MLS Team of the Week for Matches from September 12-14

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2014

MLS Team of the Week for Matches from September 12-14

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    With the playoff race intensifying all around Major League Soccer, Week 27 was time for some of the underrated stars of the league to step up and help earn their respective sides some big results. 

    Those players starred in defense and midfield to earn spots in the MLS Team of the Week. 

    As for the players up front, one of them is a star of the league, but his performance flew under the radar in a five-goal thriller in Seattle. 

    Continue reading on to see which 11 players earned a spot in the latest MLS Team of the Week. 

GK: Joe Bendik, Toronto FC

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    USA TODAY Sports

    There are few positive things about Toronto FC right now, but Joe Bendik's performance in goal is one of them.

    Bendik made a key penalty save in the 57th minute during his team's 1-1 draw with Chicago.

    The denial was one of six saves made by Bendik, who had to wait until the dying moments of the match to see his side equalize. 

RB: Ray Gaddis, Philadelphia

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Few players have received less credit for their performance this season than Ray Gaddis, who helped shut down the dangerous New York attack at PPL Park Saturday. 

    On countless occasions throughout the 2-2 draw, Gaddis was able to halt moves forward by Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and others. 

    The right-back made five tackles and two interceptions, and he was even able to roam forward and draw fouls as the Union searched for an equalizer in the second half. 

CB: Zach Loyd, FC Dallas

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Zach Loyd is another player who has not been handed enough credit this season, but he once again put in a solid performance for FC Dallas Saturday night. 

    Loyd helped keep the threat of a young Whitecaps attack to a minimum with five tackles, five interceptions and six effective clearances. 

    The 27-year-old and his teammates restricted Vancouver to just two shots on target in the 2-1 home victory. 

CB: Omar Gonzalez, LA

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    Omar Gonzalez was the lone Galaxy player to find the back of the net in the team's 1-1 draw with San Jose. 

    The United States international rose above the defense to score his fourth goal of 2014 in the 28th minute of the California Clasico. 

    All four of those goals have come after his return from Brazil. 

LB: Marc Burch, Colorado

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Marc Burch's foray forward in the 66th minute of Colorado's game against the Portland Timbers was a successful one, as he perfectly lofted a cross into Deshorn Brown, who headed the team into a 2-1 lead. 

    The assist from the left-back was his third of the season, and his first since May 3, when he notched one against the Galaxy. 

    On the defensive side of the ball, Burch made four interceptions and two effective clearances. 

RM: Brad Evans, Seattle

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Keeping with the theme of underrated players in this Team of the Week is Seattle's Brad Evans. 

    Evans had another strong night on the right side of midfield for the Sounders with six key passes in the 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake. 

    The 29-year-old contributed seven accurate long balls, and completed 77 percent of his passes for a Sounders side that is firing on all cylinders right now. 

CM: Lee Nguyen, New England

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    Lee Nguyen may be in better form right now than he was during the first few months of the season. 

    The 27-year-old scored his fifth goal in five games in the 25th minute of New England's 2-1 win over Montreal. 

    In the victory, Nguyen fired four of his five shots on target and made a team-high 84 touches. 

CM: Javier Morales, Real Salt Lake

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The best player on the pitch for Real Salt Lake on the team's trip to CenturyLink Field was Javier Morales. 

    Morales opened the scoring against Seattle in the 30th minute, when he hit his shot into the bottom left corner of the net. 

    He then contributed an assist for the second RSL goal, which was scored by Joao Plata. 

    Morales ended with a game-high 98 touches and completed 92 percent of his 74 passes. 

LM: Graham Zusi, Sporting Kansas City

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    In Sporting Kansas City's 4-0 blowout win over Chivas USA, Graham Zusi played a role in two of the team's goals. 

    Zusi provided an assist on Dom Dwyer's opening goal in the 40th minute and scored in the 52nd minute. 

    On his fourth goal of the season, Zusi cut into the box from the left and was able to beat Dan Kennedy after he found a bit of space. 

FW: Blas Perez, FC Dallas

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    Blas Perez scored his first brace since August 11, 2013, netting both FC Dallas goals in the win over Vancouver. 

    His first strike was a fluky shot that came in from the right wing to beat Whitecaps 'keeper David Ousted, while his second strike was a more conventional shot that came off a rebound in the 78th minute. 

    With the brace, the Panamanian took his season goal total to eight, which is three short of his total from last year.

FW: Clint Dempsey, Seattle

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Sometimes you don't have to score to be an effective forward. 

    That is the case with Clint Dempsey, who was active up front for Seattle in the 3-2 win over RSL. 

    Dempsey's biggest contribution was his assist on the 43rd-minute goal by Obafemi Martins, but he did much more than that in front of the home crowd. 

    The United States international won three aerial duels, made four key passes and completed 88 percent of his passes for the victorious Sounders. 

Bench

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    USA TODAY Sports

    GK: Troy Perkins (Montreal) 

    RB: DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle)

    LB: Waylon Francis (Columbus)

    RM: Kamani Hill (Colorado) 

    CM: Wil Trapp (Columbus)

    FW: Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC)

    FW: Pedro Ribeiro (Philadelphia) 

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com.

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

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