Team of the Week (Wk 9): Midweek stars make the cut
Like ‘em or not, midweek matches are a regular part of the MLS schedule. While they may cause plenty of headaches for coaching staffs around the league, they are a boon to fantasy managers everywhere and allow players an extra shot at Team of the Week honors.
This week, four of the honorees pulled double duty and excelled in both games, while plenty more such players earned honorable mentions. Additionally, this week’s top coach led his side to one of the season’s most improbable results despite having a midweek game of his own to deal with.
On the defensive side, one of New York's makeshift backline is honored, while a rookie is also rewarded for a sterling MLS debut.
GK: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) – There was no shortage of goalkeepers to choose from this week, but Rimando gets the nod here thanks to his three excellent saves to preserve the lead over New England, including two when RSL were down a man, with their backs against the wall.
DF: Brandon Barklage (New York Red Bulls) – Once again stepped up to mitigate New York’s devastating injuries in defense and did once more to great effect against the struggling Galaxy.
DF: Nelson Rivas (Montreal Impact) – After finally making his debut, the former Inter Milan defender was the latest former Serie A man to make his mark for Montreal. His defensive showing in Montreal’s 2-0 upset of Sporting Kansas City served notice that between him and Matteo Ferrari, opposition forwards will come to fear Montreal’s backline.
DF: Austin Berry (Chicago Fire) – Again, forget the penalty he conceded – he made up for it immediately for the other 89 minutes in Chicago’s 2-1 win over Chivas USA in which he played with the intelligence and ability of a much more experienced defender.
MF: Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire) – The Guatemalan international delivered when it mattered most. After posing a constant threat against Chivas USA, he came good with a well-worked setup and impeccable finish to hand Chicago a 2-1 win in stoppage time.
MF: Jaime Castrillón (Colorado Rapids) – Despite his best efforts, including a goal to give Colorado the lead, the Rapids fell 2-1 at New England in midweek. However, he and Colorado came good at nine-man FC Dallas, with the Colombian scoring the game-winner in a 2-0 victory.
MF: Patrice Bernier (Montreal Impact) – Felipe certainly stole the plaudits with his curling strike, but more crucial in Montreal’s shock win at KC was Bernier’s ruthless midfield play, not to mention his coolly taken penalty that stood up as the insurance strike.
MF: Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders) – It’s no coincidence that Seattle are finally starting to show their true potential as Rosales returns to fitness and form. Playmaker picked up game-winning assist in 2-0 victory over LA and the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Philadelphia.
FW: Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders) – Watch out, MLS, here comes Fredy. Sealed a win over LA with a screamer in midweek, and turned provider with a lovely measured pass to set up Rosales’ clincher against Philly.
FW: Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake) – Here’s the Sabo we know and love. Punished New England in front of goal twice to take his goal total up to four on the season.
FW: Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) – Another week, another three goals for Wondo. He continues to befuddle defenders and is not only in command of the Golden Boot race, but the MVP race as well.
Coach: Jesse Marsch (Montreal Impact) – Simply put, his team pulled off one of the most improbable results of the season, traveling after a midweek game to a Sporting KC side on two week’s rest and walking away with a 2-0 win. It wasn’t always pretty, but he fielded an organized side that rarely found itself stretched and ruthlessly took its chances.
Honorable Mentions: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Blake Brettschneider (New England Revolution), Davide Chiumiento (Vancouver Whitecaps), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), Raymon Gaddis (Philadelphia Union), Sebastián Grazzini (Chicago Fire), Andy Gruenebaum (Columbus Crew), Eric Hassli (Vancouver Whitecaps), Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA), Gershon Koffie (Vancouver Whitecaps), Steven Lenhart (San Jose Earthquakes), Joel Lindpere (New York Red Bulls), Felipe Martins (Montreal Impact), Brandon McDonald (D.C. United), Ryan Meara (New York Red Bulls), Troy Perkins (Portland Timbers) Donovan Ricketts (Montreal Impact), Hamdi Salihi (D.C. United), Saer Sene (New England Revolution), Josh Williams (Columbus Crew)