MLS Team of the Week: Manneh, Giovinco Star in Shootout, Nguyen, Beasley Feature
Major League Soccer handed us a few unexpected twists in Week 11 as Vancouver Whitecaps and New York City FC produced a pair of unlikely results on the road.
The Whitecaps defeated Toronto FC at BMO Field in a wild seven-goal affair three days after they downed the Chicago Fire at home. NYCFC turned plenty of heads on Sunday with their 2-1 win over defending champions Portland Timbers at Providence Park.
The stars of each of those performances are a part of a group of players from nine different teams that make up our Week 11 MLS Team of the Week.
Because there were five games on Wednesday in addition to the regular weekend slate, some players were judged for our best XI off two performances.
Continue reading to see who was named in the Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week.
GK: Travis Worra, D.C. United
Travis Worra turned in a Bill Hamid-esque performance in D.C. United's 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on Friday night.
The third-string netminder made five critical saves in the Atlantic Cup victory at RFK Stadium. The 23-year-old's best display of skill in between the pipes came in the 32nd minute, when he pulled off two saves in quick succession to preserve a one-goal lead.
The win came at the perfect time for Ben Olsen's side as it killed off the memories of two disappointing showings against Chicago and NYCFC.
RB: Keegan Rosenberry, Philadelphia Union
Get used to hearing Keegan Rosenberry's name in MLS and United States men's national team discussions.
The rookie right-back impressed for the Philadelphia Union in two matches against world-class attackers in Week 11.
Rosenberry, who netted the game-tying goal against LA Galaxy on Wednesday at Talen Energy Stadium, stopped Robbie Keane and Giovani dos Santos in back-to-back one-on-one moves in the latter stages of the second half.
The Georgetown University product and front-runner for Rookie of the Year also shut down Ignacio Piatti and Didier Drogba during head-to-head battles on Saturday against Montreal Impact.
If he continues to perform at a high level for the Union, the 22-year-old could find his way onto the USMNT roster after the Copa America Centenario.
CB: Steve Birnbaum, D.C. United
The D.C. defense produced one of the five clean sheets across the league in Week 11 thanks to the efforts of Steve Birnbaum at center-back.
The United States international made six interceptions and five clearances in the 2-0 victory over rivals Red Bulls at home.
United's standout defensive showings may be spread apart in 2016, but when they appear they are worth it. The Black and Red have earned a clean sheet in each of their three wins.
CB: Walker Zimmerman, FC Dallas
FC Dallas passed two big tests at home in Week 11 as Oscar Pareja's men defeated Portland and Seattle Sounders at Toyota Stadium.
Center-back Walker Zimmerman netted the game-winner in Wednesday's 2-1 win over the Timbers, and he shined in the back four throughout the week.
In the win over Portland, the 22-year-old won five aerial duels and made eight clearances. On Saturday against Seattle, the American helped limit the dangerous Sounders attack to three shots on target.
LB: DaMarcus Beasley, Houston Dynamo
DaMarcus Beasley helped the Houston Dynamo recover from a midweek loss in San Jose with a strong showing on the left side of defense on Sunday in the 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake.
The USMNT veteran made eight interceptions and five tackles in Houston's second win in three matches at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The entire Dynamo back line pulled off an impressive feat on Sunday as they held RSL's attack without a shot on goal.
RM: Alberto Quintero, San Jose Earthquakes
It didn't take long for Alberto Quintero to make an impact on San Jose Earthquake's 3-1 win over Houston on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old Panamanian scored his first goal of the contest in the third minute on a shot that bounced around the Houston defense into the right side of the net.
Quintero netted from close range once again in the 70th minute after he received a short pass from Chris Wondolowski in the center of the penalty area.
In addition to his pair of goals, the winger contributed an assist on Anibal Godoy's tally in the 50th minute.
CM: Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution
Kei Kamara may have received the majority of the attention ahead of New England's match with Chicago on Saturday, but Lee Nguyen was the player who found himself in the spotlight after the game.
The USMNT midfielder delivered a beautiful strike into the top-right corner of the net in the 22nd minute to open the scoring at Gillette Stadium. With six minutes remaining in regulation, the 29-year-old chipped a ball into the box to help create Femi Hollinger-Janzen's first-career MLS goal.
Nguyen has a played a role in a pair of Revolution strikes in two of his last three matches.
CM: Thomas McNamara, New York City FC
You know you've scored a stunning goal when Andrea Pirlo is impressed.
With the Italian legend standing a few feet from him, Thomas McNamara delivered a terrific effort into the top-right part of the net to hand NYCFC the lead at Providence Park.
The tremendous goal from the American was the perfect ending to a match in which he added three key passes and two shots on target.
The win over Portland on Sunday moved NYCFC into a tie for first place on 16 points with the Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference.
LM: Kekuta Manneh, Vancouver Whitecaps
Figuring out the Vancouver Whitecaps has been one of the hardest tasks of the MLS season to date.
The Whitecaps turned us into believers again in Week 11 with wins over Chicago and Toronto. In the victory over Canadian rival Toronto on Saturday, Kekuta Manneh recorded two goals and an assist.
The 21-year-old put Carl Robinson's side ahead in the 12th minute as he picked up a turnover and cruised into the box to beat Clint Irwin. Manneh completed his brace in the 70th minute, when he used a few skillful moves to create space on the left side of the box.
Two minutes after scoring his second goal, Manneh handed out an assist on Pedro Morales' eventual game-winner.
FW: Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC
Sebastian Giovinco also earned two goals and an assist at BMO Field on Saturday. Unfortunately, his efforts did not lead to three points for Toronto.
The Atomic Ant put himself on the scoresheet for the first time in the 37th minute, when he pulled down a long pass, spun in the box and beat David Ousted.
In the 66th minute, Giovinco slotted home his second strike of the contest after he received a nice assist from Michael Bradley in the final third.
The candidate for Italy's UEFA Euro 2016 squad ended his night with an assist on Drew Moor's 80th-minute tally, but Giovinco was unable to create a fourth despite playing against 10 men.
FW: Blas Perez, Vancouver Whitecaps
Everyone's favorite MLS villain caught the attention of many on Wednesday night with his heroics in Vancouver's 2-1 home win over Chicago.
Blas Perez, who came under fire for his controversial antics while at FC Dallas, capped his brace with a spectacular bicycle-kick winner in the 89th minute at BC Place.
The 35-year-old, who entered as a substitute for the injured Masato Kudo in the 21st minute, recorded his first brace since March 14, 2015.
GK: Joe Bendik (Orlando City)
RB: Ryan Hollingshead (FC Dallas)
RM: Patrick Nyarko (D.C. United)
CM: Pedro Morales (Vancouver Whitecaps)
FW: Jacob Peterson (Sporting Kansas City)
FW: Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo)
FW: Alvaro Saborio (D.C. United)
Joe Tansey covers MLS for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @JTansey90.