MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week: Week 18
The Philadelphia Union are tops in the East and the Seattle Sounders are second in the West. Last weekend they showed again why they are the cream of the crop with two of the most resounding victories of the past weekend. They dominate the latest edition of the Team of the Week for Week 18.
Also, Portland contribute two players, Sporting Kansas City defender Aurélien Collin is back for the third time in the last five weeks and San Jose's Bobby Burling makes his first appearance of the year.
GK: Troy Perkins (Portland Timbers) – Made a total of seven stops including six from outside the box — more than any other ‘keeper last weekend — in the Timbers’ crucial away win at Chicago which stemmed a seven-game winless streak. His stoppage-time saves were spectacular.
DF: Bobby Burling (San Jose Earthquakes) – With the likes of Robbie Rogers, Andrés Mendoza and Eddie Gaven bearing down on him, Burling was rock solid. He had a number of clearances and recoveries for a San Jose team that continues to be solid in defense.
DF: Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City) – The Frenchman was involved in every critical play of his team’s 1-1 tie in Houston, drawing two red card fouls and scoring the equalizer in the 90th minute.
DF: Carlos Valdés (Philadelphia Union) – Although the Revs are not exactly one of the most dangerous attacking teams in MLS, the Colombian’s league-high eight headed clearances last weekend contributed to yet another Union shutout. He also used his head to score.
DF: Heath Pearce (Chivas USA) – Many fans point to Luke Rodgers’ absence as the reason for another RBNY shutout. Pearce will have something to say about that, using nine clearances to shut down the vaunted Red Bulls and also jumpstarting the attack with more completed passes than any defender on his team.
MF: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders) – It was a masterful performance against Colorado with the Cuban completing a league-high 35 passes in the middle third of the pitch, including his first two assists on the season.
MF: Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders) – Whether he’s in a central or wide position, the Argentine is a catalyst for the Sounders. On the right wing against the Rapids, he made a total of six successful crosses, more than any player in MLS last weekend, while also scoring a goal and getting his sixth helper.
MF: Justin Mapp (Philadelphia Union) – In his first full season in Philadelphia, Mapp appears a rejuvenated player. He’s back to being the dynamic player he once was, unbalancing opposing defenses with his mazy runs and creative passing.
MF: Kalif Alhassan (Portland Timbers) – Alhassan was one of the bright spots of the Timbers as they brought an end to their seven-match winless streak. His dribbling skills and tireless running will be critical for Portland to turn the corner.
FW: Sébastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union) – Since he’s not putting in the goals, many may overlook his attacking contributions. Against New England, he played two splitting through balls, registered an assist and fired a season-high five shots … all while playing at forward.
FW: Roger Levesque (Seattle Sounders) – He has quietly taken over the starting spot in Seattle and proved why against Colorado. His hard work and running off the ball creates space for the trio of South Americans running in behind him to make the Sounders attack lethal.
Manager: Ben Olsen (D.C. United) – For the second week in a row, his team was prepared to cope with one of the most difficult teams in MLS in FC Dallas, especially in the 100-degree weather at Pizza Hut Park. His team is growing in confidence and composure with every match.
Honorable Mentions: Jon Busch (San Jose Earthquakes), Keon Daniel (Philadelphia Union), Gabriel Farfan (Philadelphia Union), Álvaro Fernández (Seattle), Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), William Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Julius James (Columbus Crew), George John (FC Dallas), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders), Pat Phelan (New England), Wells Thompson (Colorado Rapids), Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia), Daniel Woolard (D.C. United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)