Team of the Week (Wk 27): Western Conference powerhouses dominate selection
One of the biggest takeaways from Week 27? The best soccer in the league is clearly being played by the two teams atop the Western Conference.
Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy both dominated in-conference opposition this past weekend, so it's no surprise that the two teams took five of the 11 available spots in this week's Best XI, plus the coach's spot
The goals didn't flow quite as much for the Seattle Sounders, who sit just behind the aforementioned teams, but a solid defensive showing in Columbus got them a honoree on the backline, and actually kept them slightly above the Galaxy in points per game.
Which Western Conference stars landed spots on this week's best XI? Whose top-notch defense landed them a place on the backline? Read on to find out...
SAVE: Johnson stops early breakaway
GK: Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire) – Made a big early save and added to it with two more, and strong play coming off his line, in the Fire's 1-1 draw with Houston. Can take no blame for the slack defending on Adam Moffat's rocket of an equalizer.
DF: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Seattle Sounders) – A key piece in the Sounders backline as they maintained a clean sheet and earned a 1-0 win in Columbus despite playing down a man for most of the game. Read the game well and put out fires when he needed to, especially with a sliding clearance to deny Jairo Arrieta a sure tap-in in the first half.
DF: Aurélien Collin (Sporting KC) – Simply dominant on the Sporting KC backline as KC edged out a close-fought 2-1 battle against the Colorado Rapids.
DF: Fábinho (Philadelphia Union) – Further locked down the left back role in the Union lineup with another strong performance in his team's 0-0 draw with the Montreal Impact. The defending was solid, and his accurate crossing was impressive and should've resulted in an assist if not for a Jack McInerney flub in front of goal.
MF: Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy) – Shut down the San Jose Earthquakes on the right side as the Galaxy took the latest edition of the rivalry game by a score of 3-0, also setting up Robbie Keane's capper.
GOAL: Morales gets on his bike
MF: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake) – The Argentine magician cast his spell once more, this time on the overwhelmed Timbers. Morales was a key figure in the 4-2 thumping at Rio Tinto, setting up a goal and netting one himself with a fine bicycle kick.
MF: Marcelo Sarvas (LA Galaxy) – It isn't physically possible, but it sure seemed like Sarvas was everywhere as the Galaxy rolled the Quakes. It seemed like every aspect of his game was on, from the tackling to the passing to the runs into the box.
FW: Joao Plata (Real Salt Lake) – Once again showed the quality that made him one of the top offseason acquisitions, getting a well-taken goal and setting up two more in RSL's romp over Portland.
FW: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) – The man is simply unstoppable at the moment. Set up the opener and then scored two himself as he and Landon Donovan eviscerated the San Jose defense in their California Clasico blowout.
GOAL: Cubo's acrobatic strike
FW: Erick Torres (Chivas USA) – Continued to give Chivas USA fans something to shout about with his brace in the Goats' 2-2 draw in Vancouver, including a spectacular bicycle kick to open the scoring.
Coach: Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake) – Even before Ben Zemanski's ejection on the stroke of halftime, Kreis' side bossed the Timbers, finding plenty of holes in Portland's three-man backline and showing some crisp passing moves. The hard work in training is clearly paying off as the league's best team hums along.
Bench: Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls), Sheanon Williams (Seattle Sounders), Ned Grabavoy (Real Salt Lake), Adam Moffat (Houston Dynamo), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)