Team of the Week (Wk 4): Montreal Impact stars stay hot in weekend action
There's no doubt as to the best team in MLS after four weeks: the Montreal Impact. And befitting their hot start, two Impact players find themselves back in the team of the week selection, including the early front-runner for MVP and one of the league's hottest strikers (guess who?).
Of course, it wasn't all Impact in Week 4. Troy Perkins, one of the best 'keepers in the league early on, was upstaged by a youngster who few people had heard of even two weeks ago, but is quickly making a name for himself.
And let's not forget Chivas USA or FC Dallas, who to the surprise of many occupy the top two spots in the Western Conference after impressive wins over the weekend. They both earned two players apiece in this week's selection.
Who else made the cut this time around? Read on to find out...
SAVE: Irwin stuffs McBean
GK: Clint Irwin (Colorado Rapids) – The Rapids may not have much to show from their last two games, but Clint Irwin has been a huge positive for them between the sticks. On Saturday evening against LA, the 23-year-old almost single-handedly kept Colorado in the game with seven excellent stops, and nearly got to Mike Magee's winning penalty, too.
DF: Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City) – It may not have been pretty, but Collin and Sporting KC were plenty effective at the back, with the Frenchman marshaling the Sporting backline to a hard-earned road point.
DF: Nana Attakora (San Jose Earthquakes) – The latest Quake to step up during San Jose's rash of absences to start the season, Attakora was everywhere in the back during his team's 1-0 win over Seattle, along with Jason Hernandez keeping strike pair Sammy Ochoa and David Estrada quiet the entire evening.
DF: Djimi Traoré (Seattle Sounders) – The fact that it took a rare blast from outside the area for Chris Wondolowski to beat the Sounders was a testament to how well Traoré scrambled, helping cut down angles and continuing to stamp his name on the starting spot in permanent ink.
MF: Jackson (FC Dallas) – Worked tirelessly as usual up and down the flanks, and his hard work and pressure were rewarded when he stripped Josh Saunders for Dallas' second goal. Also fed Fabián Castillo on the FCD opener.
MF: Edgar Mejía (Chivas USA) – Quiet, but effective against Chicago, save for two moments. The first was a brilliantly struck goal to open the scoring, the second a precise far-post delivery to set up Joaquín Velázquez for the game-winner.
GOAL: Bernier connects beautifully with Di Vaio
MF: Patrice Bernier (Montreal Impact) – Hard to argue that he's not the league MVP after four weeks of games. Bernier was once again in sublime form, his defense-splitting pass setting up Marco Di Vaio beautifully for the Impact's goal and working ever-so-hard on the defensive side of things.
MF: Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas) – At his electric best in Dallas' win over RSL on Saturday. Torched Lovel Palmer and fired an unusual but effective high, near-post shot to open the scoring.
FW: Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) – Though quiet throughout large parts of the game (albeit doing plenty of running and harrying), Wondo finally came up with the moment of brilliance many have been looking for since he became a Designated Player, taking a beautiful touch before firing home a perfectly placed shot to beat Michael Gspurning at the far post and hand San Jose their lone goal in the win over Seattle.
FW: Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact) – Another match, another fine finish from Di Vaio, who lashed a shot past Luis Robles to tally the lone goal in Montreal's win over New York. Could have had several others, which speaks to his ability to find gaps in any defense he's faced so far.
GOAL: Agudelo's superb finish
FW: Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA) – This was the Juan Agudelo we've all been hoping to see. The youngster put on a complete No. 9-style performance, showing great strength, finishing, and ability to link up with his teammates on his way to a goal, an assist, and a deserved Player of the Week nod.
Coach: José Luis "Chelís" Sánchez Solá (Chivas USA) – There's a reason every Chivas player raced over to Chelís after scoring in the team's 4-1 rout of Chicago – they're buying into what he's selling. The Rojiblancos may not be playing the most attractive soccer, but it's effective and more importantly, Chelís has the players more than happy to do what he requires of them.
Honorable Mention: Davy Arnaud (Montreal Impact), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Warren Creavalle (Houston Dynamo), Andy Gruenebaum (Columbus Crew), Michael Gspurning (Seattle Sounders), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Federico Higuaín (Colubmus Crew), Juninho (LA Galaxy), Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA), Mike Magee (LA Galaxy), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Troy Perkins (Montreal Impact), Rafael (D.C. United), Ben Speas (Columbus Crew), Joaquín Velázquez (Chivas USA), Josh Williams (Columbus Crew)