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Starry nights: MLS Team of the Week – Round 25

Aug 27, 2012, 3:44 PM EDT

Toronto FC v Columbus Crew Getty Images

Goalkeeper:

  • L.A. Galaxy’s Josh Saunders

Rationale, motive and intent: Despite an advantage in possession, Dallas made the Galaxy keeper work hard in spots. Saunders had five saves in helping preserve his sixth shutout this year.

Back line:

  • Philadelphia’s Ramon Gaddis
  • Los Angeles’ Omar Gonzalez
  • Portland’s Steven Smith

Rationale, motive and intent: Gaddis made the most of his opportunity, playing in relief of the suspended Sheanon Williams. Gonzalez is moving like he never missed a match, never mind that he did miss about half the season. He helped make Blas Perez’s return to the field for Dallas less than memorable.

Smith was big all night along the defensive left side in Portland’s Cascadia Cup win over Vancouver. He was never bigger than in a second half, athletic goal line clearance. It was probably a game-saver.

Midfield:

  • Sporting Kansas City’s Roger Espinoza
  • L.A. Galaxy’s Juninho
  • San Jose’s Simon Dawkins
  • Montreal’s Patrice Bernier

Rationale, motive and intent: Espinoza never stopped running in his team’s 1-1 draw with New York. Juninho was a similar bundle of skillful energy at the Galaxy ran past Dallas. Dunfield looks like a new man under TFC coach Paul Mariner, and the “new man” was big factor in guiding the Canadians to a point over the weekend in Houston.

Dawkins helps make San Jose unstoppable when he’s on his game (and when he scores a couple, as he did in the ‘Quakes’ romp-and-stomp over Colorado). And Bernier has put together an unbelievable season at Montreal; he had two goals and an assist in Saturday’s win over D.C. United.

Forward:

  • Seattle’s Fredy Montero
  • Columbus’ Jairo Arrieta
  • Columbus’ Federico Higuain (pictured)

Rationale, motive and intent: Montero’s hat trick is impossible to ignore – so we didn’t. The Sounders’ man now has 11 goals in 2012. Arrieta and Higuain had two apiece Saturday in the Crew’s thrilling 4-3 win over New England. And they were spectacular. You can watch them here.

  1. wildmaxd - Aug 27, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Mauro Rosales? Has 3 assists Saturday. Moves into the top spot in MLS for assists.

  2. Steve Davis - Aug 27, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    I know. Great match. It’s hard to ignore Montero’s hat trick, but I do generally try to pick players who might have affected the outcome. It’s hard to say any one player was instrumental in a 6-2 win. (As I said, hard to ignore the hat trick, not to mention the assist and the cross for the own goal.) From what I saw of the match (before I lost interest at 3-0) Chivas was horrid.

  3. micahrowe18 - Aug 27, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Agree on most, but Mauro Rosales was dangerous all game, and played 3 great passes into Fredy for his 3 goals. Also, Fredy had 8 goals in MLS heading into the Chivas game. Otherwise, I agree. Even with Portland’s Smith making the list. His decision making and positional awareness on the goal line clearance were enough to merit his selection.

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