Team of the Week (Wk 28): Tussle over playoff positions leads to standout performances across MLS

In two matchups that had all sorts of playoff implications, the Portland Timbers and Columbus Crew came away with huge home wins that put them both above the red line.

Portland were visited by Vancouver on Sunday afternoon in a Cascadia duel that featured two teams seperated by just one point. The Timbers and the Whitecaps are fighting for the last playoff spot in the West and Portland's 3-0 win put them above their rivals into fifth place. Diego Valeri scored a brilliant volley and Fanendo Adi put away two in the second half for Portland.

On Frankie Hejduk night in Columbus, the Crew used some fine defending and timely free kick from Federico Higuain to take all three points against the New England Revolution and remain in fifth place with the Union and Toronto FC nipping at their heels.

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

GK: Steve Clark (Columbus Crew) Made six stops, including a magnificent one on Charlie Davies in the final minutes as the Crew shutout the Revs 1-0.

D: Eric Gehrig (Columbus Crew) – Helped keep a clean sheet against the streaking Revs while displaying his aerial abilities on a couple set pieces.

D: Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) – A beast in the air once again, Gonzalez is rounding into form at the perfect time.

D: Robbie Rogers (LA Galaxy) – Made plays all over the field - offensively and defensively - as the Galaxy got a big win over FC Dallas on Saturday night.

M: Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) – Scored one of the best goals in MLS this season, and added an assist to boot. Another wonderful effort from the Timbers’ talisman in their crucial win.

M: Luis Garrido (Houston Dynamo) – His backtracking and recovery work was excellent all game, helping to thwart the Union attack and collect a point on the road.

M: Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew) – The holding midfielder had to have a big game if Columbus were going to get three points. Tchani plugged holes, won tackles, and sprung counter attacks all night long.

M: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake) – Played a role in four of RSL’s five goals against Colorado in a dominant performance. The playmaker showed his quality yet again in RSL's 5-1 trouncing of the Rapids

F: Fanendo Adi (Portland Timbers) – Put in an active shift, then opened the floodgates for the Timbers with two goals in the span of three minutes in the second half to put Portland up for good.

F: Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls) – BWP came roaring back from injury with a hat trick, his third of the season, in the Red Bulls 4-1 victory over the Sounders. Does he have a shot at history?

F: Luis Silva (D.C. United) – Scored two against the Fire in D.C.'s 3-3 draw. His spectacular free kick is in the running for Goal of the Week.

Coach: Caleb Porter (Portland Timbers) – Came up with a huge win over a big rival and has his stars firing on all cylinders.

Bench: Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls), David Horst (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Dilly Duka (Montreal Impact), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Joao Plata (Real Salt Lake), Gilberto (Toronto FC)


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