MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week: Week 14
Things seem to be turning around for the Vancouver Whitecaps after a
1-0 win over Philadelphia finally brought an end to a record 14-game
winless run. And in another positive sign for manager Tom Soehn, his big
name players have answered the bell with Designated Player Eric Hassli,
playmaker Davide Chiumiento and left back Alain Rochat featuring
prominently in their club's victory and the latest edition of the Team
of the Week.
Alongside Hassli, New York's Thierry Henry is also back for a second
consecutive week, while a third Frenchman — Sporting's Aurélien Collin —
makes his debut on the Best XI together with former Venezuelan youth
international and reigning Player of the Week Bernardo Anor.
GK: Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew) – It’s not
just the saves, but more importantly the critical points at which they
came during the Crew’s first-ever win in Houston.
DF: Alain Rochat (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Pure class on the goal strike and solid all-around defending against a tricky Union attack that is unpredictable.
DF: Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City) –
The Frenchman is emerging into the physical, no-nonsense, veteran
leader of a Sporting back line that has yet to give up a goal at
Livestrong Sporting Park.
DF: Todd Dunivant (LA Galaxy) – He wore
the captain’s armband and led a solid LA back line against a Colorado
Rapids team which threw three forwards at the Galaxy by halftime.
MF: Brek Shea (FC Dallas) – The positive
and productive run of matches continues for Shea, who has not slowed
down since signing the contract extension. Early candidate for league
MF: Bernardo Anor (Columbus Crew) –
Unafraid to show his sublime skill in his first-ever MLS start, the
University of South Florida product had a hand in both Crew goals and in
a red card against the Dynamo. Impact player.
MF: Davide Chiumiento (Vancouver Whitecaps) –
Speaking of sublime skill, Chiumiento’s influence on his team and on
the matches he plays has continued to increase under new manager Tom
Soehn, who has made him the focal point of the team’s possession-based
MF: Chris Pontius (D.C. United) – A
healthy and more experienced Pontius is a proven force in MLS and he
almost won the match for DC at Rio Tinto Stadium with two shots that hit
the crossbar and a great deal of enterprise.
MF: Juninho (LA Galaxy) – In his second
year in MLS, the Brazilian added to his highlight-goal reel and
continues to prove his ability to influence matches on both sides of the
field. The Rapids were forced to resort to a red card foul to stop him.
FW: Eric Hassli (Vancouver Whitecaps) –
Just as Chiumiento has begun to flourish, so has the French DP, who was
dangerous throughout the match against Philadelphia — one of the more
stingy back lines in MLS.
FW: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) –
Maybe it’s not necessarily a bad thing that he seems to be heated on the
field, even enough to earn a red card in Portland. He's scoring goals
and his passion and will to win has injected life into an RBNY squad
that is having to push through road trips, key player absences and only
one win in their last eight.
Manager: Bruce Arena (LA Galaxy) – No
David Beckham. No Landon Donovan. And a trip at altitude to visit the
defending MLS Cup champs. That would make for a disastrous mix for some
teams, but Arena's squad of pro's pros, including the hard-working
fill-ins, kept plugging away and did enough once again to earn a big
Honorable Mentions: Khalif Alhassan
(Portland Timbers), Rich Balchan (Columbus Crew), Austin da Luz (New
York Red Bulls), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps), Dwayne De Rosario
(New York Red Bulls), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Andrew Jacobson (FC
Dallas), Jack Jewsbury (Portland Timbers), Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA),
Andrés Mendoza (Columbus Crew), Jeff Parke (Seattle Sounders), Mauro
Rosales (Seattle Sounders), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)