Team of the Week (Wk 29): Honors spread around evenly in tightly-contest round of MLS play
Things often change quickly in the parity-driven world of MLS.
Just a week ago, we saw a slew of big wins, and players honored accordingly in the Team of the Week. This time around, in Week 29, we've seen quite the opposite. Of the 10 games this week (including one in midweek), four ended in ties and four more were decided by only one goal, with the other two being 2-0 home wins.
With such thin margins separating teams across the league, it only makes sense that a wide variety of players were honored this. Nine different teams are represented in the best XI and only Seattle, with their statement win over Real Salt Lake on Friday night, and Columbus, who scored a big road win in Montreal, sent more than one player.
Did one of your team's players do enough to make the cut in a closely-fought weekend of MLS action? Read on to find out...
DF: DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders) – Showed once again why he's one of the league's most promising young players as Seattle picked apart RSL to the tune of a 2-0 scoreline. Excellent two-way play on the right flank and showed great patience and poise to deliver the assist from Seattle's second goal.
DF: Jámison Olave (New York Red Bulls) – The Red Bulls weren't at their best in a 2-0 win over Toronto, but a typically outstanding defensive performance from Olave saw him pop up seemingly everywhere in the back to frustrate the Reds' attackers.
MF: Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution) – Continued to make his case as one of the league's best young midfielders in a fierce midfield battle in the Revolution's 3-2 loss to the Chicago Fire, highlighted by yet another phenomenal strike from long-range.
MF: Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo) – A bright spot in an otherwise forgettable 1-0 Dynamo win in Philadelphia – did his usual defensive work in the midfield to keep things tidy in front of the Houston back line and even managed to net the game-winner with a strong header.
MF: Federico Higuaín (Columbus Crew) – Turned in a masterful second-half performance in the Crew's huge road win in Montreal. Delivered assists on both his team's goals, including a brilliant ball with the outside of his boot to Dom Oduro for the winner.
MF: Vicente Sánchez (Colorado Rapids) – Wreaked havoc on the left wing in Colorado's 2-1 win over FC Dallas, creating plenty of opportunities for his teammates before volleying home an equalizer and putting in the cross that forced the game-winning own-goal.
FW: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) – The best player on the field, even as the Galaxy were held to a 2-2 draw by D.C. United in the nation's capital. Took just seven minutes to open the scoring and set up Michael Stephens' late goal that initially looked to have won the game for LA.
FW: Juan Luis Anangonó (Chicago Fire) – Started to show flashes of the ability that led Chicago to sign him as a DP this summer. Scored one goal and had a (questionable) hand in another to cap off a hard-working, direct performance that gave the Revs' defense fits in Chicago's win over their Eastern Conference rivals.
FW: Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders) – An absolute terror as Seattle picked apart RSL's defense. Scored a goal, set up another, gave Carlos Salcedo fits all night and probably could've had another goal or two, to boot.
Coach: Frank Klopas (Chicago Fire) – His team got a big result in the best game of the weekend and in no small part due to Klopas' ability to ably manage things in midfield and up top, making the necessary adjustments to allow his team to pick up a late, but well-earned win over the Revolution.
Bench: David Ousted (Vancouver Whitecaps), Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps), Oswaldo Minda (Chivas USA), Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders), Lamar Neagle (Seattle Sounders), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)