Going with a 3-5-2 for Week 7...
GK Adam Kwarasey (Portland Timbers): The Sounders' Stefan Frei was credited with eight saves on the road this week, and Seattle came out of Colorado with a win. But not all saves are created equal, and the Sounders scored three times, making the 'keeper's contribution perhaps a little less crucial. Portland, however, would not have turned a 79th-minute goal into a 1-0 road win without the repeated intervention of Kwarasey. He made five saves, and most of them were in testing situations. His point-blank, 89th-minute rejection of Khiry Shelton's should-have-been equalizer was arguably the primary reason the Timbers got three points this week.
DEF Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls): He is thought to be keeping the left back spot warm for Roy Miller, but when the Costa RIcan international returns from injury, he may find it tough to unseat the young Jamaican. Lawrence covered a lot of ground in RBNY's 2-0 win over San Jose, and had the speed and tactical awareness required to limit the vulnerability to the counter-attack that the Red Bulls' high-press system encourages. His third start for his new team was also the second consecutive clean sheet at home he's helped RBNY to secure.
DEF Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls): The 19-year-old appears to be visibly growing more comfortable with the starting role he's assumed since RBNY lost Ronald Zubar to injury. This week, his performance in a 2-0 home win was also statistically remarkable - he produced a quantity of combined defensive actions the stats-keepers tell us doesn't happen often, and usually occurs in the context of a defense taking a shelling. The Red Bulls were largely untroubled by San Jose, in part because the back line handled the Quakes confidently and effectively. And Miazga was a leading contributor to the shutout.
DEF Sam Adekugbe (Vancouver Whitecaps): An active and effective presence on the 'Caps left flank, tallying five interceptions, five clearances and four tackles. And even his mistakes came up big: his poorly judged pass was half-intercepted by Luke Mulholland and squirted into Russell Teibert's path, who converted it into the match-winning assist. Vancouver got back on track this week with a 1-0 win on the road against hitherto undefeated RSL. And Adekugbe got his place in the starting lineup back (he didn't play in last week's 1-0 loss to San Jose) - a good week for the player and his team.
LM Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas): FCD's game against Toronto was interrupted by a long rain delay, but it didn't matter a great deal because Castillo had the foresight to get his work done early this week. He scored twice in the opening 10 minutes, and a shell-shocked TFC was three goals down inside 30 minutes. The protracted stoppage did stall FCD's momentum, and the home team very nearly let its three-goal lead slip - but Castillo had built a platform that even a three-and-a-half-hour pause and Sebastian Giovinco could not overturn.
CM Lamar Neagle (Seattle Sounders): Obafemi Martins will probably win Goal of the Week for his work against Colorado, but Neagle was also nominated for his first goal against the Rapids. And he scored the Sounders' second too - which turned out to be the match-winner. Neagle is out of position in this week's lineup, but not at all out of place.
CM Federico Higuain (Columbus Crew): His first goal of MLS 2015 was a neat back-heel that summarizes the deft touch around which Higuain has built his game. That touch was on display throughout the Crew's 3-0 win over Orlando: in the build-up to Justin Meram's goal; directly assisting Kei Kamara for the team's third; and trying very hard to help Kamara get another as the match wound down.
CM Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers): No surprise he was involved in the build-up to Portland's winner against NYC FC - he seemed to be involved in everything good the Timbers managed to do in attack. And if his teammates had exhibited better control or finishing, he'd have had a bundle of assists this weekend.
RM Teal Bunbury (New England Revolution): He joined the Revs' game against Philadelphia Union in the 61st minute with his team trailing 1-0 on the road. Three minutes later, Bunbury had set up Charlies Davies for the equalizer. Twelve minutes after that, he scored the winner himself. Few second-half substitutes will affect a match as decisively this season, let alone this week.
FWD Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC): He was TFC's attack this week - nine out of 18 attempts on goal mustered by Toronto were taken by Giovinco. If more than three of them had been on target, perhaps TFC would have dug itself out of the three-goal hole it dug for itself through early-game haplessness. As it was, Giovinco terrified FCD's defense in the last 10 minutes of the match - scoring twice and almost doing enough to bag a hat-trick (and the equalizer) in what would have been one of the most remarkable comebacks of this, or any, season. Instead, it was merely one of the more remarkable individual performances of this week.
FWD Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders): It was one moment in a match the Sounders probably would have won anyway, but of the players this week who basically scored one special goal (Mehdi Ballouchy, Cristian Maidana, Kei Kamara), Martins' special goal was the most memorable.
COACH Jesse Marsch (New York Red Bulls): Real Salt Lake lost its unbeaten record this week, which makes RBNY the last undefeated team in MLS 2015. Congrats, Jesse.