Team of the Week (Wk 23): Young attacking stars shine in blowout-filled weekend

Crucial games that have an effect on playoff races usually are tension-filled and leave you grinding your nails down to a nub. Not last weekend. Four different teams scored at least four goals as Columbus, Sporting Kansas City, FC Dallas, and D.C. United pummeled their opponents in Week 23 action.

Columbus' Tony Tchani, Giancarlo González, and Steve Clark all took starring roles at Crew Stadium, dominating the middle of the park and not allowing the LA Galaxy any easy routes to the goal.

FC Dallas went into Buck Shaw for the final time and crushed the Earthquakes chances of every catching them in the standings. Fabián Castillo was electric up top, as he easily got past Jason Hernandez for two goals but wasn't even the team's top scorer of the game. Tesho Akindele firmly put his name near the top of the Rookie of the Year race with the first hat trick by a rookie since Zach Schilawski did it back April 2010.

Who else earned a spot on the latest Team of the Week? Read on to find out.

GK: Steve Clark (Columbus Crew) – Made key saves throughout the match to ensure that Columbus came away with all three points.

D: Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City) – Virtually shut down Dominic Oduro's forays into the attacking zone while also providing support in the attack as SKC pulverized Toronto FC 4-1.

D: Jermaine Taylor (Houston Dynamo) – Played his best game of the season, helping Houston collect their second clean sheet in three games against Philadelphia.

D: Giancarlo González (Columbus Crew) – The World Cup veteran has performed at a high level since returning from Brazil and allowed Robbie Keane no space where he could be dangerous.

D: Taylor Kemp (D.C. United) – Taking advantage of Chris Korb's injury, Kemp has showed signs of development over the past couple of weeks and his two assists on Sunday night helped D.C. beat Colorado 4-2.

M: Luke Mulholland (Real Salt Lake) – Pesky and solid for the first 70 minutes, notched an assist and scored a goal of his own as RSL won 2-1.

M: Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew) – Cleaned things up while also playing distributor as he set up Columbus' opener and continually jumpstarted the counterattack.

M: Luis Silva (D.C. United) – His partnership with Fabián Espíndola looked unstoppable on Sunday night as he put two more away against the Rapids.

F: Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas) – Two great solo goals, an assist, and easily the best player on the pitch. Virtually unplayable at times against the Earthquakes.

F: Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas) – Played the poacher role to absolute perfection, helping Dallas beat the Earthquakes soundly 5-0.

F: Joao Plata (Real Salt Lake) – Shortest player in the league scored his second goal in as many games off a header, and helped set up RSL’s second finish.

Coach: Oscar Pareja (FC Dallas) – In what was supposed to be a must-win for San Jose, Pareja and FCD turned the game at Buck Shaw into a laugher.

Bench: Raúl Fernández (FC Dallas), Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Soony Saad (Sporting Kansas City), Justin Meram (Columbus Crew), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact)


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