Team of the Week (Wk 2): Stars make presence known during draw-filled weekend
Week 2 was dominated by draws with five of the eight games played ending with each team taking a point. Scoring dipped as well, as only three teams scored more than one goal after seven teams did so on opening weekend.
Surprisingly, four of last season’s playoff teams – Portland, Sporting Kansas City, New York, and Seattle – hosted non-playoff teams and failed to come away with three points. New York and Sporting KC must be feeling particularly sick after conceding a late penalty and stoppage-time goal, respectively.
Which players were able to separate themselves among all the draws? Read on to find out.
GK: Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls) - The Rapids couldn't muster a goal from open play, thwarted by the stellar play of Robles, who made five saves and only let a penalty get by him.
DF: Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo) - Cleared yet another goal off the line, and nearly scored a beautiful one of his own, while playing a strong two-way game vs. the Impact.
DF: Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City) - His performance was vintage Collin. Turned in solid defending while also throwing in a set-piece goal to give SKC the lead.
DF: Bakary Soumare (Chicago Fire) - Made several big-time plays to shut down Portland attacks, including some risky ones in the box. Was a force in the air and almost had the game-winner at the death.
DF: Víctor Bernárdez (San Jose Earthquakes) - What’s the best way to make up for allowing three goals? Scoring two, including the equalizer at the death, and having a hand in the third.
MF: Mauro Rosales (Chivas USA) - The former Sounder has made quite an impression in his first two games. Added his third assist of the season and caused major problems for the Whitcaps defense on set pieces.
MF: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) - Returned to MLS with a bang after a nine-year absence. Asked to defend with the Sounders holding possession, Bradley broke up their advances, registering seven tackles.
MF: Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union) - For the second straight week, Edu showed why Philadelphia were willing to shell out the big bucks. Tidy in possession and a constant threat from set pieces, he barely put a foot wrong and was physically dominant.
MF: Shea Salinas (San Jose Earthquakes) - Set up the first two Quakes goals on set pieces, and put balls in dangerous areas all game. That's likely to be a trend in 2014.
FWD: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) - The legend was the driving force behind the Red Bulls attack on Saturday afternoon. Henry took three shots, putting one in the back of the net, and created four chances for his teammates.
FWD: Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC) - Two clinical finishes, doing just what he is expected to do. Transition to MLS took all of 15 minutes for the former Tottenham Hotspur man.
Coach: Ryan Nelsen (Toronto FC) - His team was ready to play after a preseason full of injuries and distractions. TFC were organized defensively and did not give the Sounders many good chances even though they lost the possession battle.
Bench: Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC), Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps), Lloyd Sam (New York Red Bulls), Quincy Amarikwa (Chicago Fire), Joao Plata (Real Salt Lake)