MLS Team of the Week: Defoe, Diaz and Anor Shine in Week 3

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2014

MLS Team of the Week: Defoe, Diaz and Anor Shine in Week 3

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    The first weekend of the young Major League Soccer season that saw a full slate of nine games provided us with plenty of quality performances by individuals. 

    In some of those games, defense took priority as only four teams scored two or more goals in Week 3.

    We had plenty of candidates to choose from on defense, but the offensive spots in our traditional 4-4-2 were harder to fill with so few goals coming from the men up front. 

    Continue reading to which 11 players found their way into the MLS Team of the Week. 

GK: Bill Hamid

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    Despite falling to Toronto, 1-0, D.C. United keeper Bill Hamid had a terrific day in goal. 

    Hamid was not at fault for the lone goal of the match as his defenders fell asleep after he made a save on Gilberto seconds before Jermain Defoe scored.

    Hamid denied Defoe on numerous occasions in a game that could have been a blowout on the rough pitch at BMO Field.

    The United States international made five saves in total for a D.C. team that looks pitiful at the moment. 

RB: Kellyn Acosta

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    With all of the spectacular play in the first three weeks by the FC Dallas attack, it is easy to forget about the defenders in the starting 11. 

    Kellyn Acosta turned in a terrific game against Chivas USA with four key tackles, six effective clearances and 79 percent pass accuracy.

    Acosta, and his full-back partner Jair Benitez, did a solid job shutting down Mauro Rosales, who up until Saturday was having a superb start to the season. 

CB: Ike Opara

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    Ike Opara really should have scored for Sporting Kansas City in the first half, but he hit the bottom left post with his shot instead.

    Opara showed off the footwork of a center-back inside the box and had a strong game on both ends of the pitch. 

    He had eight effective clearances out of the back and was second in shots for Sporting with three, two of which were on target. 

CB: Jose Goncalves

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    A week after being left out of the matchday 18 entirely, Jose Goncalves returned to stabilize the New England back four. 

    The 2013 MLS Defender of the Year played well at the back with 13 effective clearances as the Revs earned their first clean sheet of the season. 

    Now, if only Goncalves could help a New England attack that hasn't scored a goal in 270 minutes of play this season.

LB: Jair Benitez

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    He may not have had the eye-popping stats that the other defenders in the Team of the Week had, but Benitez did a swell job keeping the production of Rosales to a minimum.

    The left-back made four interceptions, had two effective clearances on the defensive side of the ball and converted two key passes on offense. 

    With the win over Chivas USA, Benitez and FC Dallas are now alone at the top of the Western Conference standings with seven points. 

RM: Harrison Shipp

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    Harrison Shipp product delivered for the Fire in the 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls at home on Sunday. 

    The Notre Dame product recorded the only assist on Jeff Larentowicz's sixth-minute strike as his corner kick was headed home by his fellow midfielder.

    Shipp also made three key passes while only recording 33 touches in 66 minutes of play. 

CM: Mauro Diaz

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    Once again, Mauro Diaz was the engine room of the FC Dallas attack in the club's 3-1 win over Chivas USA.

    Diaz's shining moment from the victory came on the second goal of the game as his pass began the build-up to JeVaughn Watson's 78th-minute strike.

    Diaz contributed two key passes, one shot on target and had 71 percent pass accuracy. 

CM: Dillon Powers

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    Colorado may have scored thanks to a penalty and a penalty rebound, but without two passes from Dillon Powers, those shots from the spot would not have happened.

    Powers chipped in a pass toward Deshorn Brown, who earned the first penalty after he was taken down by Donovan Ricketts, and then fed Vicente Sanchez, who was tackled in the box to draw the second penalty. 

    Powers also completed 88 percent of his passes in the 2-0 victory over Portland. 

LM: Bernardo Anor

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    Bernardo Anor bagged two first-half goals for the Crew in the team's 2-1 home win over Philadelphia.

    Anor let loose off a corner kick in the 24th minute before he found a pocket of space and fired off his second goal in the 45th minute. 

    The winger took just three shots and made only 54 touches, but he made every single one of his 80 minutes on the pitch count. 

FW: Obafemi Martins

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    The first backflip of the season was done by Obafemi Martins after he scored Seattle's second goal in the 58th minute of the Sounders' 2-0 victory over the Montreal Impact.

    Martins, who treated us to his trademark goal celebration after his header, had two shots on target and two key passes. 

    That performance helped Seattle earn its first victory in a road opener since 2009. 

FW: Jermain Defoe

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    Defoe was lively in attack for Toronto in his home debut against D.C. with seven total shots. 

    The Englishman tested Hamid on countless occasions, and he was finally rewarded for his efforts with a 60th-minute goal.

    In two games in MLS, Defoe now has three goals. 

Bench

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    GK: Stefan Frei (Seattle) 

    CB: Giancarlo Gonzalez (Columbus)

    RB: Andrew Farrell (New England) 

    LM: Vicente Sanchez (Colorado) 

    CM: Dax McCarty (New York)

    FW: Gilberto (Toronto FC)

    FW: Lamar Neagle (Seattle)

     

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.