MLS Team of the Week: Defoe Shines in League Debut

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

MLS Team of the Week: Defoe Shines in League Debut

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    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    The second week of play in Major League Soccer saw plenty of big names perform at a high level.

    MLS debutant Jermain Defoe had one of the best days on the pitch this weekend with two goals at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. 

    Outside of Michael Bradley and Defoe's star-studded parade in Seattle, there were other strong showings from a few players that deserved spots in last week's Team of the Week.

    Continue reading to see who found a spot in our 4-1-3-2 formation for the Week 2 Team of the Week.

GK: Luis Robles

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    Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

    After a disastrous start to the season in Vancouver last week, Luis Robles recovered well in front of the home crowd at Red Bull Arena. 

    The Red Bulls were only able to record a draw with Colorado in their home opener, but Robles was not at fault for the penalty struck home by Vicente Sanchez. 

    Robles made a total of five saves for New York, which earned its first point of the season with the 1-1 result.

LB: Seth Sinovic

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    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Seth Sinovic had a very solid day on the pitch at Sporting Park in his team's 1-1 draw with FC Dallas. 

    Sinovic helped prevent the Dallas attack from achieving the same heights that it did in Week 1 against Montreal with three key interceptions and four effective clearances. 

    The left-back, who often gets forgotten about with Aurelien Collin and Matt Besler in the same back line, also had a pass accuracy of 78 percent and sent two shots in on target.

CB: Matt Hedges

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    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    For the second straight week, the center-backs across the league starred in almost every game. 

    Matt Hedges did just that for FC Dallas by scoring the equalizing goal in stoppage time in the 1-1 draw with Sporting KC. 

    Hedges also played well in the back line with two goal-line clearances as FC Dallas earned its fourth point of the young season.

CB: Victor Bernardez

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    Victor Bernardez was all over the penalty area as San Jose propelled itself to a 3-3 draw at home with Real Salt Lake. 

    The strong center-back netted with his head in the 75th minute and then used his feet to send Buck Shaw Stadium into a magnificent uproar. 

    Bernardez also played well on defense with five effective clearances for the Earthquakes.

RB: Kofi Sarkodie

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    For the second consecutive week, Houston right-back Kofi Sarkodie delivered a solid performance while his team recorded a clean sheet. 

    The 22-year-old had a last-man clearance and also picked up a yellow in the Dynamo's 1-0 win over Montreal. 

    Sarkodie is one of the four main pieces to a Houston back four that has been the best in the league at this early stage in the season.

CDM: Michael Bradley

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    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    He may not have stolen the headlines in his debut, but Michael Bradley did exactly what Toronto FC needed him to do in midfield. 

    Bradley made four key passes out of his central midfield position and attempted the most passes of any Toronto player with 53. 

    The United States international also made a team-high seven tackles and sent in eight crosses. 

    Overall, the performance was exactly what we expected from the best American player out there at the moment.

LM: Shea Salinas

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    Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

    Shea Salinas' involvement in set pieces for San Jose was crucial to the team's comeback on Saturday night. 

    Salinas got things off on the right foot as his free-kick flew into the box to find Chris Wondolowski in the sixth minute. 

    The 27-year-old winger also set up the first Bernardez goal as his corner kick found the head of the defender. 

    Salinas also recorded an astounding number of key passes with six in San Jose's draw with RSL.

RM: Mauro Rosales

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    Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

    Few players are having more success with their new team than Mauro Rosales is at Chivas USA.

    Rosales impressed in front of the home crowd, yes there were actually fans at a Chivas home game, at the StubHub Center in a 1-1 draw with Vancouver. 

    Chivas played most of the match with 10 men after an Agustin Pelletieri red card in the 13th minute, but Rosales still was able to provide his teammates with plenty of chances. 

    Rosales had 86 touches, five key passes and an 83 percent pass accuracy in his second game for Chivas.

CAM: Leo Fernandes

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    Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

    Leo Fernandes was handed a start for the Philadelphia Union just minutes before warmups, and he shined alongside Sebastien Le Toux and Cristian Maidana. 

    Fernandes did well in the middle of the two experienced players and earned an assist on Le Toux's 31st minute strike. 

    The 22-year-old had two key passes and a pass accuracy of 87 percent as he replaced Brian Carroll in the Union starting 11.

ST: Jermain Defoe

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    Jermain Defoe had a perfect debut for Toronto FC on Saturday as he found the back of the net twice in the Reds' 2-1 victory in Seattle. 

    Defoe pounced for his first goal in the 17th minute and then scored seven minutes after that. 

    The former Tottenham man became just the third player in league history to score two goals in the first half of his debut. 

    Hristo Stoichkov and Juan Francisco Palencia were the other two to achieve that feat, per Peter Hirdt of Elias Sports Bureau.

ST: Joao Plata

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    Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    In all honesty, we robbed Joao Plata of a spot in the Team of the Week for Week 1.

    Plata was superb in the Real Salt Lake attack in the first game of the season at Los Angeles, and he continued that form in San Jose on Saturday night. 

    The Ecuadorian assisted on Kyle Beckerman's goal in the 11th minute and scored in the 32nd minute after he received a pass from Luis Gil.

    Plata, who had four shots on target last week, sent in three more shots toward goal to keep his league lead in that important category.


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    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    GK: Tally Hall (Houston) 

    CB: Jermaine Taylor (Houston) 

    CM: Maurice Edu (Philadelphia) 

    CAM: Clint Dempsey (Seattle) 

    LM: Benny Feilhaber (Sporting KC)

    ST: Thierry Henry (New York)

    ST: Will Bruin (Houston)

    All statistics obtained from and

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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