MLS Team of the Week: Duos from Columbus, FC Dallas, Portland Star in Week 19
Week 19 was all about big home wins for a few sides in Major League Soccer.
Portland, Columbus and FC Dallas all came through with three points in games they needed to win, especially in the case of the Timbers and the Crew.
Thanks to those big wins, two players from each side were selected into the latest MLS Team of the Week.
Continue reading on to see who else joined those players in the team set up in a 4-4-2.
GK: Steve Clark, Columbus
Three big saves by Steve Clark helped propel the Crew to a massive home win against Montreal.
Clark came up big in the 64th minute with two saves on Marco Di Vaio and Andres Romero, and he denied Romero again just five minutes later to preserve, what was at that point in the game, a draw.
The 28-year-old made a total of five saves in the 2-1 victory that was the fifth of the season for Columbus.
RB: Zach Loyd, FC Dallas
A combination of solid defensive play and a reeling New England attack helped Zach Loyd have a strong game at Toyota Stadium.
In FC Dallas' eighth win of the season, Loyd made five effective clearances, three interceptions and three key passes on the right flank.
CB: Ethan White, Philadelphia
Ethan White's play at the back for the Union was the reason why reigning Most Valuable Player Mike Magee made just 35 touches and took one shot.
White, who has finally begun to see playing time under interim manager Jim Curtin, recorded a team high in three defensive categories with seven effective clearances, four tackles and three interceptions.
CB: Jason Hernandez, San Jose
In his fourth start of the season, Jason Hernandez made a major impact on San Jose's 1-1 draw with New York.
In the 31st minute, Hernandez headed a Bradley Wright-Phillips shot off the line to keep the game scoreless at that point.
On top of his big involvement in the first half, Hernandez made five effective clearances and three tackles.
LB: Jack Jewsbury, Portland
Jack Jewsbury's run down the right flank helped create the first goal in Portland's 2-1 win over Colorado.
He was left wide open on the right wing to send in a pass at the near post for Maximiliano Urruti, who tapped the ball past Clint Irwin.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jewsbury made six effective clearances and two tackles at left back.
RM: Diego Valeri, Portland
Lined up on the right side of the 4-3-3 trotted out by Caleb Porter, Diego Valeri had a big game on a big night for the Timbers.
Valeri's biggest contribution came in the 77th minute, when he delivered the game-winning goal in front of the home crowd at Providence Park.
He also made three key passes and had a team-high 89 touches in the first home win for Portland since May 3.
CM: Benny Feilhaber, Sporting KC
Benny Feilhaber unleashed a terrific free-kick into the back of the net to kick off the scoring in Sporting's 2-1 win over LA.
The United States international, who also scored and assisted on a goal Wednesday night, also played solid on defense with three tackles.
CM: Jeff Larentowicz, Chicago
Jeff Larentowicz was left wide open to nod home the lone Chicago goal in its 1-1 draw with Philadelphia.
The 30-year-old league veteran also made two key passes out of his central midfield position at Toyota Park.
He also completed 85 percent of his passes and made two tackles in his team's 11th draw of the season.
LM: Bernardo Anor, Columbus
Bernardo Anor's third and fourth goals of the season came at a crucial time for Columbus, a team that was in need of three points against the worst team in the Eastern Conference.
Anor struck first in the 50th minute on a left-footed shot that squeezed past Montreal keeper Evan Bush, but it was his second strike that caught all the headlines.
He was handed a good amount of space in the center of the park to make a run, which resulted in a screaming shot that found the back of the net in the 75th minute.
FW: Tesho Akindele, FC Dallas
Tesho Akindele helped tear apart the New England back four in FC Dallas' 2-0 home win Saturday night.
All three of Akindele's shots were on target, including his 90th-minute goal, and he won four aerial duels for the second-place team in the Western Conference.
The late strike handed the 22-year-old a two-game scoring streak that he will look to extend Sunday against the Whitecaps.
FW: Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake
Joao Plata continued his splendid run of form in July with an equalizer against Vancouver and four key passes in the Real Salt Lake attack.
The 22-year-old Ecuadorian used his quickness to break away from a defender and sneak a shot into the back of the net in the 80th minute in a game where RSL should have earned all three points.
In his three July games, Plata has scored two goals off a total of six shots.
GK: Bobby Shuttleworth (New England)
RB: Igor Juliao (Sporting KC)
CB: Danny O'Rourke (Portland)
CM: Diego Chara (Portland)
LM: Andres Escobar (FC Dallas)
FW: Robbie Keane (LA)
FW: Eddie Johnson (D.C.)
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