Team of the Week (Wk 26): Cellar-dwellers make runs at playoff spots thanks to standout performances

It hasn't been the best of seasons for the Chicago Fire or the Colorado Rapids, but they did close out August on a high note.

After spending much of the season at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, the Rapids entered last week with home games against the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City. They came away with a pair of 2-1 wins thanks to great performances by Marcelo Sarvas, Vicente Sánchez and Kevin Doyle, among others.

900 miles to the east, the Fire battled the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night, eventually coming out of the game with a 3-2 victory. They followed that up with a draw in Orlando, giving them four points in a tight Eastern Conference playoff battle. David Accam and Michael Stephens were among the standouts for Frank Yallop's team.

Read on to find out who else made the Team of the Week, presented by EA SPORTS FIFA 16, for Week 26:

GK: Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders) – Kept the Sounders in it with three key saves in the first half and did very well to snag a cross that would’ve been a sure Fanendo Adi goal in the second in the Sounders' 2-1 win.

D: Andrew Farrell (New England Revolution) – He led a shutdown defensive performance against a desperate Philadelphia team, limiting the Union to just two shots on goal and preserving a shutout in the Revs' victory.

D: Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes) - The high-powered LA Galaxy attack was shut down thanks in part to Goodson's outstanding work in central defense.

D: Raul Rodriguez (Houston Dynamo) – Missed Wednesday night's loss to the Rapids and came back with a vengeance on Saturday, scoring a goal and helping post a shutout against Vancouver.

M: Michael Stephens (Chicago Fire) – Outplayed the Red Bulls' star-studded midfield Wednesday night and then grabbed Saturday's game by the scruff of the neck, getting the ball, spraying it and driving his team on.

M: Marcelo Sarvas (Colorado Rapids)  - Was the totem that led the Rapids to two huge home wins, leading the team in passes in both games.

M: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) – Dominated the game on both sides of the ball in TFC's win over Montreal, opened the scoring with a clinical finish and created TFC's second with a lung-bursting, 70-yard dribble in transition.

M: Vicente Sánchez (Colorado Rapids) – Two assists against Sporting KC after a goal in his midweek game? Yeah, Sánchez  was vital to Colorado’s attack in a six point swing.

F: Federico Higuaín (Columbus Crew SC) - Had a hand in both Columbus goals in their 2-1 win over NYCFC, scoring the first and assisting the second.

F: Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls) – After a forgettable Wednesday performance, BWP was both clinical and generous in front of net on Sunday against D.C. United, scoring New York’s second and third – one of which came on a stunning volley – after setting Lloyd Sam up for the Red Bulls’ opener.

F: David Accam (Chicago Fire) – After getting an assist Wednesday night against the Red Bulls, the Ghanaian was lively and creative on Saturday night against Orlando City. With a break here and there, could easily have scored or set up more goals.

Coach: Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids) - Two wins in a week is pretty good for a side that was desperate for points. One more win, and the Rapids will sit at .500 for the season, no simple task in the Western Conference.

Bench: Chris Konopka (Toronto FC), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC), Shea Salinas (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids)

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