Team of the Week (Wk 28): Attacking stars open things up in blowout wins
Week 28 proved quite the goalfest, and while we've seen plenty of those throughout the course of the season, this time it was notable for being so lopsided. Five teams put up three goals or more over the weekend, and none of them won by fewer than two goals.
Montreal and Sporting both saw their star forwards honored after winning at New England and vs. Columbus, respectively, while the four midfielders honored all did their parts in big wins for their own teams.
There were also a few narrow wins thrown into the mix, and some excellent defensive and goalkeeping performances took place in consecutive nights at the StubHub Center, leading to very different results for the stadium's two occupants.
Which star players keyed their teams' attacking explosions? Which defenders held firm this week? Read on to find out...
DF: Carlos Bocanegra (Chivas USA) – Kept D.C. United well in check in Chivas' 1-0 win on Sunday, putting out any fire that popped up on the backline, and used the few other touches he had wisely. Did not feature in the Goats' 1-0 loss in Seattle in midweek action.
DF: Jámison Olave (New York Red Bulls) – New York opened up in a 4-1 away win against Houston, but would have been opened up themselves if not for some stellar defensive work. Made plays all over the backline in the face of an aggressive Dynamo attack.
DF: Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids) – A defensive force on the left flank in Colorado's big road win. Did well to contain the attacking forays of LA's right-sided players and did his part when called into the attack.
MF: Jonny Steele (New York Red Bulls) – One of the main facilitators in New York's big road win in Houston. Made the most of his time on the ball and came away with a goal and an assist in a lethal attacking performance.
MF: Oriol Rosell (Sporting KC) – Once again helped cement his status as one of the best young midfielders in the league with a top-notch performance in Sporitng's 3-0 win over Columbus. Kept things tight in the center of the park on both sides of the ball and supplied a beautiful assist for C.J. Sapong's capper.
MF: Will Johnson (Portland Timbers) – Showed just how much better he makes the Timbers on his return to the field in a 4-0 thumping of Toronto FC. Showed his typical work rate and defensive strength throughout the game and got forward at the right time to help the Timbers break away.
MF: Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas) – The outstanding two-way display in Dallas' 3-1 win over Vancouver might have been enough to secure his place here, but he made sure of it with a fine long-range strike to bring his team level.
FW: Lamar Neagle (Seattle Sounders) – Two goals in two games to secure your team six vital points is nothing to scoff at, especially with absences leaving the attack resting largely upon your soldiers.
FW: Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact) – Did what he does best in Montreal's 4-2 win over New England, toeing the Revs backline all game long and getting behind them to the tune of two goals and a game-changing penalty earned.
FW: Claudio Bieler (Sporting KC) – Not only did Sporting's star forward get a goal and an assist, he also earns big plaudits for his diligent hold-up work and willingness to play some defense.
Coach: Marco Schällibaum (Montreal Impact) – The Impact were frightenly good going forward against New England, and the work they've been doing in that area on the training field is clearly reaping benefits. Now if they can only get Hernan Bernardello healthy again...
Bench: Jon Busch (San Jose Earthquakes), Hassoun Camara (Montreal Impact), David Ferreira (FC Dallas), Justin Meram (Columbus Crew), Shea Salinas (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)