Team of the Week (Wk 3): Midfield maestros? Stars in middle of park steal Week 3 show
After years of ineptitude, Toronto FC finally started a season off on the right foot. The've won their first two games of a season for the first time in team history. Their three new Designated Players all had a hand in the game-winning goal that gave the Reds their 1-0 victory against D.C. United.
Elsewhere, FC Dallas handed Chivas USA their first loss of the season behind another three-goal performance at home. Dallas now lead the league in points, collecting seven over the course of their three games.
There were also some intra-conference clashes between teams with playoff aspirations. Colorado came away with two penalties to hand Portland their first loss of the season in a snowy atmosphere in Commerce City. In Columbus, Gregg Berhalter now has two wins in two games as the head man for the Crew after beating the Union 2-1. Finally in a frigid Toyota Stadium, New York and Chicago each came away with a point with both red-headed holding midfielders tallying for their team.
Who made the way onto this week’s team? Read on to find out.
GK: Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls) – Gave his team a chance to earn at least a point with the two biggest saves of the game. And they were difficult ones as well.
DF: A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy) – After two weeks on the right, he moved back centrally this week and with great success. Helped hold RSL to just two shots on target.
DF: Steven Caldwell (Toronto FC) – The leader of Toronto FC’s backline that did not give D.C. United many good chances. Caldwell’s organization was key.
DF: Djimi Traoré (Seattle Sounders) – Big, physical presence kept Montreal harmless in the box as they pumped in balls from the wings.
DF: José Gonçalves (New England Revolution) – Amid all the controversy, Gonçalves returned to his Defender of the Year form against one of the most dangerous attacks in MLS.
MF: Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas) – Rampaged through Chivas USA’s soft middle during the first half, and started the scoring by linking up well with his teammates.
MF: Mauro Díaz (FC Dallas) – The young DP bounced back from a quiet performance last week with another strong game, showing he can set teammates up on dead balls as well as the run of play.
MF: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) – Two weeks back in MLS, two team of the week appearances for the USMNT star. Dominated the midfield and had a sublime pass which led to Toronto’s only goal.
MF: Dillon Powers (Colorado Rapids) – Showed again why he was the Rookie of the Year in 2013 and set up Deshorn Brown for the penalty that changed the game.
MF: Bernardo Añor (Columbus Crew) – Scored his first MLS brace, via a header off a corner and a rocket, and was lively throughout the match in testing Philly’s defense.
FWD: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) – Showed yet again why he is consistently mentioned as one of the top players in MLS. His goal, dribbling the ball all the way from the midfield, was straight class.
Coach: Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids) – Made significant changes to his starting XI after an average performance in New York. In only his second game as a coach, Mastroeni showed that he has a bright future.
Bench: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Kevin Ellis (Sporting Kansas City), Giancarlo González (Columbus Crew), Vicente Sánchez (Colorado Rapids), Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders)