Team of the Week (Wk 12): Plenty to like across MLS as 10 different teams represented in Best XI
Last week, we saw Cascadia-based teams dominate MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week on the heels of three rampant showings. And though it was another successful week for sides from the Pacific Northwest (largely thanks to the 2-2 draw between Vancouver and Portland), the rest of the league managed to make itself heard this time though – so much so, in fact, that 10 different teams landed representatives in this week's Team of the Week.
The combination of midweek action between Philadelphia and LA, plus a series of closely contested games over the weekend presented opportunities from players across the league to shine, even if their teams didn't pick up three points.
Adding in the seven players that made this week's bench, 14 out of the league's 19 current teams put a player in this week's selection. Who exactly made the cut? Read on to find out...
SAVE: Hamid puts his body on the line
GK: Bill Hamid (D.C. United) – Has had a rocky start to 2013, but there's no denying he was in top form during D.C.'s 1-1 draw with Sporting KC on Sunday afternoon, where he looked confident and made five saves to help his team secure a much-needed point.
DF: José Gonçalves (New England Revolution) – Instrumental in New England's surprise 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium, where his steady play at the back stopped Will Bruin & Co. cold, even as they pushed for an equalizer.
DF: Jámison Olave (New York Red Bulls) – The center back was back to his 2010 Defender of the Year form against the LA Galaxy, making play after play on the backline to keep the LA Galaxy at bay in a 1-0 win.
DF: Drew Moor (Colorado Rapids) – A big part of the reason that San Jose struggled to find the net in the two teams' 1-1 draw, even with four forwards on the field. Won nearly everything that came his way in the air and shut Alan Gordon down in the first half.
MF: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) – A sight to behold in the Galaxy's 4-1 demolition of the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday evening, hitting a goal and setting up two more in a 20-minute whirlwind. Active, but less effective in the Galaxy's loss to New York on Sunday.
MF: Ned Grabavoy (Real Salt Lake) – His work rate and secondary runs were key in RSL's 4-1 demolition of Chivas USA, not to mention his two well-taken goals.
GOAL: Higuain sets up Oduro's one-timer
MF: Michel (FC Dallas) – His prowess on set pieces was on display once more in Seattle, where he scored an olimpico and delivered an assist for Dallas' other goal on the night. Complemented this with another strong performance in the center of the park.
FW: Camilo (Vancouver Whitecaps) – His electric performance in Saturday's 2-2 draw with the Timbers included a stunning free kick opener, an assist on Vancouver's other goal, highlighting the constant threat he posed to Portland's backline.
GOAL: Johnson opens the scoring
FW: Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders) – The newly-crowned MLS Player of the Week was man possessed in Seattle's 4-2 win over FC Dallas on Saturday night, netting two goals and displaying an incredible work rate.
FW: Lamar Neagle (Seattle Sounders) – One of the men behind Johnson's scoring outburst, the Seattle-area native notched a goal of his own and set up EJ's game-winner.
Coach: Jay Heaps (New England Revolution) – Helped spring the upset of the round – New England's upset of the Houston Dynamo in Houston – with a no-frills game plan that saw his team stay tight in the midfield. Willingness to turn to new acquisition Juan Agudelo for significant minutes off the bench helped tip the game in the Revs' favor.
Bench: Clint Irwin (Colorado Rapids), Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City), Diego Chará (Portland Timbers), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Marvin Chávez (San Jose Earthquakes), Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union)