Lining up as a 4-3-3 this week...
GK David Ousted (Vancouver Whitecaps): The 'Caps went to Red Bull Arena and got three points because they scored two goals and RBNY missed two penalties. Specifically, Bradley Wright-Phillips became the first player in MLS history to miss two penalties in the same game. Except he didn't miss - neither was brilliantly placed or hit, but both shots were on target. Ousted saved them, and gave his teammates the necessary platform to eke out a 2-1 win on the road.
RB Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers): Houston had a goal waved off - other than that, the Dynamo only managed one shot on target against Portland. Powell led the Timbers' back line in clearances (six) and interceptions (four), and almost (accidentally) had the goal of the week.
CB Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps): The Red Bulls brought a lot of attacking pressure to bear on Vancouver, but the 'Caps dealt with most of what was thrown at them - despite conceding two penalties. Part of that was because RBNY's ideas too often devolved into balls in the air aimed hopefully at 5' 8" Bradley Wright-Phillips; 6' 5" Waston gobbled them up. He also got the better of Sacha Kljestan in the exchange which saw the big center back successfully dupe the referee into believing there was something more than a squabble happening between two players who definitely know better. Kljestan was sent off, and the 'Caps had an advantage they were able to turn into three points.
CB Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact): When Ciman is on his game, so too is Montreal's defense it would seem. He put in seven tackles, three interceptions, three clearances and a block; l'Impact picked up a clean sheet and three points as Orlando could only land three shots on target.
LB Donny Toia (Montreal Impact): This column has a soft spot for players scoring their first goal in MLS, and it has a soft spot for Montreal left back Donny Toia. So in the week Toia scores his first MLS goal and it's a week when Montreal won and kept a clean sheet - he has to be in TotW.
MID Matias Perez Garcia (San Jose Earthquakes): The Sounders may be depleted by injury and suspension, but it still takes some effort to beat them in Seattle. San Jose did that this week with a lot of help from Perez Garcia. His determination created the opportunity and space for Sanna Nyassi to score one of the goals of the week. And then he dribbled into the midst of four Seattle defenders and unleashed a goal of the week candidate of his own.
MID Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake): RSL found a fortuitous injury-time winner against Sporting Kansas City to snap a three-game winless streak in which the team had scored only once. Morales scarcely deserved to be credited with an assist for Olmes Garcia's goal - it was owed to a deflection more than anything else. But he got credit nonetheless, and his free kick delivery gave Sebastian Jaime the chance to score RSL's first of the game and the first of the Argentine's brief MLS career. It remains the case that when RSL wins, Morales is usually significantly involved.
FWD Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy): The Galaxy dismantled Philadelphia Union, 5-1, and Zardes was instrumental in four of the goals. First, he clanged a shot off the post for Baggio Husidic to tap in the rebound to open the scoring. Next, he set up Juninho. In the 56th minute, he started and finished a combination with Robbie Keane that effectively saw the two Galaxy forwards outwit five Union defenders. And finally he fed Sebastian Lletget for the capper.
FWD David Villa (NYC FC): His job is to score goals and he's doing it rather well at the moment. A penalty and close-range strike under pressure made it 2-0 for NYC FC against Toronto this week. Villa now has three goals in his last two games and six for the season.
FWD Chris Rolfe (D.C. United): Another player who scored both the goals his team needed for a win in Week 16. Rolfe piloted DC to a 2-1 win over New England Revolution with a neat volley and a well-taken penalty.
COACH Jason Kreis (NYC FC): The Portland Timbers have the longest active winning streak in MLS (four games), but NYC FC's is the most impressive. Kreis has now seen his once hapless squad win three straight. After beating Philly (who had won three of their prior four games) and Montreal (four wins out of five before meeting NYC FC), this week's effort was even more eye-catching: a 2-0 win over Toronto FC in Toronto. TFC had won three in a row and five of its last seven - and hadn't been held scoreless since March 14 (against Columbus). And, for what it's worth, the Reds were the last team to beat Portland before the Timbers' current run of wins. Kreis has his team rolling.