MLS Team of the Week: Giovinco Runs Wild for Toronto in Week 13
In his first three months on the Major League Soccer circuit, Sebastian Giovinco has left a lasting impression with fans across the league.
Giovinco, who was the top player in Week 13, has entered the discussion of best player in the league alongside the likes of Obafemi Martins and Robbie Keane. If he continues to dazzle in Toronto red, he could end up as the favorite for Most Valuable Player.
Elsewhere across MLS this week, we saw a few dominant performances and some contests affected by red cards.
After the dust settled on play in the final week of May, we ended up selecting two players from Vancouver and D.C. as well as one of Giovinco's teammates for our MLS Team of the Week. Since no position group stood out a ton over the last five days, we opted to mold our team in a traditional 4-4-2 formation.
Continue reading on to see who featured in the Week 13 edition of the MLS Team of the Week.
GK: Bill Hamid, D.C. United
To say Bill Hamid was a bit active in the D.C. United net this week is an understatement.
The United States international made 12 saves on 14 shots faced in the Black and Red's matches against Portland and Philadelphia in Week 13.
Hamid stood on his head at Providence Park on Wednesday in order to give D.C. a chance of equalizing on the road versus the Timbers. Unfortunately, his teammates were unable to score in the Pacific Northwest.
The 24-year-old recovered from conceding early against Philadelphia to make four saves in the 2-1 home win on Saturday.
RB: Justin Morrow, Toronto FC
The last time Justin Morrow celebrated a goal in MLS was March 16, 2013, when he scored for the San Jose Earthquakes against the Columbus Crew.
Morrow finally broke his two-year scoring drought against his former side in the 22nd minute of Toronto FC's 3-1 win over San Jose on Saturday.
The right back handed the Reds their first lead of the match after he flew toward goal and connected with Giovinco's cross.
On the defensive side of the ball, the 27-year-old made six clearances and six tackles.
CB: Kevin Ellis, Sporting Kansas City
Kevin Ellis was a dominant force in the air on set pieces in Sporting Kansas City's 4-0 walloping of 10-man FC Dallas on Friday night.
Ellis rose above a defender in the 19th minute and played a pass over to Krisztian Nemeth at the right post on Sporting KC's first goal, which came at even strength.
In the 57th minute, the center back scored a goal of his own as his noggin linked up with a Graham Zusi corner kick.
Although the first-half red card to Zach Loyd did play a role in the explosive FC Dallas attack putting one shot on goal, some credit still has to be given to Ellis and the Sporting KC defense for staying focused throughout the match.
CB: Steve Birnbaum, D.C. United
Steve Birnbaum returned to the pitch in Week 13 after missing nine games due to injury.
While he may not have stood out in a major way in his first match back against Portland, he did star against the Union three days later.
In D.C. United's seventh victory of the season, Birnbaum won 12 aerial duels, made 14 clearances and led all players with 87 touches.
If he continues to thrive for the Black and Red over the next month, he should earn a look from United States boss Jurgen Klinsmann during the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
LB: Fabinho, Philadelphia Union
Fabinho graces us with his presence in the MLS Team of the Week for the second consecutive week due to his strong showing on the left for Philadelphia. No, that is not a typo on our part.
The Brazilian once again filled in admirably for Raymon Gaddis, as he limited D.C. right-sided midfielder Nick DeLeon to one shot over 90 minutes.
Fabinho also robbed Birnbaum of a goal in the 34th minute, when he stuck his foot out and denied the defender's shot at the right post off a corner.
If he ends up starring in Week 14 against either Columbus or New York City FC, manager Jim Curtin may be able to trust and rotate his full backs when Gaddis returns to full strength.
RM: Teal Bunbury, New England Revolution
Before the excitement in the match between the New England Revolution and LA Galaxy was watered down by the weather, the two sides combined for an interesting first half.
Teal Bunbury netted the first goal of the 2-2 draw in the fifth minute, when he darted into the box unmarked.
The 25-year-old recorded the most shots of any Revolution with three, and he led all New England attackers with 47 touches.
CM: Gershon Koffie, Vancouver Whitecaps
Gershon Koffie celebrated his 100th-career MLS start with his first goal in just over a year for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
In the 36th minute of Vancouver's 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake, Koffie unleashed a thunderbolt from 25 yards out that struck the right corner of the net.
The 23-year-old was also stingy on the defensive end of the pitch, as he and Matias Laba helped limit RSL to four shots on target.
CM: Matias Laba, Vancouver Whitecaps
Matias Laba may not be the flashiest player in MLS, but he is one of the most productive midfielders in the league.
In the win over Real Salt Lake, Laba recorded nine tackles and two interceptions. He also picked up just two fouls against a speedy RSL attack.
Of the four shots on goal Vancouver gave up on Saturday night at BC Place, none of them came from the RSL forwards.
LM: Marco Pappa, Seattle Sounders
Marco Pappa produced two of the best goals of the week in two different matches for the Seattle Sounders.
On Wednesday, the Guatemalan known for his left foot delivered a pristine right-footed strike into the top right part of the net in Seattle's 1-0 win over Colorado.
Against the Red Bulls on Sunday, Pappa wowed the home crowd once again as he fooled Chris Duvall with some clever footwork before he finished from a tight angle on the left side of the box.
The pair of goals were the first two of the 2015 season for Pappa, who also has five assists to his name.
FW: Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC
Almost every superlative you could think of off the top of your head would be a fitting word to describe the play of Giovinco on Saturday.
Giovinco put four of his seven shots on target and earned two assists in Toronto FC's 3-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at BMO Field.
He helped open the scoring the 22nd minute, when he lofted a cross onto the head of a diving Morrow. In the 71st minute, the Italian played a ball to the feet of Luke Moore after he displayed a lovely bit of control near the right side of the box.
If that isn't enough to impress you, Giovinco also hit the post twice and made a tackle in the final third to set up Toronto's second goal.
FW: Kennedy Igboananike, Chicago Fire
Kennedy Igboananike delivered his best performance in a Chicago Fire shirt on Saturday night, as he earned a goal and an assist in his side's 3-0 win over 10-man Montreal.
The Nigerian designated player started the match in the role of provider, as he dished the ball over to Harry Shipp from the left wing on the Fire's first goal.
In the 72nd minute, Igboananike was rewarded for his impressive effort in the final third with a goal that bounced into the right side of the net.
The goal and assist were the offseason acquisition's first of the season in each stat category.
GK: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
RB: Hector Jimenez (Columbus Crew)
RM: Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)
CM: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)
LM: Cristian Techera (Vancouver Whitecaps)
FW: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo)
FW: Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew)
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.