Lining up as a 3-4-3 to accommodate a glut of goalscorers.
GK Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire): His defense let him down repeatedly, but Johnson still made eight saves to keep Chicago from completely losing touch with its game against Philadelphia. A last-minute equalizer secured a point for the Fire, which was the least the keeper's efforts deserved.
DEF Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls): RBNY beat Toronto this week because it scored three goals and TFC scored none. But the platform for the win was the fact the Reds couldn't get much of the ball. And when they could get it, they couldn't keep it. Lade led RBNY in interceptions - eight - and also contributed five clearances and three tackles. And when he wasn't disrupting TFC's fragile passing rhythm, he combined well with Lloyd Sam on the right flank, overlapping effectively when required.
DEF Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls): He's making a habit of putting in big performances against the league's bigger names. Last week, it was David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, Mix Diskerud and Frank Lampard who struggled to get by RBNY's young defender. This week, however, was arguably Miazga's best performance yet for his club. Not only did he help limit Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley to just one on-target shot between them, but he did so as the leader of RBNY's patchwork defense. The 20-year-old was the youngest player on the back line for the Red Bulls this week, but also the only tried and true starter. Connor Lade is still technically behind Chris Duvall on Jesse's Marsch's right back depth chart, Anthony Wallace is second or third string left back, Karl Ouimette is the fourth-choice center back in the squad. The stand-ins didn't miss a beat, held together well as a unit, and helped RBNY to a second consecutive clean sheet. Under the circumstances, you credit the only regular starter in the back four for keeping the line together: well done, Matt Miazga.
DEF Nat Borchers (Portland Timbers): This column has a weakness for defenders who score game-winning goals. Stoppage-time winners that serve to reacquaint your team with the Supporters' Shield race also get attention. For the significance of his goal this week, which snatched three points for Portland on the road in Salt Lake, Borchers is in OaM's TotW.
RM Kwadwo Poku (New York City FC): A consistent menace in attack for NYC FC, Poku bagged a goal and an assist in his team's 3-1 win over Eastern Conference leader D.C. United. But for Bill Hamid and the post, he would have had a few more. This was just his fourth league start of the season - but his performance suggests Jason Kreis would be wise to make room for the 23-year-old in NYC FC's star-studded midfield.
CM Paulo Nagamura (Sporting Kansas City): Scored the equalizer and the winner for KC in the topsy-turvy 4-3 win over Vancouver. Impressive by most standards, but particularly for a player who infrequently troubles the score sheet.
CM Cristian Maidana (Philadelphia Union): The Union is having a terrible season, which is obscuring the fact that Maidana is one of the more prolific playmakers in the league. He delivered a hat-trick of assists this week in Philly's 3-3 draw with Chicago. Those three assists also gave him a club record, made him the stand-alone league leader in assists after Week 24, and put him in the same bracket as one of MLS's premier creative attacking players.
3 - Cristian Maidana is now the only player to have three 3-assist games in @MLS since the start of 2014. Lefty.— OptaJack (@OptaJack) August 17, 2015
LM Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps): Bittersweet week for Manneh, who looked to have won the game against Kansas City for Vancouver with two goals before half-time. Then he blew a shot at a hat-trick, got substituted, and watched his team collapse from the bench. Still, two goals in a game is a special week for any player (as the other four players in this lineup who scored twice this week can attest).
FWD Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders): Returned from injury to find his team in despondent form - the Sounders had lost eight of their last nine matches - Martins wasted no time in putting things right. He opened the scoring with a goal he basically set up for himself, then missed a penalty, but made amends with a second goal to put Seattle 3-0 up. The Sounders went on to beat Orlando 4-0. Martins return to the starting lineup looks like it might be what Seattle needs to kick out of its summer slump.
FWD Kennedy Igboananike (Chicago Fire): He scored the first and the last goal of Chicago's unexpectedly thrilling draw with Philadelphia - and set up Patrick Nyarko for the second of the Fire's three goals. If this is indicative of his form heading into the closing stages of the season, Chicago fans might be in for a more enjoyable end to this year than they had been expecting.