Team of the Week (Wk 12): FWs put in huge performances
Professional forwards make their living scoring goals – that's a no-brainer. However, any knowledgeable soccer fan will tell you that although goalscoring is a forward's primary job, their are many facets to their game that enable their team to secure positive results, and this week's selection of forwards certainly backs up that assertion.
Though all three nominees found the back of the net this week, their contributions in other parts of the field were equally important. Two were credited with assists on game-winning goals, while the other's hold-up play wreaked havoc on the opposition defense, enabling his teammates to play their game with greater ease.
In the back, the trend is flipped, as a pair of defenders not only fulfilled their primary duties by protecting the goal, but got forward to the tune of a goal and an assist, securing important results for their teams.
GK: Andy Gruenebaum (Columbus Crew) – Stood on his head once more as the Crew collected six points, including a first-ever win against the Seattle Sounders where he made six saves, capped by a highlight-reel stop on Fredy Montero.
DF: James Riley (Chivas USA) – A strong showing against his former team – bossed the right side and provided an inch-perfect cross to set up Juan Agudelo’s first-ever Chivas USA goal.
DF: Aurélien Collin (Sporting KC) – The big Frenchman certainly looked like one of the best center backs in the league as he easily clamped down on a weary Quakes team and ensured there would be no Alan Gordon heroics at Livestrong Sporting Park.
DF: Andre Hainault (Houston Dynamo) – A rock in the back for the Dynamo, rendering the Galaxy attack largely ineffective. Came up with game-winning goal as well, his second of the season.
MF: John Thorrington (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Largely responsible for helping Vancouver to a comeback point on the road after a disappointing loss in the Canadian Championship. Dictated tempo, especially as Vancouver rallied late in the game.
MF: Martín Rivero (Colorado Rapids) – Involved in all three goals during Colorado’s win over Montreal. If he can keep up the form, Colorado will certainly look good for a playoff spot.
MF: Patrice Bernier (Montreal Impact) – The Impact are skidding again, but Bernier put in a sterling performance on both sides of the ball, grabbing a goal and an assist while remaining strong defensively.
MF: Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo) – Hounded LA’s backline all game long and provided the service for Hainault’s winner.
FW: Kei Kamara (Sporting Kansas City) – Certainly guilty of missing his fair share of chances, but his pinpoint cross for C.J. Sapong’s opener and towering header for the game-winner were enough to see Sporting to a much-needed win.
FW: Emilio Rentería (Columbus Crew) – The Venezuelan has found his scoring boots, so perhaps it’s no coincidence the Crew are now on a winning streak. Had a stunning volley to seal a result in Seattle and a strong turn and finish for the game-winner against Chicago.
FW: Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake) – A pair of goals and some outstanding hold-up play highlighted his excellent showing against FC Dallas. Now RSL will hope he can keep it up.
Coach: Robert Warzycha (Columbus Crew) – Two games in a week with an injury list as long as the Crew’s may seem like a hopeless task, but somehow Warzycha’s charges picked up six points, including a historic win at Seattle.
Honorable Mention: Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Juan Pablo Ángel (Chivas USA), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake), Kris Boyd (Portland Timbers), Marvin Chávez (San Jose Earthquakes), Simon Dawkins (San Jose Earthquakes), David Estrada (Seattle Sounders), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Ned Grabavoy (Real Salt Lake), Sebastián Grazzini (Chicago Fire), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Jackson (FC Dallas), Dejan Jakovic (D.C. United), Danny Koevermans (Toronto FC), Chris Konopka (Philadelphia Union), Oswaldo Minda (Chivas USA), Chance Myers (Sporting KC), Dane Richards (New York Red Bulls), Maicon Santos (D.C. United), C.J. Sapong (Sporting Kansas City), Saër Sène (New England Revolution)