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.
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: 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.
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)