Team of the Week (Wk 14): Young attackers, veteran defenders shine as Revs, Impact score big wins
Week 14 action in MLS held a few big results in store, and perhaps none were bigger than signature victories for the Montreal Impact and New England Revolution.
For the Impact, a 2-1 win at Sporting Kansas City established Marco Schällibaum's side as undeniably the top team in MLS at the moment, while New England's romp over the Galaxy will give Revs fans plenty of optimism that the team can turn things around with their newfound attacking verve.
What unites the two sides is that they stuck to similar formulas, at least in terms of personnel, to secure their wins: offense from a set of precocious young attackers, backed by veteran defenders keeping things tight in the back, with both sets of players recognized in this week's selection.
Of course, the strong performances from the two Eastern Conference sides weren't the only impressive results of the week. A familiar face keyed Real Salt Lake's big win over the San Jose Earthquakes, while a pair of forwards put on a show in an entertaining draw between Dallas and Colorado.
Who else made the cut in Week 14? Read on to find out...
SAVE: Hall's big double stop
GK: Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo) – Played a crucial role in his side's 1-1 draw away to an attack-minded Columbus Crew side, making five saves on the night to keep his team in the game, especially in the first half, when he made a superb double-stop on Federico Higuaín then Jairo Arrieta (right).
DF: Lee Young-Pyo (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Probably didn't expect to play in this one, but the Korean defender excelled after replacing the injured Greg Klazura in the 57th minute, surging forward to help create both of Vancouver's goals in a surprise 2-1 win against the New York Red Bulls.
DF: Matteo Ferrari (Montreal Impact) – Remained calm under intense Sporting KC pressure, making timely plays to limit his opponents to just one goal and paving the way for Montreal's 2-1 statement win at Sporting Park.
DF: José Gonçalves (New England Revolution) – The Revolution may have run up the score at the end of their 5-0 rout of the LA Galaxy, but it was a tight affair for 71 minutes, requiring Gonçalves to be at his best to slow down the likes of Landon Donovan and Gyasi Zardes, which he did once more in to continue his promising 2013 campaign.
DF: Djimi Traoré (Seattle Sounders) – Seattle's backline was watertight in their 2-0 win over Chivas USA, and Traoré was at the heart of it all, providing a calm, steadying presence and recording eight interceptions on the night.
MF: Felipe (Montreal Impact) – Though Ferrari helped lay the foundation for Montreal's win over Sporting, Felipe was the one who made things happen in attack. Popped up all over the place, drawing fouls, keeping attacking plays alive and giving the Sporting defense plenty to think about.
MF: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake) – Put on a show in in Real Salt Lake's 3-0 romp over the hapless San Jose Earthquakes, especially in the 35-minute period during which RSL netted all their goals. Was once again at the center of nearly everything RSL created and finished with a goal and an assist.
MF: Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution) – Did about as much as you can ask of a substitute: one goal and two assists in 33 minutes as the Revolution broke away from the Galaxy in a signature win.
FW: Atiba Harris (Colorado Rapids) – Picked up both of the Rapids' goals in a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas. They weren't anything spectacular, but both strikes were the product of solid fundamentals – smart runs into space and clinical finishing.
FW: Blas Pérez (FC Dallas) – At his predatorily best against the Colorado Rapids, Pérez scored a pair of goals against the run of play to help the West's best team earn a draw against a plucky Colorado side. His second goal was one for the highlight reel.
GOAL: Fagundez nets one of his own
FW: Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution) – Is there anyone hotter in MLS? Scored in his fourth straight game and added two assists as the Revolution ran over the Galaxy.
Coach: Jay Heaps (New England Revolution) – Heaps and his staff have amassed quite the collection of attacking talent, and on Sunday we got to witness exactly what the likes of Saer Sene, Diego Fagundez, Juan Agudelo and the rest of this attacking group can do on a field together. All of a sudden, Heaps has a side that was starving for goals at the start of 2013 on the path to becoming an attacking powerhouse.
Bench: Bobby Shuttleworth (New England Revolution), Marvell Wynne (Colorado Rapids), Juninho (New York Red Bulls), Justin Mapp (Montreal Impact), Federico Higuaín (Columbus Crew), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Kenny Miller (Vancouver Whitecaps)