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MLS 2017 Team of Week 7: Sporting Red Bulls on Fire

It's a mostly KC, Chicago, and RBNY flavored XI this week.

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Last week's TotW went with three at the back, so it's back to a four-man defense this week. Lining up in a 4-3-3 for Week 7.

GK - Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City):

Only credited with three saves against Portland Timbers, but in a road game in which his team only scored once, they were a critical part of KC's win this week.

LB - Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls):

Bradley Wright-Phillips called Lawrence RBNY's best player against D.C. United, and TotW is not here to disagree with BWP.

CB - Aurelien Collin (New York Red Bulls):

Another RBNY defender who had a big game against DCU, as the Red Bulls held firm at the back to secure their third consecutive shutout at home.

CB - Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City):

Part of the reason Melia only had to make three saves in Portland: Opara's nine clearances and one block, all in and around the penalty area.

RB - Danilo Acosta (Real Salt Lake):

RSL turned a loss into a win in the last five minutes of their game against Colorado Rapids this week. Acosta has now started and played the full 90 minutes in RSL's last two games - his first two appearances for the team in MLS - and his side has won on both occasions.

He might lack the necessary speed to be a long-term right back option for RSL, as suggested by way Marlon Hairston got round him for Colorado's goal in this week's match, but he's also 19 and still learning his trade.

MID - Justin Meram (Columbus Crew):

Scored the match-winner for Columbus against Toronto, and got in a potentially goal-saving block (maybe: 'keeper Zack Steffen seemed to be right behind him) earlier in the game.

MID - Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire):

Settling in nicely in Chicago, Schweinsteiger bagged his second goal and first assist for the Fire this week, in his team's 3-0 win over the Revs.

MID - Will Johnson (Orlando City):

Much like he did last week, Johnson served up a corner to the center of a poorly-defended six-yard box for a teammate to knock in for the match-winner. This time around, it was a last-minute Cyle Larin strike that secured all three points for Orlando, after LA had equalized in the 83rd minute to cancel out the goal Johnson scored himself in the first half.

A goal and an assist for Johnson, another three points at home for Orlando.

FWD - Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire):

Nikolic seems to score goals wherever he goes: a succession of Hungarian clubs, then Legia Warsaw in Poland, now he's brought the habit to Chicago Fire. A brace in Week 7 helped his team to canter to a 3-0 win over New England Revolution. He's tallied four goals in six games to date in MLS, of which three have come in his last two outings.

FWD - Fredy Montero (Vancouver Whitecaps):

Vancouver brought him back to MLS to score goals, he is scoring goals. Two this week against his former team, Seattle, helped the Caps to just their second win of the season. Incidentally, Montero's first league goal for Vancouver was in its first win of MLS 2017. A pattern developing, perhaps.

FWD - David Villa (New York City FC):

It didn't really have much impact on the game, since it was a last-minute goal NYCFC in a match was already leading and seemed likely to win. But it would be sheer petulance not to offer a tip of the cap to David Villa's Goal of the Year contender.

Coach - Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City):

What seemed like a slow start for KC was transformed by this week's 1-0 win in Portland: KC is hard to beat because KC is hard to score on. The team's fourth clean sheet in its opening six games of MLS 2017 was also the first one it has managed to turn into a win. Sporting no longer looks like a team with scoring troubles, it looks like a team that will back itself to get a result anywhere in the league thanks to a solid back-line and in-form 'keeper. Vermes' secret is out: KC is good.