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MLS Team of Week 5

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Once A Metro's weekly estimation of the best players in MLS...

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

This week's best line up in an all-out attacking 3-4-3, in not-entirely-deliberate tribute to the attacking juggernaut that is the current iteration of the Vancouver Whitecaps.

GK Bill Hamid (D.C. United): Another week, another 1-0 win for DC - in Orlando this time. OCSC has been wasteful in front of goal so far this season, but Hamid still needed to make five saves (the home team had 17 attempts: shots on target is not its strong point). And while one can point to Orlando's woeful finishing as explanation for the clean sheet, Hamid was often left exposed by his defense and came up big on each occasion.

DEF Joevin Jones (Chicago Fire): In a match that devolved into a shoot-out, Chicago beat Toronto courtesy of scoring the first and last goals. The Fire's opening goal sparked a run of five goals in less than an hour of play. It was also a reminder that the team did make some potentially smart pick-ups in the off-season. Jones won the ball in the final third, played a give-and-go with Shaun Maloney to get himself in sight of goal, and beat the 'keeper with a shot that was little more than a nudge, but arrowed the ball to the far corner.

DEF Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps): LA got one shot on target and zero goals in a fruitless trip to Vancouver. Waston contributed 11 clearances and nine interceptions to a defense that did a very good job of handling the Galaxy's attack.

DEF Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders): The last time Seattle played in front of its home crowd, Evans was humiliated by a San Jose team that made him appear a conspicuously weak link in the Sounders' defense. But Sigi Schmid has stuck with his theory Evans can be an effective center back, and this week was Seattle's second consecutive clean sheet with Evans in the middle of the back line since he crumbled under pressure from the Quakes. And there was pressure from the Dynamo, who played more than 30 minutes up a man after Gonzalo Pineda was sent off. Houston dominated possession in the second half, but could only land two shots on target for the game. Evans was solid (10 clearances, four tackles and four interceptions) and Seattle held on to convert Obafemi Martins' 39th minute goal into a 1-0 win.

MID Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps): Bagged his first goal of the season this week against LA Galaxy, to put the 'Caps on the way to their fourth consecutive win and ensure his prominent role in torturing the visiting defense was reflected on the score sheet.

MID Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake): As RSL continue to struggle to adapt to a new system, it appears Morales has taken on the role of reminding his teammates they are capable of moments of genuine quality. This week, in a game in which both teams combined for 22 attempts but only managed five on target, Morales scored the only goal of the match with perhaps the best-hit shot we'll see all year. He bounced a free kick off the wall, but walloped the rebound through a gap in the crowded defensive line and sent the ball on a cruel trajectory - curving and rising at speed - that took it into the crossbar and subsequently the net. Quakes 'keeper David Bingham likely would have little chance even if he'd been able to see it coming (it looked as though the shot was masked from the 'keeper's view by the crowd of players in front of him). That shot alone is worth inclusion in this week's selection.

MID Shaun Maloney (Chicago Fire): Designated Players have a certain amount of pressure on them in MLS, since they are by definition among the highest paid players on their teams and also the league. Maloney had a slow start to the season on a team that started very slowly (three consecutive losses). But the Fire seems to be figuring itself out, and Maloney's contribution to this week's 3-2 winan assist and a goal - provides Chicago with reason to hope he may yet be able to assume the starring role the DP tag implies.

MID Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City): KC's 3-2 win over Philadelphia was all about set pieces - neither side could defend them particularly well. Feilhaber's dead-ball delivery brought goals for Dominic Dwyer and Krisztian Nemeth, and it was Roger Espinoza's quick reaction to a cleared Feilhaber free kick that got the ball back into the area and on to Jalil Anibaba's head. KC didn't score every time Feilhaber took a set piece, it just felt that way.

FWD Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders): The idea Clint Dempsey "assisted" this goal by passing Martins the ball is preposterous. The striker got the ball with Jermaine Taylor on his back and the rest of the Houston back line closing in. And then he flipped himself around, put the entire Dynamo defense behind him and fashioned an opportunity that never should have been to score the only goal of the game.

FWD Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution): The TV commentary team was too busy watching fans watching the match to notice Agudelo score, but his goal - the match-winner and the only one of the Revolution's two goals this week that wasn't the product of a disgraceful dive in the penalty area - was sublime.

FWD Fanendo Adi (Portland Timbers): Big win for Portland this week. Not just because they scored three goals or beat the team (FC Dallas) that had set the pace in MLS for the first month of season, but also because the Timbers were winless in four games and starting to look like they might be sinking into a hole they would find it hard to get escape. A 3-1 home win over what had been regarded as one of the best team's in the league was a much-needed tonic. Adi didn't score any of the goals, and he lacks the eye-catching speed and technique of Darlington Nagbe or Dairon Asprilla (who combined very well to set up Maxi Urruti's goal). Still, the big man is an important piece for Caleb Porter's side. This week, he did the simple things well. How was it Nat Borchers didn't even have to jump to score his first goal of the season? Adi had pulled two defenders to him at the set piece, leaving the Portland center back unmarked. And he picked up a loose ball and played a straight-line pass for Diego Chara to chase, resulting in the Timbers' third goal of the game. Oh - and if Maxi Urruti could stay on onside, he'd have had a goal for popping in the rebound off a stinging shot from Adi that Chris Seitz couldn't hold.

COACH Carl Robinson (Vancouver Whitecaps): After three consecutive narrow victories, Robinson's team seemed to click this week. The 'Caps won their fourth straight, beating the reigning MLS Cup champ with greater ease than a 2-0 score might suggest. Vancouver is the hottest team in the league right now, and has assumed the lead in the Supporters' Shield table. And the "Caps are playing attacking football with a hard edge: no team has taken more shots (72), put more on target (29), or conceded as many fouls (80). The winning streak won't last forever, but this week's showing suggests prior results were no fluke and the best may be yet to come.