MLS Team of the Weekend from Conference Final 1st Legs

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 25, 2014

MLS Team of the Weekend from Conference Final 1st Legs

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    The Major League Soccer Conference Finals kicked off with a bang this past weekend with LA and New England earning leads heading into the second leg next weekend. 

    In the two matches Sunday afternoon, plenty of individuals turned in terrific showings at Red Bull Arena and StubHub Center. 

    Most of the dominant performances came in the middle of the park, which led us to shape our MLS Team of the Week in a 4-5-1 formation.

    Continue reading on for a look at which 11 players earned a spot in the MLS Team of the Week. 

GK: Jaime Penedo, LA

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    Jaime Penedo put together the best pair of saves across the league this weekend in the 20th minute against Seattle. 

    The Panamanian 'keeper denied Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey at close range to help preserve a clean sheet at StubHub Center. 

    Penedo ended the match with four saves, as he helped stop the Sounders from scoring a crucial away goal. 

RB: Andrew Farrell, New England

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    Going up against Thierry Henry, Andrew Farrell had a solid outing at Red Bull Arena.

    The former first-overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft led the Revolution with six tackles and three interceptions while facing a difficult matchup. 

    If he continues his strong play against the French legend in the second leg, Farrell will be headed to the MLS Cup with his New England teammates. 

CB: A.J. Soares, New England

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    The New England back four may not receive a ton of credit, but the group led by A.J. Soares deserves plenty of it for their efforts at Red Bull Arena.

    Soares was the top defender in the 2-1 Revolution win with seven clearances, three tackles and two blocked shots. 

    The center back's job may get easier in the second leg with Bradley Wright-Phillips suspended for Saturday's match at Gillette Stadium. 

CB: Chad Marshall, Seattle

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    Chad Marshall may have made a series-saving block in the 92nd minute, when he laid out in front of an Alan Gordon shot. 

    By making contact with the shot from the LA substitute, Marshall kept the deficit on aggregate at one heading into Sunday's second leg in Seattle. 

    In the 1-0 defeat, Marshall had eight clearances, six interceptions and two blocked shots. 

LB: Robbie Rogers, LA

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    Robbie Rogers was an absolute menace on the left wing for the Galaxy throughout the Western Conference Final first leg.

    Rogers made plenty of contributions on the defensive side of the ball with three tackles, three interceptions and three clearances. 

    He also was a thorn in DeAndre Yedlin's side on a few occasions with strong runs down the wing against the Seattle right-back. Because of his insistence on moving forward, Rogers led the Galaxy in shots with four. 

RM: Teal Bunbury, New England

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    The best goal of the weekend belonged to Teal Bunbury, who is getting hot at the perfect time for New England. 

    Bunbury unleashed a blistering strike into the left side of the net to hand the visiting Revolution a lead in the 17th minute. 

    The goal was the second of the postseason for the former Sporting Kansas City player, who also scored in the second leg against Columbus. 

CM: Marcelo Sarvas, LA

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    Before he left the match in the 68th minute, Marcelo Sarvas provided LA with a valuable goal at home in the 52nd minute. 

    Sarvas' shot deflected off Marshall and into the back of the net to give the Galaxy a one-goal advantage heading into Seattle. 

    Next to his usual central midfield partner Juninho, Sarvas completed 82.6 percent of his passes, and he was tied for the team lead in tackles with three. 

CM: Jermaine Jones, New England

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    Jermaine Jones was the best player to step on a. MLS field this weekend. 

    The United States international played a role in both goals scored by the Revolution, and he seemed to have plenty of space to work with in the midfield for most of the match.

    To create Bunbury's goal, Jones drifted off to the right to clear Dax McCarty out of the way. Jones got a chance to celebrate again in the 85th minute, when he finished off a terrific move started by Lee Nguyen. 

CM: Eric Alexander, New York

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    For the 76 minutes Eric Alexander was on the pitch, an argument could be made he was the best player on the field at Red Bull Arena. 

    Alexander nullified the threat of Nguyen for most of the match, but he was lifted in favor of Tim Cahill with 14 minutes to go. 

    On Jones' game-winning goal, Nguyen was able to exploit the space Alexander once occupied to start the easy-looking attacking move. 

LM: Landon Donovan, LA

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    Just like Rogers, Landon Donovan ran rampant down the left wing at StubHub Center Sunday afternoon. 

    Donovan was one of three players in the two matches this weekend to record six key passes. Stefan Ishizaki and Thierry Henry were the other two. 

    In what could end up being the third-to-last game of his career, Donovan was extremely active with 60 touches and a pass completion percentage of 87.8. 

FW: Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York

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    Bradley Wright-Phillips was the lone forward to score in the two matches this weekend. 

    The Golden Boot winner scored his fourth goal of the postseason in the 27th minute to equalize the Eastern Conference Final first leg at 1-1. 

    After the goal, Wright-Phillips had a few forgettable moments. Right before the half, he skied his header above the goal, and he received a stupid yellow card in the 60th minute. With the booking, the Englishman earned a suspension for the second leg Saturday. 

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    All statistics obtained from WhoScored.com and MLSSoccer.com

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