MLS Team of the Week from Conference Semifinal 2nd Legs

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 11, 2014

MLS Team of the Week from Conference Semifinal 2nd Legs

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    Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

    With the possibility of playoff elimination staring them in the face, a few stars shined in the second leg of Major League Soccer's Conference Semifinal round. 

    The best team performance came from the LA Galaxy, who blew out Real Salt Lake 5-0 at home. Because of the dominant showing, four Galaxy players feature in our Team of the Week. 

    Not all the players in the Best 11 from the four second-leg matches this weekend were on the winning side of the coin. There were a few impressive contributors for clubs that are now planning their offseason vacations. 

    Here is a look at our MLS Team of the Week from the second leg of the Conference Semifinal round. 

GK: Chris Seitz, FC Dallas

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Despite being eliminated from the postseason, Chris Seitz turned in a stellar showing in between the pipes Monday night for FC Dallas. 

    Seitz's biggest denial came in the 84th minute on Clint Dempsey, as he somehow got his feet to the shot by the American forward. 

    Although Seitz made four saves, FC Dallas fell on away goals thanks to Osvaldo Alonso's strike in the first leg. 

RB: A.J. DeLaGarza, LA

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The shift over to right-back for A.J. DeLaGarza exploited the weaknesses of Real Salt Lake in LA's romp at home over the defending Western Conference champion.

    DeLaGarza made an impact early in the match, as he lofted a perfect assist to the head of Landon Donovan in the 10th minute. 

    His defensive efforts on the wing silenced Joao Plata, who failed to take a shot in 90 minutes. 

CB: Matt Hedges, FC Dallas

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Matt Hedges finished off his season with an admirable performance at center-back for FC Dallas in the scoreless draw at CenturyLink Field. 

    He held the duo of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins to few legitimate chances by making 10 clearances and four tackles. 

    Hedges did nothing to hurt his stock in regards to his United States men's national team hopes. Based on his performance this season, it is only a matter of time before the 24-year-old gets a call from Jurgen Klinsmann. 

CB: Jose Goncalves, New England

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    In New England's 3-1 win over Columbus, Jose Goncalves made an instinctive run usually made by a forward. 

    The Revolution defender knocked away an Ethan Finlay pass in his own half before sprinting down the left wing to finish off a counter. 

    Goncalves' first-time touch with his left foot handed New England a very comfortable cushion on aggregate as the Crew grew more desperate by the second. 

LB: Taylor Kemp, D.C.

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    USA TODAY Sports

    One of the pleasant surprises of the semifinal round was the play of Taylor Kemp in the back four for D.C. United. 

    Kemp delivered a top-notch cross in the 36th minute to the head of Nick DeLeon to open the scoring in the 2-1 win by the Black and Red. 

    The 24-year-old was second on the team in key passes with three and led the team in interceptions with four. 

    Unfortunately for Kemp and his teammates, the win was not enough to earn advancement to the Eastern Conference Final, as they lost 3-2 on aggregate to New York. 

RM: Teal Bunbury, New England

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Teal Bunbury shut the door on a potential Columbus comeback with a hustle play to set up Lee Nguyen's 43rd-minute goal. 

    Bunbury chased down the ball on the left side of the box, and he eventually found Nguyen in the middle of the penalty area. The goal handed New England a three-goal advantage on aggregate. 

    He finished off the scoring at Gillette Stadium in the 77th minute by hitting the ball in between the legs of Crew 'keeper Steve Clark. 

CM: Marcelo Sarvas, LA

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Not only did Marcelo Sarvas score in the Galaxy's home blowout, he put in a dominant performance in the midfield. 

    Sarvas was a part of a unit that contained Javier Morales, who took a single shot and made two key passes in defeat. 

    He was consistent in the passing department, as he completed 95 percent of his 40 passes. The 33-year-old also recorded eight accurate long balls and made four tackles on defense. 

CM: Gonzalo Pineda, Seattle

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    USA TODAY Sports

    We expected Gonzalo Pineda to have a strong night in the middle of the park in order for Seattle to advance. But his role took on a greater importance once Osvaldo Alonso left the match with an injury.

    The 32-year-old Mexican clogged the passing lanes in the middle of the pitch by making nine tackles and two interceptions for the Sounders. 

    Pineda's play may become an even bigger key to Seattle's success if Alonso's injury keeps him out of the Western Conference Final. 

LM: Landon Donovan, LA

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    Sunday night belonged to Landon Donovan, as the Galaxy star scored a hat-trick to put his side in the Western Conference final. 

    The 32-year-old legend found the back of the net in the 10th, 54th and 72nd minutes in LA's dominant performance at StubHub Center. 

    As if three goals weren't enough, Donovan also earned an assist on Robbie Keane's 20th-minute strike. 

FW: Robbie Keane, LA

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Robbie Keane also played a role in four of the five Galaxy scores with one goal and three assists.

    The Irishman finished at the back post in the 20th minute before he shifted into the role of provider on the final three Galaxy goals. 

    Keane linked up with Donovan on two occasions in the second half, while his other assist came on Marcelo Sarvas' 63rd-minute strike. 

    His final assist of the night displayed the terrific connection he has with Donovan, as Keane lofted a perfect pass over a pair of defenders to allow Donovan to sneak in and score. 

FW: Thierry Henry, New York

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    Thierry Henry worked his magic once again in the second leg of New York's Eastern Conference semifinal series with D.C. United. 

    Henry played a perfect cross into Peguy Luyindula to earn the Red Bulls an away goal in the 2-1 loss.  The Frenchman's 57th-minute assist moved his postseason total to four following a pair of assists in the first leg and one in the knockout-round win over Sporting Kansas City. 

    If Henry continues to play at a high level, New York stands a chance of beating New England in the Eastern Conference Final. 

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    All statistics obtained from and

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