute this week, it seemed those playoff hopes were officially buried. But Robinson figured it out, and watched his last substitute of the game - Kekuta Manneh - make a critical contribution to setting up the goal that brought Vancouver all three points within a minute of entering the field of play.