MLS

MLS Best XI from Wednesday's Week 19 Contests

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2014

MLS Best XI from Wednesday's Week 19 Contests

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    In just four games Wednesday, some of Major League Soccer's best delivered terrific performances, especially those playing at home. 

    The three biggest stars of the night were forwards who have all seen themselves take different career paths to this point. 

    To accommodate the three forwards, we opted to select three central midfielders and make the best XI from Wednesday's action a team set up in a 4-3-3.

    Continue reading to see which 11 players were the best on Wednesday night in MLS.

GK: Zac MacMath, Philadelphia

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    Zac MacMath may have made just five saves in the Union's 3-1 win over New York, but most of them were crucial ones. 

    The two most important ones for the American keeper came in the 70th minute, when he denied Eric Alexander and Bradley Wright-Phillips on successive shots. 

    The double save will end up going on the end-of-season highlight reel for MacMath, who has already made quite a few big saves for his side in 2014.

RB: Chad Barson, Columbus

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    Not many right backs overachieved in the four games across the league, which made selecting a player at this position a difficult decision.

    In his side's 2-1 home loss, Chad Barson had three effective clearances, two interceptions and a tackle, as he tried to keep the Sporting Kansas City attack at bay all night. 

    Barson was also able to help the Crew in attack with two key passes.

CB: Doneil Henry, Toronto

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    Doneil Henry was everywhere for Toronto in its 1-1 draw with fellow Canadian side Vancouver at BMO Field. 

    Henry was a force at the back with seven effective clearances and six tackles, and he also had a chance to score in the 17th minute, but his header went right into David Ousted's arms.

CB: Leonardo, LA

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    Defeating the New England Revolution was not a problem for Leonardo and the LA Galaxy, as the host side at the StubHub Center won 5-1. 

    Leonardo played a major role at the back, especially after right back Dan Gargan was sent off in the 36th minute.

    When the final whistle sounded, Leonardo had 11 effective clearances and two interceptions.

LB: Ray Gaddis, Philadelphia

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    With a dangerous New York attack entering PPL Park, Ray Gaddis was moved to left back by interim manager Jim Curtin to shut down Lloyd Sam. 

    That is exactly what Gaddis did for 90 minutes on his home field, as he did not let the electric Sam, who played a big part in the Red Bulls' 4-1 win over Columbus Saturday, get loose and cause any threat down the right wing.

CM: Lee Nguyen, New England

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    One of the few positive moments for the Revolution came from Lee Nguyen, who scored from the spot in the 38th minute. 

    At that time in the game, the deficit had been cut to one, but once the second half began, all hell broke loose for a team that is spiraling out of control at the moment. 

    Nguyen did end the game with two key passes and a pass accuracy of 81 percent.

CM: Benny Feilhaber, Sporting KC

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    With time running out for Sporting to snatch a late goal at Crew Stadium, Benny Feilhaber delivered a blistering shot that found the back of the net in the 93rd minute. 

    The shot from the American bounced off the crossbar and into the net to hand Sporting a valuable three points in the Eastern Conference playoff race. 

    Feilhaber also created the first goal of the 2-1 win in the 42nd minute, when his corner found the head of C.J. Sapong.

CM: Collen Warner, Toronto

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    Collen Warner turned in a terrific shift in the middle of the park for Toronto in the draw with the Whitecaps. 

    Warner made three effective clearances, three interceptions and three tackles on the defensive side of the ball, and just to keep with the theme of threes, he had three key passes as well. 

    One has to think Warner had a solid game because of the presence of Michael Bradley, who attracts more attention than the 26-year-old on a regular basis.

FW: Conor Casey, Philadelphia

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    Conor Casey extended his strong run of form into Wednesday, as he provided the Union with a goal and an assist.

    The veteran forward scored in the ninth minute after he won an aerial battle with Jamison Olave and navigated himself around rookie Matt Miazga

    Casey also played a part in the second Philadelphia goal in the 51st minute, as his slight touch put the ball right on the foot of Fred, who proceeded to score.

FW: Gyasi Zardes, LA

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    Gyasi Zardes continued to be a spark plug for the Galaxy attack with two goals against the reeling Revolution.

    Zardes put his first strike past Bobby Shuttleworth in the 18th minute, when he beat the New England keeper at the near post. 

    The 22-year-old completed his brace in the 48th minute, when his terrific movement in the box opened up space for him to put home a Robbie Keane pass.

FW: Robbie Keane, LA

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    Robbie Keane was easily the best player to partake in an MLS match Wednesday night, as he produced two goals and two assists in the Galaxy's blowout win over New England. 

    The Irishman started the scoring in the 10th minute with a strike from just outside the left side of the box. He would later score into an open net in the 78th minute after racing around Shuttleworth. 

    Keane also delivered an assist on both of the goals scored by Zardes, which means he played a part in four of the five goals scored by LA at the StubHub Center. 

     

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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

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