Team of the Week (Wk 2): Canadian teams take center stage
Another week of MLS is in the books, and it was a historic one for the league's three Canadian sides. Yes, all three have shown they're capable of winning games at one point or another, but this was the first weekend that Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto have simultaneously posted wins, which in turn means it's no surprise to see six of their players (plus a coach) honored in this week's selection.
There were some other historic wins over Week 2, including New England's first in Chicago since 2006, for which two Revs players were honored.
Elsewhere, solid defensive performances on the road drew Team of the Week plaudits, while one rookie's stunning contribution off the bench earned him a first-ever spot in the weekend's Best XI.
Who made the cut for this week's selection? Read on to find out...
GK: Matt Reis (New England Revolution) – His high point was an acrobatic first-half stop on Dilly Duka's long-distance effort, but Reis was composed and technically sound throughout New England's 1-0 win over Chicago.
DF: Darren O'Dea (Toronto FC) – Anchored an organized Toronto backline, displaying a keen sense of positioning and timing against one of the East's most potent sides in Sporting KC.
GOAL: Okugo rises above to net opener
DF: Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union) – Not only did he score the opening goal of in Philly's 2-1 win at Colorado, Okugo displayed poise beyond his 21 years in containing a Colorado side that was hungry to score.
DF: Kwame Watson-Siriboe (Real Salt Lake) – The big RSL center back was the best defender in a defensive-minded showdown in the nation's capital, and was unlucky to be on the losing side after a strong performance in the air, as well as some top-notch reading of the game on the floor.
MF: Patrice Bernier (Montreal Impact) – A huge contributor on both sides of the ball. The veteran midfielder shut down Portland DP Diego Valeri in the midfield and provided the through ball that led to Felipe's winning goal.
GOAL: Kobayashi uncorks one from way out
MF: Daigo Kobayashi (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Perhaps MLS' best player after two rounds, Kobayashi was again instrumental in Vancouver's win. This time, against Columbus, he provided a long-range stunner to open the scoring and dictated the tempo throughout much of the contest.
MF: Juan Toja (New England Revolution) – Involved in nearly every single New England attack in their historic road win over Chicago. Showed some brilliant interplay with his teammates and played a key role in the winning goal.
FW: Robert Earnshaw (Toronto FC) – The Welshman executed when it counted most, scoring two first-half goals to lift Toronto over Sporting. Also showed a good work rate and harried the SKC backline throughout the match.
FW: Adam Jahn (San Jose Earthquakes) – The late sub certainly made the most of his time on the field. Provided the big body that San Jose so desperately needed against New York, nailed a deceptively hard finish to equalizer, and provided the header that led to the Earthquakes' winning penalty kick.
GOAL: Jahn's tough volley
FW: Kenny Miller (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Now that was a Designated Player-caliber performance. After struggling upon his arrival last season, Miller opened his 2013 account by dispossessing Crew defender Gláuber and coolly finishing, a goal indicative of his work rate and the threat he posed throughout the contest.
Coach: Ryan Nelsen (Toronto FC) – It's too early to draw any firm conclusions, but Nelsen may be on to something in Toronto. His team largely contained the threat of Sporting Kansas City while defending deep, and his personnel choices fall under the "so far, so good" category.
Honorable Mention: Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution), Claudio Bieler (Sporting Kansas City), Deshorn Brown (Colorado Rapids), Hassoun Camara (Montreal Impact), Joe Cannon (Vancouver Whitecaps), Kalifa Cissé (New England Revolution), David Ferreira (FC Dallas), Federico Higuaín (Columbus Crew), Dejan Jakovic (D.C. United), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Oswaldo Minda (Chivas USA), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Alessandro Nesta (Montreal Impact), Darren O'Dea (Toronto FC), Jamison Olave (New York Red Bulls), Lionard Pajoy (D.C. United), Troy Perkins (Montreal Impact), Nigel Reo-Coker (Vancouver Whitecaps), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Andrés Romero (Montreal Impact), John Thorrington (D.C. United)