MLS Team of the Week: Seattle, FC Dallas Put 3 Players on List of Week 9's Best
The first weekend of May brought us a few spectacular attacking displays across the pitches of Major League Soccer.
The two clubs who stood out the most were FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders, who each boast a trio of players in this week's MLS Team of the Week.
Outside of the two Western Conference dynamos, a few Eastern Conference stars delivered key showings at both ends of the pitch in two early-season showdowns.
Due to the large amount of strong attacking performances in Week 9, we molded the best 11 of the week into a 4-3-3 formation.
Continue reading to see who was named in the Week 9 edition of our MLS Team of the Week.
GK: Stefan Frei, Seattle Sounders
For the second time in three weeks, Stefan Frei turned away eight shots in a 3-1 victory for the Seattle Sounders.
Frei denied eight attempts on goal by New York City FC at a boisterous Yankee Stadium on Sunday night, including a few from substitute David Villa.
The introduction of Villa boosted NYCFC's attack, but the Spaniard could not contribute to the scoreboard because of Frei's exploits between the pipes.
RB: Jalil Anibaba, Sporting Kansas City
The best right-back play of the season came during Week 9, as a few players at the position staked a claim to be named in the Team of the Week.
Sporting Kansas City's Jalil Anibaba earned the nod over a few worthy contenders thanks to his assist and strong defensive display.
Anibaba's cross in the 75th minute found Paulo Nagamura, who proceeded to score the lone goal in Sporting KC's 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire.
On the defensive side of the pitch, Anibaba limited Harry Shipp's impact in the final third. The Chicago playmaker failed to put a shot on goal during his 90-minute shift.
CB: Damien Perquis, Toronto FC
For the second straight week, Damien Perquis turned in a solid shift in a Toronto FC victory.
Perquis and the Toronto back four held Philadelphia to one shot on goal in their 1-0 win at PPL Park. While some may not view shutting down the Union as a difficult task, Toronto did a solid job in light of the circumstances it has faced early in the season.
Saturday's match marked the final match of a seven-game road trip to begin the season while BMO Field was spruced up.
In the final away contest before his team's home opener, Perquis made 11 clearances and five interceptions.
CB: Matt Hedges, FC Dallas
While the FC Dallas attack will receive most of the credit for the club's 4-1 win over the Houston Dynamo on Friday night, the defense still deserves a little respect for their performance.
Matt Hedges was a part of a FC Dallas back four that restricted the Houston attack, led by Giles Barnes, to two shots on target in the match at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Hedges also played a clean game, committing zero fouls while racking up 11 clearances, five interceptions and two tackles.
LB: Chris Korb, D.C. United
D.C. United's 2-0 home win over the Columbus Crew flew under the radar in Week 9, and so did Chris Korb's play at left back.
Korb played a vital role in silencing the Crew attack, as he held Ethan Finlay to 23 touches and zero shots in 90 minutes. Finlay contributed to three Columbus goals in Week 8.
The performance was Korb's best of the four he has started so far this season.
RM: Teal Bunbury, New England Revolution
The New England Revolution delivered a statement to the rest of the Eastern Conference on Saturday, as they handed the New York Red Bulls their first loss of the season.
Teal Bunbury completed one of the best team moves of the season in the 60th minute, powering Lee Nguyen's pass into the right side of the net.
Bunbury, who won three aerial battles and attempted two shots, was one of a few New England players who played well in one of the first big matches of the season in the East.
CM: Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas
Mauro Diaz raised the already high level of play of the FC Dallas attack even further on Friday, as he scored a goal and assisted two others in the 4-1 win over Houston.
Diaz's second strike of the season hit the top-right corner of the net in the 52nd minute of the beautiful attacking display from the Hoops.
His first assist of the match came in the 21st minute, when he sprung Fabian Castillo down the right flank in the buildup to David Texeira's goal.
Diaz then provided Castillo with another nice pass on the club's fourth and final fine piece of skill in the final third.
LM: Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas
Castillo matched Diaz's attacking prowess on Friday, as he also played a role in three of FC Dallas' four goals.
His best display of individual brilliance came in the 55th minute on a cheeky chip from the left side of the box. The Colombian messed with a defender before he unleashed his shot into the wide-open right side of the goal.
Castillo picked up his fourth and fifth assists of the season on first-half goals scored by Ryan Hollingshead and Texeira.
The two dishes boosted Castillo into a tie with Benny Feilhaber at the top of the league's assist chart. He is two goals behind Obafemi Martins in the Golden Boot race.
FW: Fabian Espindola, D.C. United
In his second game back from a six-match suspension, Fabian Espindola played a prominent role on both D.C. United goals scored at RFK Stadium on Saturday.
Espindola recorded his first goal of the 2015 season on a quick counter fueled by Chris Rolfe's perfect pass in the 15th minute.
The league veteran notched his first tally in the assist column 26 minutes later, when his corner kick found Sean Franklin at the far post.
Espindola will try to start a scoring streak in Week 10 against a Sporting KC side he netted two goals past in 2014.
FW: Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders
Obafemi Martins whipped out his first backflip on the Yankee Stadium pitch 23 minutes into his first match at the home of expansion side NYCFC.
Martins sped past the NYCFC defense in the 23rd minute and slotted the ball into the right corner of the net before he broke into his trademark celebration.
The Nigerian returned to scoring ways in the 66th minute, finishing off a fantastic team move with a shot past NYCFC goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
Martins also earned an assist in the buildup to Clint Dempsey's 58th-minute strike.
FW: Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders
The American half of the best attacking duo in MLS provided a goal and an assist to the Seattle cause in the final match of Week 9.
Dempsey received a pass from Marco Pappa at the top of the box and coolly finished his fifth goal of the season four minutes after NYCFC equalized through Mehdi Ballouchy.
The USMNT captain notched his fourth assist of the season on Martins' second goal, as he set the Nigerian up with a clever backheel from the middle of the pitch.
Sunday's performance at Yankee Stadium marked the first time since Week 1 that Dempsey earned a goal and an assist in a Sounders game.
GK: Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)
RB: Sean Franklin (D.C. United)
CB: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
CM: Diego Chara (Portland Timbers)
CM: Cristian Maidana (Philadelphia Union)
FW: Charlie Davies (New England Revolution)
FW: Gabriel Torres (Colorado Rapids)
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.