Team of the Week (Wk 30): Foreign players make their talent known

Valeri's performance against Rapids earns him a spot in the XI, Chara with honorable mention

Diego Valeri, Timbers vs. Rapids, 9.20.13

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

MLS recently reaffirmed its place as the most diverse sports league in the United States, per numbers from Elias Sports Bureau, so it only seems appropriate that we also saw some of the league's foreign talent continue to shine in an action-packed Week 30.

Nine of the 11 players honored in this week's Team of the Week hail from outside the US and Canada, and contributed in all facets of the game – up top, in midfield, on the backline, and even in goal. We saw Brazil, England and Colombia each send two players to the best XI, with Argentina, Cameroon and Denmark also represented.

There was still some room for American talent, though, with one of the league's best up-and-coming defenders finding his way into the selection after a huge performance, and one of the league's most controversial players earning his spot behind a pair of headed goals.

Which foreign stars earned a spot in this week's selection? Read on to find out...

SAVE: Ousted's diving stop

GK: David Ousted (Vancouver Whitecaps) – The Danish goalkeeper played one of his best games as a Whitecap to date, making six saves in a 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact, including a spectacular diving stop on Patrice Bernier.

DF: Jamison Olave (New York Red Bulls) – Made a number of crucial interventions along the New York backline, as he often does, even as he battled a knock to the knee sustained before halftime in the Red Bulls' 1-0 win over FC Dallas.

DF: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Seattle Sounders) – A dominant showing for the Colombian, who went toe-to-toe with Robbie Keane, put out fires across the line and generally continued his excellent form at the heart of what is now one of the best defenses in the league.

DF: Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids) – Put in a huge performance on the road against a dangerous Portland Timbers team, making timely interventions all across the backline in a 1-0 loss.

MF: Marcelo Sarvas (LA Galaxy) – The best midfielder on the park as the Galaxy and Sounders battled to a 1-1 draw. Sarvas was seemingly everywhere, totaling seven recoveries in midfield and completing an impressive 63 of his 70 passes.

MF: Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew) – Anchored a dominant Crew midfield in their 3-0 win over Chicago, both driving the offense forward and keeping things clean in front of the defense, and picked up an assist to boot.

GOAL: Valeri's superb chip

MF: Nigel Reo-Coker (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Created the penalty that set up Kenny Miller's early opener in Montreal, scorching Alessandro Nesta in a play that would epitomize his attacking initiative all afternoon long in the Whitecaps' massive win.

MF: Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) – Continued to make his case in the MVP race with a beautifully taken goal that proved the decider in Portland's important win over Colorado. Also orchestrated most of Portland's attacks with his typical poise despite seeing less of the ball than usual.

FW: Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo) – Led the Houston offense with a brace that included the opener and the cool finish that iced the game as the Dynamo blew away Chivas USA, 5-1.

FW: Steven Lenhart (San Jose Earthquakes) – Kept the Quakes' playoff hopes alive almost single-handedly by getting free to score two goals in the space of four minutes in a 2-1 win at Real Salt Lake.

GOAL: Camilo lets one go from long range

FW: Camilo (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Made the most of his 30 minutes on the field, icing their win over Montreal with two well-taken goals, most notably his Goal of the Week-worthy rip from distance.

Coach: Brian Bliss (Columbus Crew) – Don't look now, but the Crew have won three of four since Bliss took over as interim coach. Saturday's three-goal win over the Crew epitomized what Bliss has done since taking over, with the team playing attractive soccer with a purose and a number of unheralded contributors showing their best.

Bench: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps), Diego Chara (Portland Timbers), Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution) C.J. Sapong (Sporting KC), Jairo Arrieta (Columbus Crew)