Real Salt Lake are back and so are the RSL colors in the latest edition of the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week for Week 12.
There's also a rookie, three unheralded midfielders and a never-before named goalkeeper. Meanwhile, positional changes have suited three players just fine as Marvin Chávez, Geoff Cameron and Jean Alexandre make it onto the best XI squad.
GK: Troy Perkins (Portland Timbers) – He couldn’t save his team from defeat at the Home Depot Center but he was the only reason the result wasn’t more one-sided. Made more than a few fine saves on the night.
DF: Perry Kitchen (D.C. United) – If there was a team that could capitalize against a youthful back line like DC’s, it was LA’s veteran group. But Kitchen is a gamer and the rookie continues to show he’s able to handle what comes his way.
DF: Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo) – Arguably the Dynamo’s most active player in San Jose and he also proved a threat in attack. Not bad for a player returning to center back for the first time this season.
DF: Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake) – They’re rarely mentioned if not as a pair. Olave-and-Borchers. Borchers-and-Olave. But without his suspended sidekick, Borchers had the spotlight to himself. He showed why he went down to the wire with Jámison Olave for last year’s Defender of the Year award.
DF: Jason Hernandez (San Jose Earthquakes) - Few teams have been able to contain Houston's forward combo of Cam Weaver-Will Bruin. The underrated Hernandez continues to prove he's a tough matchup for any forward prototype in MLS.
MF: Ned Grabavoy (Real Salt Lake) – RSL returned to dominating possession against the Vancouver Whitecaps and Grabavoy's skill and calm on the ball are a major reason why.
MF: Daniel Paladini (Chicago Fire) – Not saddled with defensive responsibilities, a more comfortable and decisive Paladini shows he’s really capable of taking charge in the Fire attack.
MF: Brad Ring (San Jose Earthquakes) – One of the underrated players in San Jose’s resurgence, Ring has given the Quakes a steady presence in the midfield. It’s no coincidence that the club’s undefeated streak has taken shape since he's become a fixture in the lineup.
FW: Jean Alexandre (Real Salt Lake) – So is Jason Kreis rooting for his former holding midfielder to continue to light it up at forward? Can the reigning Player of the Week do enough to make himself a regular candidate at striker for RSL?
FW: Marcos Mondaini (Chivas USA) – The Goats could only capture one win during the Argentine’s four-game suspension. The most influential player on this Chivas USA squad for his skill, guile and unpredictability, his presence brings clear ideas to the Chivas attack.
FW: Marvin Chávez (FC Dallas) – The Honduran may not be your traditional forward but he continues to be dangerous in every match he plays in the position. Against New England he finally got the goal that had been missing, his first since October of last year.
Manager: Frank Yallop (San Jose Earthquakes) – Though some may question his moves, the Canadian manager has not been afraid to make adjustments to his squad until he finds the right mix. Ramiro Corrales and Bobby Convey swapping positions. Khari Stephenson at forward. Brad Ring a midfield regular. Rookie Anthony Ampaipitakwong becoming a starter. Credit where credit is due. Defeating Houston is no easy task.
Honorable Mentions: Rich Balchan (Columbus Crew), Mehdi Ballouchy (New York Red Bulls), Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas), Austin da Luz (New York Red Bulls), Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA), Steven Lenhart (San Jose Earthquakes), Justin Meram (Columbus Crew), Danny Mwanga (Philadelphia Union), Matt Reis (New England Revolution), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Ethan White (D.C. United), Ben Zemanski (Chivas USA)
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), Troy Perkins (Week 12), Matt Pickens (Week 10), Donovan Ricketts (Week 6), Nick Rimando (Week 1), Greg Sutton (Week 11);
Defenders: Corey Ashe (Week 7), Nat Borchers (Week 12), Danleigh Borman (Week 4), Bobby Boswell (Week 4), Danny Califf (Week 1), Geoff Cameron (Week 12), Mamadou "Futty" Danso (Week 9), Michael Farfan (Week 10), Sean Franklin (Week 11), Omar Gonzalez (Week 3, Week 5), Andre Hainault (Week 9), Jason Hernandez (Week 12), Ugo Ihemelu (Week 8, Week 11), Dejan Jakovic (Week 11), George John (Week 9), Perry Kitchen (Week 12), 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, Week 11), 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), Ned Grabavoy (Week 12), 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, Week 11), Justin Mapp (Week 11), Javier Morales (Week 2), Dominic Oduro (Week 10), Daniel Paladini (Week 12), Marco Pappa (Week 2), Chris Pontius (Week 5), Brad Ring (Week 12), Brek Shea (Week 11), Teemu Tainio (Week 1), Mikael Yourassowsky (Week 10), Steve Zakuani (Week 3, Week 4);
Forwards: Jean Alexandre (Week 12), 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 Chávez (Week 10, Week 12), 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), Andrés Mendoza (Week 11), Marcos Mondaini (Week 12), Alejandro Moreno (Week 7), Paulo Jr. (Week 2), Jorge Perlaza (Week 5), Joao Plata (Week 8), Emilio Rentería (Week 7), Luke Rodgers (Week 5, Week 11), Mauro Rosales (Week 4), Camilo (Week 3), Cam Weaver (Week 11), 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), Peter Nowak (Week 11), Ben Olsen (Week 1), Gary Smith (Week 3, Week 8), Robert Warzycha (Week 5), Aron Winter (Week 10), Frank Yallop (Week 12).