Chivas USA were responsible for arguably the biggest result of the weekend when they defeated the Eastern Conference-leading New York Red Bulls on the road. It's no surprise the Goats feature three representatives in the latest edition of the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week. That matches the number of FC Dallas players, who had a big week with two shutout victories.
The two goal scorers from the Cascadia rivalry made it into the week's Best XI, while Landon Donovan's scoring streak is also recognized among the elections.
GK: Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas) – Although he experienced a quiet night against Philly on Saturday, Hartman's seven saves against Toronto FC in midweek were essential in another FCD shutout. That’s now three clean sheets in a row in league play.
DF: Andre Hainault (Houston Dynamo) – Enjoying a tremendous start to the 2011 season, the Canadian is among the in-form players in MLS who ensured the Dynamo only bent but did not break at Rio Tinto Stadium during a 0-0 draw.
DF: George John (FC Dallas) – A ball magnet against both Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union, John’s stock continues to rise together with his ranking in the MLS Castrol Index (No. 8).
DF: Mamadou "Futty" Danso (Portland Timbers) – There have been plenty of tall defenders who struggle to impact a match with their height. That’s definitely not the case with the man they call “Futty,” who was dominant in the air on both ends of the field against Seattle.
MF: Ryan Johnson (San Jose Earthquakes) – Playing at left midfield, the Jamaican known until recently for being a hard-working forward, has brought that same application to the left flank, sending in crosses that Chris Wondolowski twice finished on last week against Vancouver and Columbus.
MF: Nick LaBrocca (Chivas USA) – The Goats No. 10 is a critical piece of the possession game that Chivas USA have implemented this year. His positioning, technique, passing and calm under pressure were on show in New York.
MF: Álvaro Fernández (Seattle Sounders) – The most active player at Qwest Field for the Cascadia derby, the Uruguayan brings a touch of class to his industrious play, with a sublime finish on the goal that put Seattle ahead.
MF: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) – That three-game break to rest an ailing knee has done wonders for Donovan. He has been on a goal-scoring tear ever since and continues to carry his team with three goals in two games this week. And he said he wasn’t a scorer any more.
FW: Justin Braun (Chivas USA) – His manager said he was lacking in confidence after failing to score in eight previous matches. A hat trick at Red Bull Arena should solve that problem, as Marcos Mondaini's suspension has allowed Chivas USA to find their leading scorer again.
FW: Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) – He once more showed why he is arguably the best finisher in MLS, taking a ball first-time out of the air to begin the rout of Columbus on Saturday. That’s five goals in nine games for the reigning Golden Boot champ.
FW: Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas) – His manager, Schellas Hyndman, says the 18-year-old Colombian is already justifying the club’s investment. And he showed his ability to bounce back from a subpar performance in midweek vs. Toronto FC to register a goal and an assist in just 67 minutes of action against the tough back line of the Union.
Manager: Robin Fraser (Chivas USA) – National media may still not place much faith in the Goats to this point in the season, but organized and efficient performances against Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls over back-to-back weekends are proof of how Fraser’s philosophy and game plan are already bearing fruit.
Honorable Mentions: Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), Orr Barouch (Chicago Fire), Corben Bone (Chicago Fire), Cory Gibbs (Chicago Fire), Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Jámison Olave (Real Salt Lake), Daniel Paladini (Chicago Fire), Joao Plata (Toronto FC), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Matt Reis (New England Revolution), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Tony Tchani (Toronto FC)
2011 TEAM OF THE WEEK MENTIONS:
Goalkeepers: Stefan Frei (Week 7), Tally Hall (Week 2, Week 3), Kevin Hartman (Week 8, Week 9), Kasey Keller (Week 4), Dan Kennedy (Week 5), Donovan Ricketts (Week 6), Nick Rimando (Week 1);
Defenders: Corey Ashe (Week 7), Danleigh Borman (Week 4), Bobby Boswell (Week 4), Danny Califf (Week 1), Mamadou "Futty" Danso (Week 9), Omar Gonzalez (Week 3, Week 5), Andre Hainault (Week 9), Ugo Ihemelu (Week 8), George John (Week 9), Zach Loyd (Week 1), Chad Marshall (Week 2, Week 3, Week 4), Josip Mikulic (Week 6), Drew Moor (Week 2, Week 8), Jeff Parke (Week 1), Heath Pearce (Week 6, Week 8), Tim Ream (Week 8), Alain Rochat (Week 2), A.J. Soares (Week 3), Jan Gunnar Solli (Week 6), Carlos Valdés (Week 7), Rodney Wallace (Week 5), Ethan White (Week 5), Sheanon Williams (Week 7);
Midfielders: Kalif Alhassan (Week 5), Osvaldo Alonso (Week 2), Kyle Beckerman (Week 1), David Beckham (Week 8), Geoff Cameron (Week 3), Servando Carrasco (Week 8), Brian Carroll (Week 2), Davide Chiumiento (Week 1), Keon Daniel (Week 7), Brad Davis (Week 4, Week 5, Week 7), Simon Dawkins (Week 3), Dwayne De Rosario (Week 7), Brad Evans (Week 7), Julian de Guzman (Week 6), Landon Donovan (Week 6, Week 9), Dilly Duka (Week 5), Benny Feilhaber (Week 6), Álvaro Fernández (Week 9), David Ferreira (Week 4), Ryan Johnson (Week 9), Shalrie Joseph (Week 3), Juninho (Week 1, Week 8), Nizar Khalfan (Week 4), Nick LaBrocca (Week 6, Week 9), Javier Morales (Week 2), Marco Pappa (Week 2), Chris Pontius (Week 5), Teemu Tainio (Week 1), Steve Zakuani (Week 3, Week 4);
Forwards: Justin Braun (Week 9), Omar Bravo (Week 1), Will Bruin (Week 4, Week 7), Teal Bunbury (Week 3), Fabián Castillo (Week 9), Diego Cháves (Week 6), Omar Cummings (Week 1), Charlie Davies (Week 8), Caleb Folan (Week 3), Eric Hassli (Week 1), Thierry Henry (Week 5, Week 6, Week 8), Kei Kamara (Week 6), Javier Martina (Week 2), Alejandro Moreno (Week 7), Paulo Jr. (Week 2), Jorge Perlaza (Week 5), Joao Plata (Week 8), Emilio Rentería (Week 7), Luke Rodgers (Week 5), Mauro Rosales (Week 4), Camilo (Week 3), O'Brian White (Week 4), Chris Wondolowski (Week 2, Week 9);
Managers: Hans Backe (Week 2), Robin Fraser (Week 6, Week 9), Dominic Kinnear (Week 7), Jason Kreis (Week 4), Ben Olsen (Week 1), Gary Smith (Week 3, Week 8), Robert Warzycha (Week 5).