Team of the Week (Wk 6): MLS road warriors take a bow
Sometimes a change of scenery brings out the best in players.
Eight members of the Week 6 best XI had their standout performances away from home. Although their respective teams may have registered a mix bag of results, the players' games didn't go unnoticed.
From the big road winners (Chivas USA and D.C. United), to the rising powers (San Jose Earthquakes) and even those that stumbled as visitors this weekend (Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake), here are the standouts in MLS for Week 6:
GK: Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA) -- Once again stood on his head to help his team to another shutout road win. Magical start to 2012.
DF: Hanyer Mosquera (Portland) -- Fellow Timbers teammates could use a lesson from the Colombian in strong, one-on-one defending. Adds a swagger the Timbers missed on the back line.
DF: Aurelien Collin (Sporting KC) -- Another dominant performance vs. RSL. Physically imposing on both sides of the ball. Makes it impossible for teams to attack up the middle.
DF: Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake) -- Neck-in-neck with Collin as league's top defender. Unbeatable in the one-on-one vs. SKC. Perhaps best-suited to mark Collin on corner kicks?
MF: Oswaldo Minda (Chivas USA) -- Not just for the goal. The Goats' 4-1-4-1 formation showcases Minda's ability to cover ground, clog holes and jumpstart the attack.
MF: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders) -- Talk about clogging holes. Colorado looked impotent on the day largely due to how effective Alonso continues to be in central midfield.
MF: Nick DeLeon (D.C. United) -- Stellar run continues for the D.C. rookie, who makes plays on a weekly basis for his team. Two more assists cement his spot in United's starting XI.
MF: Rafael Baca (SJ Earthquakes) -- When you get singled out by Thierry Henry, you're doing something right. If SJ gave NY a "lesson in football," it's because Baca was head of the class.
FW: Chris Wondolowski (SJ Earthquakes) -- Call him the "Invisible Man." It's the only way to explain how he continually finds ways to be unmarked. His hard work and goals set the tone once again.
FW: Blas Perez (FC Dallas) -- El Super Raton shares the hard working qualities of Wondo. It pays dividends in the goals department. Led the charge in the comeback win vs. Impact.
FW: Kris Boyd (Portland Timbers) -- Match in LA showcased Boyd's goal-scoring class. Two great finishes, even if one didn't count.
Manager: Schellas Hyndman (FC Dallas) -- Earned his paycheck against Montreal, making the substitutions and shifting his players around to jumpstart his team and change the face of the match. Jackson's return and his versatility will mean the Dallas strategist can pull even more tricks from his hat.
Honorable Mentions: Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Adrian Cann (Toronto FC), Marvin Chavez (SJ Earthquakes), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Raymon Gaddis (Philadelphia Union), Sebastian Grazzini (Chicago Fire), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Jeff Parke (Seattle Sounders), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Dane Richards (NY Red Bulls), Zach Scott (Seattle Sounders), Saer Sene (New England Revolution), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union)