MLS Team of the Week: Martins, Higuain, Hagglund Headline List of League's Best
With some of the stars of Major League Soccer away from their clubs due to international duty, Week 11 presented some players with a chance to step up and show their worth.
That is exactly what happened in the case of a few players in the latest MLS Team of the Week.
The other stars from Week 11 were some established players that filled the league-wide superstar void left by the likes of Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Nick Rimando.
This week's team is set up in a 4-4-1-1 formation due to some terrific showings in the midfield.
Continue reading on to see which 11 players were honored for their play in Week 11.
GK: Jon Busch
Jon Busch may have been left in amazement by the wonder strike from Obafemi Martins in the eighth minute, but by the end of San Jose's 1-0 loss to Seattle, everyone was amazed he let in just one goal.
Busch made five saves for a depleted Earthquakes side that was ravaged by injuries, suspensions and players out on international duty.
The two biggest saves by the league veteran came in the second half, in the 58th and 65th minutes, as he denied Lamar Neagle on both occasions.
RB: Mark Bloom
One of the most impressive performances of the weekend came from the Toronto defense, who shut down the Red Bulls to win 2-0 at BMO Field.
Right back Mark Bloom was one of the players responsible for the clean sheet, as he made three interceptions, three effective clearances and two tackles for the Reds.
By compiling those numbers, and holding the dangerous Red Bulls wingers to a minimal amount of chances, Bloom and his teammates showed us how good the Toronto back four could potentially be.
CB: Nick Hagglund
Nick Hagglund had an even better day than Bloom in defense, as he was a dominant force at center back for the entire 90 minutes of the home win over New York.
Hagglund won nine aerial duels, made 15 effective clearances and had six interceptions in the fourth win of the season for Toronto.
CB: David Horst
David Horst made two critical stops to preserve the clean sheet that the Dynamo recorded at home on Saturday night against the Galaxy.
In the 39th minute, Horst denied A.J. DeLaGarza with a header off the line, and he was back at it in the 56th minute when he blocked a shot off the foot of Samuel.
Horst blocked a total of three shots in the 1-0 victory, and he made a team-high 13 effective clearances.
LB: Chris Tierney
In New England's 5-3 conquest of PPL Park, Chris Tierney showed off his powerful left foot by assisting on the club's first goal and providing a goal in the second half.
In the 13th minute, Tierney whipped a free-kick into the box to find the head of A.J. Soares for the first of five Revolution goals.
With his team up by two in the 57th, Tierney rocketed another free-kick into the left side of the net past Union keeper Zac MacMath for his first goal of the season.
RM: Dillon Serna
Colorado may have lost its first Rocky Mountain Cup match of the year to Real Salt Lake, but it did take a few positives away from the 2-1 loss at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The biggest positive may have been the play of 20-year-old Dillon Serna on the right wing.
Serna got three of his four shots on target, provided two key passes, and notched an assist on Drew Moor's goal in the 83rd minute.
CM: Lee Nguyen
There wasn't a spot on the pitch at PPL Park that Lee Nguyen didn't touch on Saturday night, as he was all over the place in yet another dominant showing by New England.
Nguyen's playmaking abilities in the midfield allowed the first two Revolution goals to be scored, and then he recorded a goal of his own in the 49th minute.
The 27-year-old midfielder made four key passes, and completed 82 percent of his 38 passes, in the second consecutive five-goal performance by the Revolution.
CM: Will Johnson
In the dramatic final minutes of the 3-3 draw between Portland and Columbus, Will Johnson got the fireworks started with an 80th-minute goal.
Johnson's shot from the center of the box spurred a 10-minute stint that saw three goals fly in, with the final goal being Portland's second equalizer scored by Gaston Fernandez.
The captain of the Timbers completed nine of his 13 long balls in a match where he put two of his four shots on target and had one key pass.
LM: Sanna Nyassi
Relentless would be the most appropriate word to describe the play of Sanna Nyassi in the Impact's 1-1 draw with D.C. at RFK Stadium.
Despite putting four of his six shots on target, Nyassi was unable to put the ball in the back of the net for a struggling Montreal side.
Nyassi also put in a tremendous effort on the defensive end, with five tackles and four interceptions.
CAM: Federico Higuain
Federico Higuain was the best player on the pitch at Providence Park for Columbus in its 3-3 draw with Portland.
Higuain scored the first of his two goals on a magnificent chip from 25 yards out in the 14th minute, and he delivered his second from the spot right before halftime.
The Argentinian also made a game-high five key passes and converted 85 percent of his passes in the draw.
FW: Obafemi Martins
Martins made highlight reels around the globe in the eighth minute of Seattle's eighth win of the season, thanks to a superb chip that flew from left to right and past Busch into the net.
The 29-year-old Nigerian also played a major role in the attacking build-up to plenty of other chances in the match, as he made two key passes and took a total of three shots.
GK: Brad Knighton (New England)
CB: Kofi Opare (LA)
LM: Jair Benitez (FC Dallas)
CM: Bradley Orr (Toronto FC)
CAM: Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas)
FW: Joao Plata (Real Salt Lake)
FW: Mike Magee (Chicago)
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
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