Going for a 3-5-2 this week to accommodate a glut of central midfield playmakers...
GK David Ousted (Vancouver Whitecaps): For this save. Yes, it was right at him, but he was in mid-leap and keeping the ball out of the net was entirely a reflex action. In real time, it looked like magic. And if Andrew Wenger had found a way past Ousted at that stage of the game (the score was still 0-0) maybe the Union would not have trounced so thoroughly by Vancouver.
DEF Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls): The Red Bulls played a man down for almost an hour and gave up a lot of possession as a result. But visiting New York City FC was limited to just two shots on target, and David Villa was responsible for neither. Lawrence was an energetic and effective presence throughout, especially in the latter stages of the match, when RBNY began to tire and NYC FC started to apply sustained pressure.
DEF Demar Phillips (Real Salt Lake): The experienced full back was kept busy with back-to-back starts - LA at home and Chicago on the road - and helped his team to a creditable four points, with just one goal conceded. Over both games, Phillips tallied 16 clearances, 14 interceptions and nine tackles.
DEF Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes): The Quakes spent a lot of time on the road and chasing the ball this week. San Jose had games in Houston and Colorado, and emerged from the trip with four points and just one goal conceded, despite giving up more than 60% of possession on both occasions. It required the defense to work hard, and Bernardez led the way with a combined 23 clearances, six interceptions, three tackles and two blocks over the two matches.
LM Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake): Allen has made four starts for RSL in his nascent career in MLS. On Wednesday May 6, he got start #3 - against LA Galaxy - and helped RSL to a point and a clean sheet. On May 7, he was officially called up for the US U-20 squad for the upcoming U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. On May 9, he celebrated with two assists in RSL's 2-1 win over Chicago. A better week than most players, it seems fair to say.
CM Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers): First start of the season, first goal of the season, first match-winner of the season, and Portland's first win since April 19. This was a good week for Valeri, who is finally ready to play again, and who amply demonstrated his value to the Timbers' cause.
CM Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas): This assist was genius. This was owed largely to Tesho Akindele's abilities. But Diaz had a hand in both the goals FCD used to complete a 10-minute turnaround on LA Galaxy and walk out of Week 10 with a win.
CM Pedro Morales (Vancouver Whitecaps): Beating the lamentable Union at home is nothing to get overexcited about at the moment, which is why there aren't more Whitecaps in this week's lineup. But Vancouver steamrollered Philly to claim three points and stay top of the Supporters' Shield race. Morales started the 3-0 rout with a goal, and finished it with an assist.
RM Lloyd Sam (New York Red Bulls): He set up both goals for RBNY's 2-1 win the Hudson River Derby. His first assist was a career highlight. But he was an overwhelming presence on the right flank for the Red Bulls until he was substituted in the 87th minute. To say RBNY doesn't win this week without its right winger in dominant form might be hyperbole, but it is deserved hyperbole.
FWD Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew): Led a Crew attack that fashioned 25 total shots with seven of his own, including two that found the back of the net. He is the league's joint-top scorer, and would be leading the Golden Boot Race alone if Clint Dempsey had not been graciously allowed to keep a goal he scored while offside. But the Crew and Kamara prevailed over Seattle this week, 3-2.
FWD Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls): He scored two goals in classic, BWP, fox-in-the-box style. The Red Bulls won. He is in the official MLS Team of the Week, and he is the official MLS Player of the Week. Of course he is in OaM's best eleven for Week 10.
COACH Jesse Marsch (New York Red Bulls): Sure, RBNY grabbed a narrow win over one of the least-good teams in MLS at the moment. But Marsch has had the relatively good fortune of being able to stick to his game plan for most games this season. Matt Miazga's first-half ejection forced a tactical re-think, and the Red Bulls' head coach showed his team can take a sit-back-and-counter approach when required. The 2-1 win over NYC FC was an encouraging result for those seeking evidence that the 2015 Red Bulls have more than one club in their bag.