MLS Team of the Week: David Villa Shines for NYCFC in Week 15
Despite featuring only five games over two days, Week 15 of play in Major League Soccer produced plenty of quality on the pitch.
The player who displayed the most skill this weekend was David Villa, who is starting to boost New York City FC up the Eastern Conference table.
Three other big names featured in prominent roles in their respective matches across North America in Week 15, which forced us into choosing a 3-5-2 formation for our MLS Team of the Week.
Continue reading on to see which stars joined Villa in our attack-heavy best 11 from the latest week of play in MLS.
GK: Bobby Shuttleworth, New England Revolution
Bobby Shuttleworth was one of three goalkeepers to record a clean sheet during the shortened slate of games in Week 15.
Shuttleworth was forced to fight until the waning moments of the second half to preserve his shutout in between the pipes at Gillette Stadium. In the 90th minute, the goalkeeper made a denial at point-blank range on an incoming Jason Johnson.
Before his late stop on Johnson, the best of Shuttleworth's collection of four saves came in the 24th minute, when he came off his line and deflected a shot from Kennedy Igboananike out of play.
The clean sheet was the fifth of the season, and the first since April 25 against Real Salt Lake, for New England's first-choice goalkeeper.
CB: Emanuel Pogatetz, Columbus Crew
It's been a rough last few weeks for Emanuel Pogatetz, but the defender put all his displeasure aside on Saturday and helped Columbus earn a point against the LA Galaxy at home.
The 32-year-old Austrian took to Facebook, per Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch, to voice his frustration after he sat out last week's contest against the Montreal Impact.
He was back in the starting 11 for the home clash versus the Galaxy, and he thrived next to regular center back partner Michael Parkhurst by making eight clearances and six interceptions.
With a strong performance against one of the league's top clubs under his belt, one has to think Pogatetz won't be unhappy with his minutes from now on.
CB: Chad Marshall, Seattle Sounders
One of the top defenders in the league produced in key spots for the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night before the team's attack finished off FC Dallas at CenturyLink Field.
Chad Marshall helped limit the dangerous FC Dallas attack to two shots on target in the Western Conference showdown.
The experienced center back made 10 clearances, three interceptions and won a pair of aerial duels as Seattle climbed to the top of the Supporters' Shield standings.
CB: Aurelien Collin, Orlando City
The final match of the weekend witnessed one of Aurelien Collin's best performances of the season, as the physical center back held D.C. United's attack to a pair of attempts on target.
Collin made nine interceptions, seven clearances and two tackles in Orlando City's 1-0 over the Eastern Conference leader at the Citrus Bowl.
Although Fabian Espindola found a bit of space in the final third, Collin shut down his passing options in attack as Jairo Arrieta made just 23 touches during his time on the pitch.
RM: Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas
Fabian Castillo was the only FC Dallas attacker who produced a constant threat against the stingy Seattle defense on Saturday night.
The dynamic Colombian came close to scoring in the 28th minute, but he nailed his shot into the right post.
While that was his only shot on target, Castillo still threatened in the final third for most of his 90-minute shift, which was a welcome sight to the eyes of FC Dallas fans despite the loss. The match marked Castillo's first start since May 23.
CM: Kwadwo Poku, New York City FC
During his brief 15-minute shift at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night, Kwadwo Poku recorded a goal and an assist.
One minute after entering the match against the Montreal Impact, Poku took the ball off the feet of a retreating Wandrille Lefevre and fed Mix Diskerud, who finished off New York City FC's second goal.
In the 90th minute, the second-half substitute finished off a pass from Villa to seal NYCFC's 3-1 home win.
CM: Sebastian Lletget, LA Galaxy
Sebastian Lletget netted his first goal in a LA Galaxy shirt on Saturday in the club's road draw with Columbus.
The former West Ham United player used a clever bit of skill to fool Parkhurst on the left side of the penalty area before he coolly placed the ball into the bottom-left part of the net.
In his first start for Bruce Arena's side, Lletget attempted four shots and recorded the highest pass-accuracy percentage of any LA starter.
CM: Federico Higuain, Columbus Crew
For the second consecutive week, Columbus playmaker Federico Higuain found the back of the net at home.
The Argentinian designated player slotted in a 66th-minute equalizer from the middle of the box to hand the Crew a valuable point against the visiting Galaxy.
Although he only attempted one shot, which turned out to be the goal, Higuain was active in other aspects of the game as he made three key passes and 63 touches.
LM: Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution
Diego Fagundez celebrated his 100th-career league appearance with a spectacular volleyed strike in the 48th minute of New England's 2-0 win over Chicago.
The scorer of 24 goals in his five-year career perfectly lined up his shot from the top of the box after an attempted clearance by the Fire flew in his direction.
On top of his stellar strike, Fagundez made three key passes, 38 touches and completed 92 percent of his passes in the Revolution's sixth victory of the season.
FW: Lamar Neagle, Seattle Sounders
Before Obafemi Martins entered the match and stole the show with his clever work in tight space, Lamar Neagle found the breakthrough for the Sounders in the 55th minute.
Neagle curled his first goal since April 18 into the bottom-right part of the net to hand Seattle a welcome advantage early in the second half.
The 28-year-old also picked up his first assist of the season on Leonardo Gonzalez's rare goal in second-half stoppage time.
FW: David Villa, New York City FC
Villa delivered the best individual performance of Week 15 in NYCFC's third victory of the season.
The Spanish forward finished off a terrific team move in the final third to open the scoring in the 31st minute. He also played the role of provider on NYCFC's final goal by feeding Poku on the right side of the box.
Villa was the most active man on the pitch at Yankee Stadium, as he led all players with 77 touches and three shots on target.
GK: Bill Hamid (D.C. United)
RB: R.J. Allen (New York City FC)
CB: Sean St. Ledger (Orlando City)
LB: Robbie Rogers (LA Galaxy)
CM: Andy Dorman (New England Revolution)
FW: Charlie Davies (New England Revolution)
FW: Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders)
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.