clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

MLS Team of Week 11

New, 1 comment

Some big names in this week's selection...

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

A 3-4-3 this week because goals win games, and these guys scored a lot of goals between them in Week 11.

GK Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders): It is tough to win on the road in MLS, as illustrated by the fact the home team lost just one game in Week 11 - and that was Vancouver's 0-2 loss to Seattle. Frei delivered five saves and a clean sheet to backstop his Sounders to to three points.

DEF Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls): Continues to deliver an exceptional level of play, both in terms of intelligence in reading the game and physical ability to execute improbable plays. He did a lot this week to help RBNY take a point (and a clean sheet) from its journey to Dallas. But just the awareness and effort it took to block Fabian Castillo's 16th-minute shot is worth a place in this team.

DEF Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union): How did dreadful Philadelphia (21 goals conceded in 11 games prior to Week 11) manage to beat high-flying D.C. United? By protecting 'keeper Brian Sylvestre, who didn't have to make a single save (there was a DC goal called back). Edu was extremely important in keeping things tidy at the back, contributing 21 recoveries to a defensive effort that yielded the Union's first clean sheet since opening day, and first win since April 11.

DEF Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders): Goalkeeper Frei may have been credited with five saves, but the Whitecaps only managed seven shots overall. Seattle's defense was solid, and Evans - who has had an up down season so far as he adjusts to playing center back - put in a solid shift. He weighed in with 13 clearances, four interceptions, four tackles and a blocked shot, and the Sounders blanked one of the more potent attacking teams in MLS this season.

RW Andres Romero (Montreal Impact): L'Impact's first win of the MLS season was a resounding 4-1 thrashing of Real Salt Lake. Romero effectively killed the game in a 10-minute spell during which he scored twice: first, with dazzling individual skill; second, by supporting his teammates and following up to knock in a rebound. Those goals put Montreal 3-0 up, and the home team never looked back.

CM Kaka (Orlando City SC): OCSC had two games this week, and the first - a 2-1 loss on the road to DC - didn't go well. But amends were made in front a 40,000+ crowd that gathered in Orlando to see the home team trample the reigning MLS Cup champion. LA Galaxy was not at full strength, and OCSC took full advantage. In particular, Kaka took full advantage. He initiated the sequence that led to Orlando's first goal, guided Cyle Larin to score the second, and won the penalty that he converted for OCSC's third. By the time Darwin Ceren slammed home the fourth, the match was over as a contest. And Kaka had delivered the sort of dominating home win those large crowds in Orlando have been waiting to see.

CM Michael Bradley (Toronto FC): All TFC's point so far this season have been won on the road - a function of having played just once and home (and having lost that game). Bradley reminded the league of his class with a remarkable solo run culminating in Toronto's only goal of a match it appeared the Reds would lose. But they did not, and for that they can thank their captain.

LW Shea Salinas (San Jose Earthquakes): A thorn in the Columbus Crew's side from the opening exchanges. He lured Mohammed Saeid into a rash tackle which dropped the Crew to 10 men, and scored the goal that put the Quakes two up on their opponent and on the path to three points.

FWD David Villa (New York City FC): Signs we may yet see something like the best of David Villa in MLS after he led NYC FC's stirring comeback from two goals down to claim the team's first point since April 16. A run of four consecutive losses looked set to extend to five after Chicago went ahead by two goals and NYC FC lost defender RJ Allen to a red card. But Villa's shot on the stroke of half-time was parried to Mehdi Ballouchy, who duly trimmed the deficit. And in second-half stoppage time, the Spaniard squirted a pass through traffic to Khiry Shelton, who belted home the equalizer. Villa played the full match, and led his team's efforts to find the net with four shots.

FWD Chad Barrett (Seattle Sounders): Parity in MLS is supposed to be built on the league's restrictions to squad size and the salary cap. A team like the Sounders, for example, can afford a potent attacking pair like Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey, but when one does down, the replacement is a more modest talent - like Barrett. But the MLS journeyman brought finishing that the missing Martins would have been proud to call his own, neatly clipping two goals past David Ousted and leading Seattle to an impressive road win over a Cascadia rival.

FWD Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo): He's never scored more than 12 goals in a regular season, but Bruin is also only 25 years old. His performance this week was a reminder of the days when he was thought to have USMNT potential. He scored twice: the first goal was a simple header facilitated by dismal marking on the part of Portland Timbersthe second was classy finish of the sort not recently associated with Bruin. If he is finding not just form but also finesse, this could be a very productive year indeed for the Dynamo's target man.

COACH Frank Klopas (Montreal Impact): His team's CONCACAF Champions League adventure is over, and it is fair to question whether Klopas can get Montreal to focus on more humdrum MLS fare in time to make a playoff challenge this season. This week's resounding win over RSL suggests L'Impact is not suffering too great a CCL hangover. And Montreal also qualfied for the Canadian Championship final this week, putting it a step closer to a return to CCL in 2016.

It has been suggested, not unreasonably, that Mr. Klopas is an undeserving recipient of this week's Coach of the Week - since he was watching his team play RSL from the stands:

But this column maintains that a side that is 3-0 up after 30 minutes has found some success with the game-plan drawn up in training, and the achievements of a win in MLS and a Canadian Championship final berth accrue to Mr. Klopas, regardless of whether he is allowed to stalk the sidelines or not.