Team of the Week (Wk 24): Stars making their cases for MVP as season hits stretch run
With only two months left in the regular season, teams are focusing on the playoffs, either trying to get themselves in or fighting for positioning. To achieve whatever their particular goal is, all teams need to rely upon their stars for big performances, and that is exactly what a handful of teams got this week.
In a huge Cascadia battle, the Sounders came away with a relatively easy 4-2 victory over their bitter rivals. This was due in large part to DP forward Obafemi Martins. After not scoring since June, Martins had two goals and an assist on Sunday.
The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the Eastern Conference faced off on Saturday night in what was expected to be a nailbiter, but Fabián Espíndola and D.C. United put up three goals in the first 31 minutes as United cruised to a 3-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City. The Argentinian added another goal to his tally and has an impressive nine goals and eight assists in just 18 games this season.
Who else earned a spot on the latest Team of the Week? Read on to find out.
D: Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders) – Marshall did not set a foot wrong vs. the Timbers (although he did get away with a handball in the first half). He was a rock at the back for much of the 90 minutes as the Sounders cruised past the Timbers 4-2.
M: Perry Kitchen (D.C. United) – Did very well to take advantage of the sleeping KC defense to grab D.C.’s third counterattack goal and helped disrupt the hosts defensively all night.
M: Justin Meram (Columbus Crew) – With a goal and an assist for the second week in a row and a third goal in three games, Meram is one of the hottest players in the league right now, as he led Columbus to a 3-0 victory over Houston.
F: Fabián Espíndola (D.C. United) – Continues to keep his name in the MVP conversation by setting the tone early and starting the onslaught with a good individual effort.
F: Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders) – The Nigerian forward terrorized the Timbers from start to finish. He scored two goals and had an assist, and his second tally came after some incredibly impressive and nifty dribbling moves in tight spaces.
Coach: Ben Olsen (D.C. United) – D.C. have now beaten the MLS Cup champions twice this season, and Olsen has them firing on all cylinders at the right time.
Bench: Steve Clark (Columbus Crew), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Scott Caldwell (New England Revolution), Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas), Andrew Wenger (Philadelphia Union), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)