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2017 MLS Team of Week 5: Minnesota celebrates, at last

Adrian Heath and his players finally have something to be happy about in MLS.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

TotW lines up in a 4-4-2 this week, and with players that might more or less prove capable of playing their assigned positions - which is always surprising with this selection.

GK - Bill Hamid (D.C. United):

It took seven saves for Hamid to ensure his lackluster teammates would finally enjoy their first win of the season.

LB - Dylan Remick (Houston Dynamo):

His goal canceled out the Red Bulls' opener within a minute of the Dynamo falling behind at home this week. Houston never looked back, and Remick helped to frustrate visiting RBNY, who got a lot of the ball but couldn't do much with it.

CB - Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City):

TotW feels like it has been sleeping on KC's defense so far this season. After the team posted its third shutout in four games this week - and did so on the road against what had seemed to be an in-form Toronto - its time to give KC's back line. Opara gets the nod as the representative of an efficient defensive unit that kept TFC at bay and has allowed only one goal so far this season.

CB - Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (Atlanta United):

The early-season buzz around Atlanta United has been about its scoring prowess, but the team has now posted back-to-back shutouts. The latest result - 0-0 in Seattle - allows some attention to fall on the back line, and TotW is liking the look of Gonzalez Pirez, who was busy in an Atlanta back line that restricted the Sounders to just one shot on target.

RB - Jordy Delem (Seattle Sounders):

There aren't many players from Martinique in MLS. Delem's debut in the league could have been problematic: he was playing out of position (he isn't typically regarded as a right back) against a very good attacking side. But he helped the Sounders keep Atlanta from taking advantage of a depleted home team and Seattle can be pleased with a point and clean sheet when most of its first-choice back line was unavailable. Delem should have done enough to win further appearances next time his team is shorthanded.

LM - Justin Meram (Columbus Crew):

His brace delivered Columbus three points against Orlando this week.

CM - Matias Laba (Vancouver Whitecaps):

Laba isn't a goal scorer, he's a holding midfielder - but he doubled his career scoring tally in MLS this week with two goals to lead Vancouver to its first MLS win of the season.

CM - Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire):

Team of the Week likes players who make a big statement. Schweinsteiger provided such a statement with a goal in his first appearance for Chicago. The Fire couldn't quite make it count for a win, but no matter - Schweini has moved quickly to silence questions about whether he will make an impact in MLS (for now, anyway).

RM - Kevin Molino (Minnesota United):

Minnesota needs a big season out of Molino one suspects, not least because the team's defense looks terrible so it likely will require a lot of goals to secure points. United has conceded at least two goals in every game it has played in MLS to date, but it proved this week that it can overcome that handicap: it scored four against Real Salt Lake. Molino had two assists and a goal to suggest that he might be capable of providing sufficient volume of scoring this year to make Minnesota competitive.

FWD - Christian Ramirez (Minnesota United):

The first Minnesota United player to score multiple goals in a game in MLS, and Ramirez claimed that record at an ideal moment: his two goals shifted the game decisively his team's way against RSL.

FWD - Erick Torres (Houston Dynamo):

Yes, his hat-trick owed a lot to referee Fotis Bazakos' stubbornly uncertain grasp of the rules of soccer, but all one can ask of any striker is that they take their chances. Torres took his and led Houston to its third win of the season (all at home - but that's fine). His first two goals might have been mostly thanks to Bazakos, but there was nothing wrong with his last one against RBNY: it was free-kick perfection.

Coach - Adrian Heath (Minnesota United):

Turns out Minnesota can win games in MLS - or can win at least one. Heath will be relieved to see his team claim its first win of the season - its first win of any MLS season, since this is its first year in MLS. He'll do well to repeat the trick in the near future: Minnesota has to travel to Dallas and Houston over the next couple of weeks.