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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 3: A Rapid Ascent in Colorado

Posted on 05 April 2011 by Breton Bonnette

It wasn’t the usual suspects in Colorado grabbing Week 3’s Player of the Week honors after a 4-1 win over DC United on Sunday. A new striker is in town, propelling a Colorado that very much looks like defending champions with two beautifully taken goals. The first repeat selection is an unlikely one but incredibly deserved as a young starting keeper allows Houston fans to forget the loss of a legend.  

ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 3

GK: Tally Hall (Houston)

Dominic Kinnear is looking like a genius so far in 2011 after putting his faith in largely untested netminder Hall. Hall’s performance in his last two matches probably even has Pat Onstead impressed. Against New York, he made several saves that allowed the Dynamo to preserve their second consecutive point on the road. Hall also becomes the first player of the new season to be selected in ASN’s Best XI multiple times (selected in Week 2).

DEF: Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles)

The Galaxy still don’t look like themselves but between Gonzalez and Leonardo, they were able to tame a Philadelphia offense that was pining for goals. Gonzalez didn’t look like he was returning from injury, harrying Carlos Ruiz from the get-go and keeping the Union’s danger on attack at a minimum. After Chris Birchall’s ejection in the 53rd minute, Gonzalez kept things under control in defense, blocking shots and keeping the trio of Mwanga, Ruiz, and Le Toux without a shot on frame.

DEF: Chad Marshall (Columbus)

Thanks to a two-minute display of stupidity from Jackson, FC Dallas were playing a man down with over an hour left in the game. Anytime you have David Ferreira on the field, even with an undermanned squad around him, you need to have your best defensive game ready. Marshall delivered a solid performance, organizing the backline, containing Ferreira and new Colombian hotshot Fabian Castillo, and even getting in on the attack at times.

DEF: Geoff Cameron (Houston)

He played in the midfield but Cameron put in a defensive effort worthy of selection in this week’s Best XI regardless of actual position. He was influential in the attack as well, showing his importance in the Dynamo as a whole. With Brian Ching out yet again after a collision this past weekend with Red Bulls keeper Bouna Coundoul, it will be up to Cameron and Brad Davis to continue leading this team without him.

MID: Eddie Gaven (Columbus)

It’s a new look team for Columbus this season but Gaven is a familiar face that has been one of the best players for the Crew in the first three games. He led the Crew’s attack, keeping Kevin Hartman honeset throughout and even iced the game with an injury time goal. First win for the Crew this season.  

MID: Dwayne DeRosario (Red Bull New York)

He was second half substitute but credit DeRosario for opening up the game. A lot of turmoil for the 5 time MLS Best XI pick over the recent months but he showed in New York ready to play. Not long after his insertion in the game, DeRosario split the Houston defense with an impressive through ball that played to Dane Richards’ pace. Richards eventually scored but New York couldn’t hang on for the three points.

MID: Mauro Rosales (Seattle)

Rosales faded late in the second half and is admittedly still rounding into shape but his presence throughout the first half garnered praise from Sigi Schmid and San Jose coach Frank Yallop. The former Ajax attacked filled in for an injured Fredy Montero and asserted himself well on San Jose’s defense. His determination, vision, and tenacity should prove well for the Sounders, providing a dangerous force to unleash late in games when Montero returns.

MID: Simon Dawkins (San Jose)

Khari Stephenson’s equalizer and possible goal of the year may have stolen the show but the Tottenham youth product Dawkins had a memorable game of his own. Dawkins became the first player other than 2010 MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski to score for the Earthquakes in regular season play since September 2010. The 23-year old scored his first MLS goal after a nice off-the-ball run, perfect feed from Bobby Convey, and finish past Kasey Keller and his performance earned him an ovation as he came off in the 84th minute. He’ll be one to watch in the coming weeks.

Courtesy ColoradoRapids.com

With Conor Casey out, it was Folan’s turn to show that he could be in force in Major League Soccer. A new arrival in the offseason, the former Hull City striker wasted no time putting his talent on display. With two goals, he propelled the Rapids to convincing 4-1 win over DC United. On the first goal, he embarrassed new United defender Rodrigo Brasesco with fleet footwork. On his second, it was a beautiful glancing header that beat Pat Onstad to the far post. The Rapids are rich with offensive firepower with Casey, Cummings, Folan, and the hard-working Amarikwa. If you think you’ve contained one, it probably just means you’re ignoring the other. Folan grabs this week’s ASN Player of the Week honors.  

FWD: Camilo Sanvezzo (Vancouver)

Even before his two last-gasp goals, Camilo probably should have already had a pair vs. Sporting Kansas City. He was dangerous all night and all over the pitch leading many to believe it was only a matter of time. The clock ran out, however, and only injury time remained to work magic. He did so, capping a great run from Davide Chiumiento for his first and nodding home a Khalfan cross for the dramatic equalizer.

FWD: Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City)

Sporting may have left Vancouver with a sour taste in their mouth but there’s little sour to say about young Teal Bunbury. You can already see the improvement between year one and two and two goals vs. Vancouver just confirmed that. He is confident, strong on the ball, and surprisingly nimble. His trap, turn, and shoot on the first goal was impressive.

Bench: Cam Weaver (Houston), Keon Daniel (Philadelphia), Jake Gleason (Portland), Shalrie Joseph (New England), Kalif Alhassan (Portland), Khari Stephenson (San Jose), Leonardo (Los Angeles), Jamie Smith (Colorado), Davide Chiumento (Vancouver) 


MLS Best XI, Week 2

MLS Best XI, Week 1

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