Team of the Week: The beasts from the East
So much for all the talk about the West being cream of the crop.
It was D.C. United and the New England Revolution who were the talk of MLS in Week 4 with spectacular showings against West opponents. Together with the New York Red Bulls, 5-2 winners over Montreal, the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week is East-heavy this time through.
GK: Joe Willis (D.C. United) – Made three clutch saves to start the game vs. FC Dallas. Another solid showing earned him Man of the Match honors from his manager.
DF: A.J. Soares (New England Revolution) – A ball magnet vs. LA. And when he wins it, he’s skillful enough to ignite the Revs counterattack.
DF: Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes) – Injury to Ramiro Corrales forced Morrow to play both left center back and left back in Seattle. It didn’t matter. Sounders could not beat him wherever he played.
DF: Wilman Conde (New York Red Bulls) – He’s only played two matches for the Red Bulls but he has already become one of their most influential players both on defense and in attack.
MF: Marvin Chavez (San Jose Earthquakes) – The Honduran was not only a threat in attack but he worked harder tracking back than we’ve ever seen him.
MF: Nick DeLeon (D.C. United) – After finding the back of the net on his MLS debut, he had a breakout match on national TV against Dallas. There’s nothing about his game that says "rookie."
MF: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United) – D.C.’s attack overwhelmed FC Dallas mainly because DeRo was pulling the strings at attacking mid. He did it all except score.
MF: Clyde Simms (New England Revolution) – He may be known as a defensive midfielder, but against the LA Galaxy he also completed 44 of 46 passes to set the tempo all night.
FW: Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers) – Alone worth the price of admission. Two magical goals that should have been enough to decide the game vs. RSL.
FW: Maicon Santos (D.C. United) – Aside from the two goals, his play with his back to goal against Dallas was astonishing. But he’s teased us before. Can he keep it up?
FW: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) – The Red Bulls go as the Frenchman goes. His goal-scoring class – a hat trick against Montreal – is enough to win games. But it’s the heel pass assist on the Mehdi Ballouchy goal that goes down as the most memorable play.
Manager: Jay Heaps (New England Revolution) – His game plan left the MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy dazed and stunned on their home turf. The daring, free-flowing, attacking style he promised is already taking shape in New England. His move to play Ryan Guy at forward was inspired.
Honorable Mentions: Víctor Bernárdez (San Jose Earthquakes), Jon Busch (San Jose Earthquakes), Danny Califf (Philadelphia Union), Joe Cannon (Vancouver Whitecaps), Sam Cronin (San Jose Earthquakes), Danny Cruz (D.C. United), Jun Marques Davidson (Vancouver Whitecaps), Richard Eckersley (Toronto FC), Shaun Francis (Columbus Crew), Andy Gruenebaum (Columbus Crew), Ryan Guy (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Steven Lenhart (San Jose Earthquakes), Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Stephen McCarthy (New England Revolution), Martín Rivero (Colorado Rapids)