Team of the Week (Wk 5): USMNTers, Portland Timbers' Diego Chara lead way in goal-filled weekend
Goals (and lots of them) were the overriding theme in Week 5 with a whopping 31 scored over nine games.
Up in Portland, Timbers (and Sounders) fans witnessed one of the most exciting games in recent memory. Eight goals were scored in total, with the game ending in a 4-4 draw after Clint Dempsey completed his hat trick with a penalty kick in the 87th minute. Oh, and three of the four goals scored by the Timbers are up for Goal of the Week.
The Texas Derby was one of the most well played games in recent memory as both teams showed exceptional skill and touch throughout the match. However, the game changed when David Horst received a controversial red card in the 60th minute. At the time the score was 1-1, 10 minutes later it was 4-1 in favor of the away team.
What performances stood above the rest? Read on to find out.
GK: Jeff Attinella (Real Salt Lake) – No Nick Rimando, no problem. RSL’s backup goalkeeper set the tone for the draw with an impressive first half that included a number of highlight-reel blocks.
D: Andrew Farrell (New England Revolution) – While his team didn't come away with a result, Farrell had one of his best games as a pro.
D: Bradley Orr (Toronto FC) – Stepping in as an emergency center back, Orr played a tremendous game to help limit what was MLS' most potent attack.
D: Chris Schuler (Real Salt Lake) – Held firm and was aggressive vs. Sporting KC’s attackers, especially in the second half when the home side's offensive onslaught looked sure to give them a goal.
D: Justin Morrow (Toronto FC) – Showed the form he displayed back in 2012 when he was an MLS All-Star. Assisted on the game-clinching goal to boot.
M: Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas) – An unlikely offensive weapon for Dallas, notching his first career brace vs. Houston, who thriving under Oscar Pareja so far this season.
M: Diego Chara (Portland Timbers) – Yes, the Sounders gave him too much time and space, but it still takes some talent to score goals like those.
M: José Mari (Colorado Rapids) – Two terrific long-range blasts late in the game, including a Goal of the Year candidate with his left foot.
M: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) – On paper, Toronto FC had no business winning this game, but Bradley set the tempo in the midfield from the opening whistle, and scored a fantastic goal to get the win.
F: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) – Chivas conceded tons of space for him to operate and he was devastating. Unbalanced the opposing defense with his slashing runs, involved in the neat interplay to help set up two goals and got free himself a few times, only to be stopped by Kennedy.
F: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) – Say what you want about his form for the USMNT, but Dempsey showed up to play against Portland. And now his name is part of the Cascadia history books.
Coach: Ryan Nelsen (Toronto FC) – Went into Saturday's game against MLS' top team without his star striker and his starting centerback tandem and was still able to come away with a resounding 2-0 victory.
Bench: Clint Irwin (Colorado Rapids), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Jonny Steele (New York Red Bulls), Felipe Martins (Montreal Impact), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)