Apr 2, 2012, 3:40 PM EDT
Goalkeeper: Vancouver’s Joe Cannon
Rationale, motive and intent: San Jose’s Jon Busch and Columbus’ Andy Gruenebaum made solid cases, too. Cannon needs to clean up his footwork with the ball, but he came up big in the right spots as Vancouver’s defense proved up for the job once again.
Back line: (Right to left) Real Salt Lake’s Tony Beltran, San Jose’s Victor Bernardez, New England’s A.J. Soares and Columbus’ Eric Gehrig.
Rationale, motive and intent: Gehrig played centrally next to Chad Marshall along Columbus back four in a road win at Toronto. (We take some liberties with the PST Team of the Week.) Funny thing, Julius James has always looked so much better next to Marshall than at any of his previous MLS stops. So, maybe we underestimate how much it means to play alongside the veteran, two-time MLS Defender of the Year?
Midfield: Kansas City’s Graham Zusi, Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman, Colorado’s Martin Rivero and Portland’s Darlington Nagbe
Rationale, motive and intent: Zusi just keeps getting it done, this time wholly responsible for creating Sporting Kansas City’s game-winner at Chivas USA. Rivero ran the show for a Colorado side that looks increasingly comfortable in Oscar Pareja’s system – and he was surely a big reason. Beckerman did his usual bit in midfield and nailed the neatly aimed, 88th-minute game-winner. Nagbe played at the tip-top of a midfield diamond; he could easily be listed as a third forward. (Enjoy his weekend goal on the video at bottom of the post.)
Forwards: New York’s Thierry Henry and New England’s Ryan Guy
Rationale, motive and intent: Henry is doing exactly what he was brought to do: score goals and lead the way. His hat trick Saturday against helpless Montreal has the Red Bulls striker atop the league’s scoring chart. Ryan Guy? Yes, that Ryan Guy. His industrious night as withdrawn striker for New England was testament to heavy impact on a match without showing up much in the box score.
- On Jurgen Klinsmann and Michael Bradley and “playing out of position” 4
- Three things we learned from the USMNT’s late 1-1 draw in Switzerland 1
- Player ratings: Stars and flops for the USMNT in 1-1 draw at Switzerland 11
- Switzerland 1-1 USMNT: Another late equalizer cancels out Shea’s stunner 3
- VIDEO: Watch Brek Shea’s stunning free kick for USA against Switzerland 3
- Lineups out for USMNT vs. Switzerland: Williams, Morales, Shea come in; diamond in midfield 2