Team of the Week-2014-31-DL

Team of the Week (Wk 31): Diego Valeri, Kendall Waston lead Cascadia teams to important wins

The top four teams out West have separated themselves and qualified for the playoffs ahead of the final two games of the regular season. The final spot will come down to the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers and both teams came out with wins this week.

On Wednesday, Diego Valeri led the Timbers to a crucial victory over a struggling San Jose Earthquaks side, as the Argentine scored two goals in a 3-0 win at Providence Park.

Some 48 hours later and a few hours north, Kendall Waston and the Whitecaps faced their Cascadia rivals the Seattle Sounders in a huge matchup at CenturyLink Field. The hulking Costa Rican center back snuffed out all the attacks led by Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins & Co. as the Whitecaps collected their second clean sheet in a row – and in doing so, kept their place above the red line.

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

GK: Andy Gruenebaum (Sporting Kansas City) Made six saves, including three that were top-quality, to keep SKC in the game until they took the lead and, eventually, clinch their place in the playoffs.

D: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas) – The 24-year-old captain constantly halted LA Galaxy attacks on Sunday, including blocking one Alan Gordon shot off the line.

D: Jamison Olave (New York Red Bulls) – His physical play set the tone and kept TFC’s movement in the penalty box to a minimum as the Red Bulls clinched a playoff berth in New York's 3-1 win.

D: Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Virtually eliminated any kind of Seattle presence in the box as the Whitecaps beat the Sounders 1-0 on the road.

D: Taylor Kemp (D.C. United) – Scored his first MLS goal and was solid in his left back role as D.C. won in Houston for the first time ever.

M: Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City) – Scored a fantastic goal and set up SKC's second in a 2-0 win.

M: Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) – The two goals were important, if not overly difficult, and the icing on the cake in a game he bossed.

M: Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew) – Dominated the midfield, controlling the pace of play as Columbus made their dramatic comeback against the Union in a 3-2 win.

M: Sebastian Velasquez (Real Salt Lake) – Played a crucial role as RSL’s No. 10 and did it well, covering ground and nabbing a goal in RSL's 2-0 triumph.

M: Andres Escobar (FC Dallas) – The Colombian winger enjoyed a superb evening in a crucial match for FC Dallas, and he couldn't have picked a better night for a coming out party. Influential on both goals in FCD's 2-0 victory over the Galaxy.

F: Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact) – The 38-year-old may have given us one last virtuoso performance in MLS, scoring two classy goals on the Revolution.

Coach: Carl Robinson (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Few expected the Whitecaps to get a result in Seattle, much less a win. The 'Caps are now in prime position for the final playoff spot.

Bench: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Hector Jimenez (Columbus Crew), Sean Franklin (D.C. United), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Rodney Wallace (Portland Timbers), Kris Tyrpak (Chivas USA), Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo)

Series: 

Stay connected: The all-new, completely redesigned, FREE official MLS app is your best mobile source for scores, news, analysis and highlights. Download:  App Store  |  Google Play