MLS Team of the Week: Altidore, Barnes Score Twice in Wild Week 8
Most of the odd qualities that make Major League Soccer its own unique brand of the beautiful game were on display in Week 8.
Each of the nine matches played across North America this weekend witnessed at least one goal. Four teams hit the back of the net on four occasions during a wild Saturday night.
The scoring outbreak across the league started on Saturday night, and it extended into Sunday thanks to Jozy Altidore, who scored a pair of strikes for a Toronto FC side in need of a victory.
Two other players found the back of the net two times in Week 8, which kept our stress levels at a minimum during the selection process for our MLS Team of the Week.
Continue reading to see which players found their way into our list of the league's best 11 from Week 8.
GK: Joe Bendik, Toronto FC
For the second consecutive week, there were few standout performances in between the pipes.
Joe Bendik was one of four netminders to record a clean sheet in Week 8, as he stopped four shots during Toronto FC's 2-0 road win over Orlando City.
Bendik's first shutout of the season helped end the Reds' four-game losing streak.
RB: Alvas Powell, Portland Timbers
Many expected a wild and crazy affair between the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers on Sunday night, but a 1-0 Seattle win is all we received.
One of the reasons for the lackluster attacking night was the play of Alvas Powell on the right flank of defense for the visiting Timbers.
Powell limited Lamar Neagle to one shot on target, and he recorded a game high in clearances and interceptions.
CB: Nick Hagglund, Toronto FC
A week after he was torched on the flank by FC Dallas' Fabian Castillo, Nick Hagglund moved back into the middle of defense and handed Toronto a solid showing.
The 22-year-old combined with Damien Perquis to limit Orlando City to four shots on target in the two-goal victory in the Florida heat.
Hagglund made nine clearances, six interceptions and committed a single foul in Toronto's second win of the 2015 campaign.
"Dallas was my fault on both goals. We came in and said, 'We're going to change how we do things'. We wanted to be stingier," Hagglund told Kurtis Larson of the Toronto Sun after the match.
CB: Bobby Boswell, D.C. United
Bobby Boswell provided D.C. United with a much-needed early equalizer in the ninth minute at BC Place on Saturday night.
After the Black and Red fell behind in the second minute, Boswell connected with a Michael Farfan cross and knocked in a header at the near post.
The league veteran won two aerial battles, made five interceptions and blocked a shot in D.C.'s 2-1 road victory.
LB: Chris Tierney, New England Revolution
We usually praise Chris Tierney for the use of his left foot during New England Revolution matches, but it was his right foot that kickstarted a big win by the Revs on Saturday.
Tierney displayed a good bit of skill to get around Real Salt Lake's John Stertzer in the 39th minute before he curled a right-footed shot into the back of the net.
The left-back's goal was the first of four New England shots to beat RSL goalkeeper Jeff Attinella in the rout at Gillette Stadium.
RM: Ethan Finlay, Columbus Crew
The breakout performance from Ethan Finlay we were all waiting for came on Saturday night against the Philadelphia Union.
Finlay played a role in three of the Crew's goals in their 4-1 romp at Mapfre Stadium over the hapless Union.
The fourth-year player outmuscled Fabinho in the box on his first goal in the 32nd minute before he breezed past the defender on the way to his second strike in the 73rd minute.
On Columbus' first goal of the night, Finlay found a wide-open Kei Kamara with a cross from the right wing.
The pair of goals were the first two of the season for the scorer of 11 in 2014.
CM: Scott Caldwell, New England Revolution
The Revolution received two unlikely contributions to the scoreboard from Scott Caldwell on Saturday night. Caldwell provided the Revs with a goal and an assist in the 4-0 thrashing of Real Salt Lake.
In the 50th minute, Caldwell looped in a perfect cross from the right side of the pitch that found the head of Charlie Davies.
Thirty-four minutes later, Caldwell scored his first-career goal after the ball bounced back to him at the top of the box.
Before Saturday night, Caldwell had four assists in 62 matches to his name.
CM: Benny Feilhaber, Sporting Kansas City
Benny Feilhaber scored two equalizers in 10 minutes to hand Sporting Kansas City a point against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.
Feilhaber leveled the game at three goals apiece in the 80th minute from the spot, and he sent both teams home with a point with a shot from 20 yards out in stoppage time.
Before the match at BBVA Compass Stadium, the league leader in assists was without a goal in 2015.
LM: Brad Davis, Houston Dynamo
Brad Davis' patented left foot dropped two perfect crosses on the heads of his teammates in the 45th and 83rd minutes of Houston's home draw with Sporting KC.
With time winding down in the first half, Davis' corner kick from the right flag found the head of Will Bruin, who proceeded to put the Dynamo in front by a goal.
Houston moved ahead for a short time in the 83rd minute after Davis' free-kick picked out the noggin of center-back Raul Rodriguez.
Davis ended the match with four key passes, four accurate crosses and 45 touches—the latter total was third best on the team.
FW: Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC
Jozy Altidore bagged his second brace of the season in the second half of Toronto's road triumph.
The United States international put his first goal past Donovan Ricketts in the 49th minute, while he displayed a strong amount of technique in front of the net in the 83rd minute.
The two shots that resulted in the pair of strikes were Altidore's only two on target for the entire match.
In Toronto's first win of the season, Altidore also ripped the back of the net on two occasions.
FW: Giles Barnes, Houston Dynamo
In the exciting 4-4 draw between the Dynamo and Sporting KC, Giles Barnes impressed us with two solid bits of skill in the final third.
Barnes netted his third goal of the season in the 10th minute after he laced a half-volley past Sporting KC goalkeeper Luis Marin.
The fourth strike of the year by the England-born Jamaica international came at the start of the second stanza, as he placed a shot from outside the box into the right corner of the net.
Barnes' total of five shots marked the third consecutive week in which he has attempted at least five shots.
GK: Ryan Meara (New York City FC)
CB: Raul Rodriguez (Houston Dynamo)
LB: Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew)
CM: Felipe (New York Red Bulls)
LM: Justin Meram (Columbus Crew)
FW: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution)
FW: Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew)
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.