MLS Team of the Week for Matches from August 29-31
In a complete contrast from last week, Major League Soccer saw plenty of stellar defensive displays over the last three days.
Seven shutouts were recorded across the nine games played in Week 25, which led to plenty of quality candidates at the back for the latest MLS Team of the Week.
Although defense was the theme of the weekend, the left midfield position saw four players shine in one of the steepest battles for the best 11 of the week all season.
Continue reading on to see which 11 players earned a spot in the MLS Team of the Week.
GK: Bill Hamid, D.C.
Bill Hamid was just a bit better than the six other keepers that turned in clean sheets this weekend.
The best of the five stops made by Hamid came in the 31st minute, when he used his quick reflexes to deny Bradley Wright-Phillips on the line.
Hamid didn't just play well in between the pipes, he also contributed an assist on D.C.'s first goal, as he sprung the move with a goal kick.
RB: Alvas Powell, Portland
Alvas Powell certainly didn't look like a right-back on his 51st-minute goal at BC Place Saturday night.
The Portland defender made a run toward the near post to head home a Diego Valeri cross to give Caleb Porter's side a lead that would be extended by two more second-half goals.
Powell helped keep the Whitecaps' attack at bay with four tackles out on the wing in the 3-0 win.
CB: Jermaine Taylor, Houston
In the heated clash between Houston and Sporting Kansas City, Jermaine Taylor helped the Dynamo hold the hosts to four shots on target.
While his center-back partner David Horst caught the headlines for scoring a goal, Taylor held down the fort in the back with nine effective clearances and five interceptions.
Thanks to Taylor's contributions, Houston remained alive in the playoff race, as it sits only five points out of fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
CB: Bakary Soumare, Chicago
In the most surprising result of the weekend, Chicago took down FC Dallas by a 1-0 score.
Bakary Soumare was a crucial part of the back four that held the visitors to two shots on goal in a match that ended the 10-game unbeaten run of FC Dallas.
Soumare was able to neutralize the threat of Fabian Castillo at Toyota Park, limiting the electric Colombian to two shots all night.
LB: Krzysztof Krol, Montreal
Krzysztof Krol was a part of the Montreal defense that silenced the on-fire Columbus attack at Stade Saputo.
Krol kept the threat of Ethan Finlay to a minimum, as the right-sided player for the Crew made only 48 touches and failed to take a single shot.
The Montreal left-back was efficient in his side's fifth win of the season with five tackles and five interceptions.
RM: Darlington Nagbe, Portland
On the third Portland goal, Darlington Nagbe delivered a piece of brilliance to set up Rodney Wallace.
The Timbers stud, who has had a rough season, danced around the usually reliable Matias Laba to cut into the box and feed Wallace with his fifth assist of 2014.
To go along with his assist, Nagbe completed 98 percent of his 52 passes and made 65 touches.
CM: Davy Arnaud, D.C.
Davy Arnaud has been one of the most underrated pieces of D.C.'s rise from worst to first this season.
Arnaud continued to shine in the middle of the park for the Black and Red in their 2-0 win over New York at RFK Stadium.
The league veteran did a little bit of everything for United with two key passes, two interceptions and two blocked shots.
CM: Juninho, L.A.
Another player that has not appreciated as much as he should be is Juninho, who once again delivered a steady performance for the Galaxy.
The 25-year-old Brazilian was extremely accurate in the passing department, as he completed 94 percent of his 93 passes.
He also led his team in touches with 101 and made three key passes in attack.
LM: Ignacio Piatti, Montreal
Ignacio Piatti was one of two players to score a brace this weekend, as he scored both Montreal goals in the 2-0 victory over Columbus.
In the 40th minute, Piatti cut around a trio of defenders to slot the ball into the bottom right part of the net for his first goal in MLS.
His second strike in an Impact shirt came right before the final whistle when he finished off a strong Montreal counter.
FW: Gyasi Zardes, L.A.
Watching the L.A. Galaxy play soccer right now is just plain fun, and Gyasi Zardes has played a major role in that.
Zardes scored his first goal against Chivas USA thanks to a splendid individual effort, and he finished off a great passing sequence in the 71st minute for his second.
The brace was the first since July 16 for the top American scorer in the league.
FW: Fabian Espindola, D.C.
Fabian Espindola did a little thing that made a big impact on D.C.'s first goal against New York.
Espindola nodded on a pass to Luis Silva from just past midfield to set up the 57th-minute strike in the 14th win of the season for Ben Olsen's side.
The assist was the ninth of the season for the forward, who has also scored nine goals in 2014.
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