Lining up in a 3-4-3 this week...
GK Ryan Meara (NYC FC): Yes, the goal he allowed was owed to a blunder Meara will not soon forget, but he subsequently settled down, made seven saves of varying degrees of difficulty, and Chicago did not score again. Unfortunately for Meara, neither did NYC FC, so history records his team lost because he made a mistake. But he also saved his teammates from a humiliation.
DEF Chris Tierney (New England Revolution): Tierney is one of the more reliable left backs in MLS, and he is one of the better set-piece takers in league - so it's no surprise to see him pop up in Team of the Week from time to time. What is surprising is that he's in this week's selection for scoring a goal (he doesn't do that often) from the run of play (as opposed to his traditional strength: set pieces) with his right foot (he is left-footed). And it was a very special goal.
DEF Bobby Boswell (DC United): Big win for DCU in Vancouver this week, especially considering the team played the last 32 minutes of the game with rookie Travis Worra making an unexpected debut in goal. But the DC United back line did a good job of protecting the young 'keeper. Boswell was part of that effort and he bagged DC's equalizer, stalling the Whitecaps' momentum and providing a platform for what turned into an unexpected but not undeserved three points for DCU.
DEF Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy): The Galaxy did not win in New York, but the team did become the first visitors to Red Bull Arena not to lose so far this season. The Red Bulls bossed possession and fashioned almost twice as many attempts on goal as LA managed, but the Galaxy defense did a very good job of keeping RBNY at bay in the final third. Of 14 attempts, the Red Bulls only landed three shots on target - and the goal LA conceded was a fluke. Gonzalez put in a very solid shift, including 14 clearances, four interceptions and four tackles.
LM Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo): History-making is always welcome in Team of the Week. In a madcap game in Houston, neither the Dynamo nor KC defended very well (though the match was turned by an abject penalty call) but Davis was able to tally two assists from his signature set piece deliveries. The MLS veteran has now overtaken Carlos Valderrama's career assists total in regular season games; Davis's 115 career assists is the third-best total in the history of the league, behind just Steve Ralston and Landon Donovan.
CM Scott Caldwell (New England Revolution): The Revs trounced Real Salt Lake this week. Caldwell contributed his first assist of the season and his first MLS goal...ever. He is not a player expected to show up on the score sheet every week, or any week, so recognition is certainly due when he does.
CM Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City): KC had no business taking a point out of Houston, but one piece of good fortune (the referee's decision to award a penalty and send off Jermaine Taylor for being struck in the chest by the ball) handed Sporting an equalizer. And then Houston went ahead again, so KC equalized again - in stoppage time, without any assistance from the ref. Both equalizers were put away by Feilhaber, and the goals also happened to be his first of the season.
FWD Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo): Some may choose to dwell on his mistake that gifted Dominic Dwyer a goal, but before that moment, Barnes scored two of the better goals we'll see this season, and certainly this week.
FWD David Accam (Chicago Fire): Terrorized NYC FC, finishing with almost as many shots (six) as his opponents managed collectively (eight). Accam's goal was a gift from Ryam Meara, but he had also good chances denied by the 'keeper and the post. And he lured Andrew Jacobson into the rash tackle that drew a red card and made it a little easier for Chicago to convert one goal into three points.
COACH Greg Vanney (Toronto FC): Under pressure after TFC slumped to four consecutive losses, this week's win ought to at least have given Vanney the opportunity to keep coaching TFC for the team's home opener (May 10).