MLS Team of the Week for Matches from August 15-17: Castillo, Akindele Shine

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 18, 2014

MLS Team of the Week for Matches from August 15-17: Castillo, Akindele Shine

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    Plenty of attackers caught fire in Week 23 of play in Major League Soccer, but no duo were as hot as Fabian Castillo and Tesho Akindele.

    The FC Dallas attacking pair were responsible for all five of their team's goals against San Jose, which makes them easy selections for the latest MLS Team of the Week. 

    A few other teams caught the high-scoring fever flying around MLS this weekend, which is why Castillo and Akindele aren't the only pair of teammates included in this week's selection of the best 11 players from around the league. 

    This week's team is set up in a 4-3-1-2 to spread the love to all the star attackers from Week 23. 

GK: Jon Kempin, Sporting Kansas City

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    After starring at the MLS Homegrown Game, and in the second half against Vancouver last week, Jon Kempin was handed his chance in goal due to injuries to Eric Kronberg and Andy Gruenebaum. 

    With Sporting Kansas City up by a goal in the 51st minute, Kempin made a save on Gilberto that shifted the momentum back on to the side of Sporting, who conceded right before the half. 

    The save on Gilberto was one of two big saves Kempin made in order to keep his side in the lead before pulling away late for a 4-1 win. 

RB: Je-Vaughn Watson, FC Dallas

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    The FC Dallas defense did not receive much attention over the weekend because of the five-goal explosion the offense had at Buck Shaw Stadium, but the back four did do their part as well.

    Je-Vaughn Watson was tasked with shutting down Shea Salinas, who can change the pace of a game in a heartbeat with a cross from the left wing. 

    The 30-year-old Jamaican was able to limit the threat of Salinas by holding the Earthquakes winger to three accurate crosses out of the 11 he attempted. 

CB: Liam Ridgewell, Portland

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    Although he looked more like a forward on his 65th-minute goal, Liam Ridgewell turned in a stellar showing at center-back.

    Ridgewell scored the equalizer in Portland's 1-1 draw with New England on a run he started from just inside midfield. 

    On the defensive side of the ball, the designated player made nine effective clearances, five interceptions and blocked two shots. 

CB: Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Chivas USA

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    Holding the dangerous Vancouver attack to zero goals and three shots on target is no easy task, but that is what Andrew Jean-Baptiste and the Chivas USA defense did Saturday. 

    The 22-year-old made 13 effective clearances at the back, and held Darren Mattocks and Erik Hurtado to a combined 33 touches in the 45 minutes each Whitecaps forward played. 

    Even when Pedro Morales entered as a substitute in the 68th minute, Jean-Baptiste and his teammates contained the playmaker to one shot on target, which came on a set piece. 

LB: Taylor Kemp, D.C.

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    In his second start of the season, Taylor Kemp delivered two assists in D.C. United's 4-2 win over Colorado. 

    The pair of assists were the first two in the MLS career of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick.

    Kemp dished out his first assist in the 12th minute on a through ball to Luis Silva before he set up Chris Rolfe for D.C.'s third in the 81st minute. 

RM: Ethan Finlay, Columbus

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    Ethan Finlay was one of two Columbus players to record a goal and an assist in the team's 4-1 win over LA. 

    Finlay scored his sixth goal of the season in the 33rd minute, when he hammered home a pass from Justin Meram. 

    The midfielder then dished out his fourth assist of the season on Ben Speas' 75th-minute strike that helped seal the big win at Crew Stadium. 

CM: Luke Mulholland, Real Salt Lake

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    In a four-minute span, Luke Mulholland played the role of scorer and provider for Real Salt Lake. 

    The 26-year-old Englishman assisted on Joao Plata's 53rd-minute header before he tapped home his sixth goal of the season to hand RSL a two-goal lead. 

    Mulholland was able to frustrate the Sounders for all 90 minutes, as he was fouled six times in the middle of the park. 

LM: Justin Meram, Columbus

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    Against a dangerous Galaxy side full of attacking superstars, Justin Meram was the player that stood out the most at Crew Stadium Saturday night. 

    Meram scored the first of four Columbus goals in the 23rd minute after he did a nifty turn around a few defenders to hit his shot into the top-right corner of the net. 

    The midfielder took a total of five shots, which was his highest total since September 4, 2013 against Houston. 

CAM: Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas

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    The pace of Fabian Castillo was too much for the Earthquakes, as he netted a brace and recorded an assist in FC Dallas' five-goal win. 

    Castillo burned Jason Hernandez on his goals in the 30th and 74th minutes, which put his season total up to eight. 

    The 22-year-old took a career-high eight shots in the win that extended FC Dallas' unbeaten run to nine games. 

FW: Will Bruin, Houston

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    Will Bruin didn't have any slick tricks to offer on his 51st-minute goal, but he did make a strong run to connect on a Giles Barnes pass. 

    Bruin was active all night in front of the Philadelphia goal with four shots on target and four key passes. 

    The forward almost scored his 10th goal of the season in the 62nd minute, but his offering in front of goal hit the post. 

FW: Tesho Akindele, FC Dallas

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    Tesho Akindele moved himself into the top spot of the Rookie of the Year discussion with his hat-trick against San Jose. 

    The Colorado School of Mines product scored in the 43rd, 58th and 86th minutes of his side's 5-0 whooping of the Earthquakes.

    On two of the goals, Akindele benefited from rebounds left out in the open by San Jose keeper Jon Busch. 


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    GK: Andre Blake (Philadelphia) 

    CB: Giancarlo Gonzalez (Columbus) 

    LB: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston) 

    CM: Russell Teibert (Vancouver) 

    CM: Benny Feilhaber (Sporting KC)

    CAM: Luis Silva (D.C.) 

    FW: Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC) 

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    All statistics obtained from and

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