NEW YORK — It's taken half a season, but they're finally here.
Few would have thought it would take this long for Seattle Sounders star forward Fredy Montero and Colorado Rapids striker Conor Casey to earn their first MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week mentions this year. The other debutants on the best XI squad are Chicago Fire winger Patrick Nyarko and Real Salt Lake fullback Tony Beltran.
On the other end of the spectrum, Nick LaBrocca of Chivas USA, Sporting Kansas City's C.J. Sapong and New York Red Bulls midfielder Joel Lindpere reappear for consecutive weeks as they continue their solid run of form. Only the Red Bulls and Chivas USA had multiple players represented in this week's selections with 10 teams represented, including D.C. United through manager Ben Olsen.
GK: Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA) – Although his team gave up a last-minute equalizer to Sporting KC, he was solid throughout the game, making tough saves look routine.
DF: Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls) – Nearly had the perfect match against D.C. United, intercepting several dangerous balls and serving exquisite passes from the back.
DF: George John (FC Dallas) – He’s No. 2 in the Castrol rankings for a reason. Despite the final result at RSL, he was one of the best performers on the night.
DF: Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake) – The right back was up against the toughest wingers in the league vs. FC Dallas, but was never outmatched and also contributed again in attack.
MF: Joel Lindpere (New York Red Bulls) – The engine that fueled his team in a 5-0 midweek win over TFC was also the brightest spot in a 1-0 defeat to D.C. United on the weekend.
MF: Nick LaBrocca (Chivas USA) – His magic moment continues goals in midweek and on the weekend. Aside from the goals, he is a menace every time he touches the ball.
MF: Patrick Nyarko (Chicago Fire) – Despite the rough tackle suffered toward the end of the game, the Ghanaian enjoyed a spectacular and effective performance on the wing and assisting on the equalizer.
MF: David Beckham (LA Galaxy) – His set pieces continue to be decisive for LA and he rescued them again on Saturday night, including scoring directly from a corner kick.
FW: Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders) – Fredy’s back. In addition to his two goals on Sunday, he showed a drive and energy that even his teammates took notice of.
FW: Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids) – Ruthless finishing skills were on display in two games. According to Opta, he’s scoring on one of every three chances presented to him.
FW: C.J. Sapong (Sporting Kansas City) – The Rookie of the Year candidate turned the midweek match around vs. Colorado as a sub and was a force against Chivas USA as a starter. On a team with Teal Bunbury and Omar Bravo, he’s Sporting’s most impactful striker.
Manager: Ben Olsen (D.C. United) – It’s not easy to keep the Red Bulls off the scoreboard, especially on the road. Credit to DC’s boss for addressing his young team’s defensive shape to capture what was arguably the biggest win of the year.
Honorable Mentions: Camilo (Vancouver Whitecaps), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), William Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Nizar Khalfan (Vancouver Whitecaps), Jeff Parke (Seattle Sounders), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders)