MLS Team of the Week: Dempsey Leads Group of Impressive Forwards

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured Columnist IVDecember 23, 2016

MLS Team of the Week: Dempsey Leads Group of Impressive Forwards

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    Week 8 in Major League Soccer belonged to a few terrific forwards that lit up the scoreboard for their respective teams. 

    Just like he has for the last month, Clint Dempsey was nothing short of spectacular for the Seattle Sounders, but two other forwards starred as well throughout the week. 

    Because of the strong play up front across the league, our MLS Team of the Week is set up in an attack-minded 4-3-3 formation.

    Continue reading to see who joined Dempsey in the Week 8 edition of the MLS Team of the Week. 

GK: Steve Clark

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    In one of the three draws this weekend, Steve Clark delivered a terrific performance for the Crew. 

    The most impressive of Clark's five saves against the Red Bulls came in the 51st minute when he dove to his right to deny Thierry Henry

    The five saves tied a season-high for Clark, who also recorded that many in the win over Seattle on March 29. 

RB: Hassoun Camara

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    Hassoun Camara was a magnificent force in the back four for the Impact in the team's 1-0 win over Philadelphia. 

    Against a Union side that was desperate to force shots on goal, Camara made 13 key interceptions and five key tackles. 

    The right back also made seven effective clearances and blocked two shots to round out his perfect day on the defensive stat sheet. 

CB: Bobby Boswell

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    Bobby Boswell scored his first goal of the season on Saturday in D.C.'s 4-1 thumping of FC Dallas.

    The center back notched the tally in the 60th minute, as United began an offensive onslaught in the second half with a man advantage. 

    With his team controlling the possession battle, Boswell did not have to make too many big plays on defense, as he recorded only four effective clearances against an explosive Dallas attack that was silenced for most of the night. 

CB: Chad Marshall

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    For the second straight week, Chad Marshall had a strong defensive game and contributed an assist on offense. 

    Marshall recorded an assist on the second goal scored by Dempsey in the 52nd minute of Seattle's 4-1 win over Colorado. 

    The center back also made eight effective clearances and five key interceptions for a team that is firing on all cylinders at the moment. 

LB: Roy Miller

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    In 180 minutes of play in Week 8, Roy Miller contributed on both ends of the pitch on a consistent basis for the New York Red Bulls.

    On the offensive end, Miller made five key passes and delivered an assist from his left back position. 

    Miller also made an impact on defense, with his six key tackles in the 4-0 win over Houston on Wednesday being his biggest contribution. 

RM: Yannick Djalo

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    Every single one of the 45 minutes Yannick Djalo played was worth watching on Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium. 

    The 27-year-old winger replaced Atiba Harris at halftime and he flipped San Jose's match with Chivas USA on its head. 

    Djalo's shining moment came in the 66th minute when he coolly converted on a Shea Salinas cross to score the lone goal of the match. 

CM: Lee Nguyen

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    Lee Nguyen was a menacing force for New England in its 2013 Eastern Conference semifinal rematch with Sporting Kansas City. 

    Nguyen fired three shots and two key passes from his midfield position, and he capped his night off with an insurance goal from the spot in the 95th minute. 

    In the 2-0 victory, Nguyen completed 81 percent of his passes and four of his six attempted long balls. 

LM: Leandro Barrera

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    Despite falling to San Jose on Saturday night, Chivas USA's Leandro Barrera was the best player on the pitch. 

    The 23-year-old recorded three key passes, four shots and two shots on target for a Chivas attack that has shown a ton of promise over the first two months of the season. 

    While he only made 21 passes, Barrera sent in 18 crosses in an attempt to feed Erick Torres and Carlos Alvarez up front. 

FW: Clint Dempsey

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    Dempsey's superb form continued on Saturday as he played a part in three of the four Seattle goals. 

    The United States captain scored on two occasions, in the 47th and 52nd minutes, and opened up space in the box on the opening goal netted by Lamar Neagle in the 45th minute. 

    Not only did Dempsey score twice to bring his league-high total to eight, but he was also very active in the attack in combination with Obafemi Martins and Neagle. 

FW: Bradley Wright-Phillips

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    He may not catch the headlines that Dempsey attracts, but Bradley Wright-Phillips had the best week of any player in the goal department. 

    The Englishman became the first player since March 31, 2012 to net a hat-trick for the Red Bulls on Wednesday night in the win over Houston. 

    Wright-Phillips also earned the title of first Englishman to score three goals in a game, a feat that made England the 28th nation to have a player score a hat-trick in MLS. 

    He followed up his Wednesday showing with an encore performance against Columbus on Saturday, a game in which he scored the lone New York goal in the 66th minute. 

FW: Fabian Espindola

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    Fabian Espindola took full advantage of the 10-man FC Dallas side he played against in the second half of D.C.'s home victory. 

    Espindola scored right before the halftime whistle off a terrific cross from Eddie Johnson, and then he scored the fourth and final D.C. goal, in the 69th minute. 

    In between his goals, Espindola created plenty of chances for United with five key passes, six shots and three shots on target. 

Bench

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    GK: Luis Robles (New York) 

    RB: Sean Franklin (D.C.) 

    RB: Darrius Barnes (New England) 

    RM: Dillon Serna (Colorado 

    LM: Chris Rolfe (D.C.) 

    FW: Lamar Neagle (Seattle) 

    FW: Sebastian Fernandez (Vancouver) 

     

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com.

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.