Toronto FC registered what was arguably the club's best road performance of the season in Colorado on Sunday, playing on short rest and at altitude against the defending champion Colorado Rapids. The match earned two TFC members a place on the MLS Team of the Week for Week 10.
In a relatively low-scoring weekend, three forwards made the list without notching a single goal or assist among them but their standout performances made them worthy selections.
GK: Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids) – His one-on-one saves against Toronto FC assume even greater importance when you consider how the Rapids are struggling to find the back of the net. The point against TFC was won by Pickens.
DF: Marvell Wynne (Colorado Rapids) – Ecuadorean international Joao Plata was canceled out by Wynne, who has returned to his old right back spot of late and is just as efficient in hunting down attackers with his speed and putting out fires.
DF: Jeff Parke (Seattle Sounders) – He’s not the tallest player on the field, but he’s always been a force in the air, and he proved that on both sides of the ball against Sporting Kansas City, using all his experience to head home the winner. Player of the Week.
DF: Michael Farfan (Philadelphia Union) – Plays with an uncanny calm for being a rookie and has the confidence in his own skills to make plays that other first year players wouldn’t dare, including scoring. Although he was severely challenged by Dominic Oduro’s speed when he moved to left back against Chicago, he has the soccer smarts to figure things out.
MF: Mikael Yourassowsky (Toronto FC) – The Belgian has showcased his skill and speed during his stints at left back, but they became even more evident and impactful when he was attacking from midfield instead of defending. The Man of the Match performance against Colorado could result in a new position for the first-year MLS player.
MF: Daniel Hernandez (FC Dallas) – Nothing new from the FCD captain, but in a scrappy game in which both Dallas and Real Salt Lake matched up evenly, the veteran’s intelligence, guile and experience made him the best player on the field.
MF: Joel Lindpere (New York Red Bulls) – Whatever the task for which he’s enlisted, the Estonian delivers. A cog in RBNY’s improved possession game against Houston, Lindpere has also taken over select set piece duties and came through there as well. His was the assist on the Mehdi Ballouchy game-tying goal.
MF: Dominic Oduro (Chicago Fire) – Maligned by many for his finishing, the Ghanaian winger proved on his goal that he can finish with the best of them. But he’s even more impressive for the matchup problems he causes and the fact that he creates more opportunities for himself and his teammates than his reputation gives him credit for.
FW: Marvin Chávez (FC Dallas) – The move to forward has transformed Chávez into arguably the most productive forward in recent years at FC Dallas. The Honduran is getting many more touches on the ball and his speed and one-on-one dribbling skills have resulted in scoring chances or set pieces for his squad.
FW: Steven Lenhart (San Jose Earthquakes) – It may be easy to lose sight of his impact on a match. The industry and energy he has always shown in MLS may not necessarily result in goals for him, but it helps his teammates get on the board. The match against New England was another case in point.
FW: Tom Heinemann (Columbus Crew) – The new Steven Lenhart in Columbus, Heinemann showed a great deal of promise in his first start. Active, tireless and solid in the air, he will feel like he should have come away with at least a goal in Portland. He earned himself an encore.
Manager: Aron Winter (Toronto FC) – The skeptics are still out there in numbers as Winter’s Ajax-style experiment in Toronto continues to take shape. In Colorado, against the defending champs, the Canadian side showed personality, enjoyed several spells of solid possession and also created the best scoring opportunities. The most impressive road outing of the year for TFC, which also came on short rest and in altitude, shows that the players believe in Winter and what he represents.
Honorable Mentions: Eric Brunner (Portland Timbers), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Kalif Alhassan (Portland Timbers), Jámison Olave (Real Salt Lake), Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Nate Sturgis (Toronto FC), Teemu Tainio (New York Red Bulls), Chris Tierney (New England Revolution), Cam Weaver (Houston Dynamo)
2011 TEAM OF THE WEEK MENTIONS (alphabetical order):
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), Matt Pickens (Week 10), 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), Michael Farfan (Week 10), 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, Week 10), 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), Marvell Wynne (Week 10);
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), Daniel Hernandez (Week 10), Ryan Johnson (Week 9), Shalrie Joseph (Week 3), Juninho (Week 1, Week 8), Nizar Khalfan (Week 4), Nick LaBrocca (Week 6, Week 9), Joel Lindpere (Week 10), Javier Morales (Week 2), Dominic Oduro (Week 10), Marco Pappa (Week 2), Chris Pontius (Week 5), Teemu Tainio (Week 1), Mikael Yourassowsky (Week 10), 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), Marvin Chavez (Week 10), Omar Cummings (Week 1), Charlie Davies (Week 8), Caleb Folan (Week 3), Eric Hassli (Week 1), Tom Heinemann (Week 10), Thierry Henry (Week 5, Week 6, Week 8), Kei Kamara (Week 6), Steven Lenhart (Week 10), 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), Aron Winter (Week 10).