MLS Team of the Week: Magee Shines off Bench, Plata, Giovinco Star in Week 1

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 7, 2016

MLS Team of the Week: Magee Shines off Bench, Plata, Giovinco Star in Week 1

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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Major League Soccer dove head first into its 21st season with 36 goals across 10 games on a busy Sunday that featured plenty of stellar individual performances. 

    With superstars like Kaka and Frank Lampard out of their respective lineups for the early slate of matches, a few players jumped into the spotlight with impressive attacking showings. 

    When the day turned into night, defense took over for a small amount of time before a league veteran exploded off the bench to close the night with one of the unlikeliest performances in recent memory. 

    Due to all of the scoring across MLS in Week 1, we opted to form our first Team of the Week in a 3-4-3 so we could incorporate as many attackers as possible. 

    Continue reading to see which 11 players were named to the first MLS Team of the Week for the 2016 season.

GK: Tim Melia, Sporting Kansas City

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    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Tim Melia set the tone for a strong match early on at CenturyLink Field as he knocked Clint Dempsey's 15th-minute free-kick over the bar. 

    Melia was only credited with two saves, but both of his denials were massive as they kept Sporting Kansas City in the contest before Peter Vermes' side pounced for three points late in the second half. 

    The other key stop made by the 29-year-old netminder came in the 53rd minute on a shot sent in from the boot of Andreas Ivanschitz. 

    "I thought he had some very good reaction saves, and he was explosive like he normally is," Vermes said, per Sara Naatz of SportingKC.com. "I think as a team we can be a little bit better about how we manage the game at certain points, and that includes him and how we come out with the ball as a group. But in regards to shots stopped and things like that, I think he was very, very good."

DEF: Steven Beitashour, Toronto FC

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    Toronto FC's debutants in defense were not susceptible to the poor defending that struck plenty of clubs in Week 1. 

    New right-back Steven Beitashour was one of a few defenders who shone in the season's first match at Red Bull Arena. 

    The former San Jose and Vancouver man limited Mike Grella's influence on the match from the left wing, and he was part of a back four that handled the pressure from the Red Bulls well. 

    The standout showings from Beitashour, Drew Moor and others allowed Sebastian Giovinco to work his magic and earn a late win on the road.

DEF: Matt Besler, Sporting Kansas City

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    Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports

    Matt Besler didn't find himself in the spotlight like his center-back partner Nuno Coelho did because of a game-winning goal, but he did put in a solid 90-minute shift to start the season. 

    Besler led a Sporting Kansas City back four that contained Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris for the majority of the contest at CenturyLink Field. Even when Seattle dropped down to 10 men, it still posed a threat up top due to the talent of its forwards. 

    The United States international made eight clearances, two interceptions and only committed one foul in Sporting KC's 1-0 victory.

DEF: Marvell Wynne, San Jose Earthquakes

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    John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

    Lost in all the madness of the early afternoon matches was San Jose's 1-0 victory over Colorado at Avaya Stadium. 

    Right-back Marvell Wynne featured in a key role on both sides of the pitch in the Earthquakes' first victory of the season. 

    Wynne made four tackles and four clearances while limiting Colorado's Shkelzen Gashi to two shots off target. The 29-year-old also displayed a willingness to surge forward in attack as he dished out a pair of key passes. 

    Although beating Colorado isn't necessarily a massive accomplishment, it set the Earthquakes in the right direction before the Portland Timbers come to town in Week 2.

AM: David Accam, Chicago Fire

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    Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

    David Accam was one of many attack-minded players who took advantage of the porous defending at Toyota Park on Sunday. 

    The 25-year-old Ghanaian assisted on Chicago's second strike and pulled the Fire within one goal of New York City FC for the second time in the 72nd minute with a penalty kick. 

    Accam ended the match with the most active stat line of any player as he put five of his seven shots on target in the 4-3 loss to the second-year side. 

    If the Fire back four plays like it did in Week 1, Chicago will need Accam to help it come from behind on numerous occasions in 2016.

CM: Thomas McNamara, New York City FC

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    Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

    The first player to take advantage of the atrocious defensive play at Toyota Park was New York City FC's Thomas McNamara. 

    The former Chivas USA man struck for the first MLS goal of the season in the ninth minute as he sent a rocket into the top-right part of the net. 

    In the 63rd minute, McNamara sent a pass from the left side of the box onto the foot of Mix Diskerud, who powered the fourth NYCFC tally into the back of the net. 

    If McNamara and Diskerud play like they did on Sunday alongside Andrea Pirlo, there may not be room for Frank Lampard in the starting 11.

CM: Ignacio Piatti, Montreal Impact

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    Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

    Who needs Didier Drogba when Ignacio Piatti is driving the Montreal Impact attack? 

    The Argentine playmaker contributed to each of Montreal's goals in its 3-2 victory over fellow Canadian side Vancouver at BC Place. 

    The dynamic attacking midfielder opened the scoring in the 19th minute as he danced around a few defenders in the box before beating David Ousted. 

    Piatti delivered his first assist of the season in the 42nd minute to Dominic Oduro, who easily scored into an open net after Ousted came off his line. 

    With Vancouver threatening for an equalizer in the 88th minute, Piatti sealed three points for the Impact with a strike from a tight angle.

AM: Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution

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    The six-goal shootout at BBVA Compass Stadium was started by New England's Diego Fagundez in the third minute. 

    The talented Uruguayan controlled the ball with his chest and perfectly placed a right-footed shot into the right part of the net. 

    Fagundez continued to press in the New England attack, and he ended up recording a pair of assists in the wild 3-3 draw with the Dynamo. 

    The 21-year-old handed out an assist on Charlie Davies' 52nd-minute strike before he set up Daigo Kobayashi's late equalizer with a cross from the right wing.

FW: Mike Magee, LA Galaxy

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    Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

    Two goals, one assist and a penalty earned in 45 minutes. 

    That was Mike Magee's stat line in the LA Galaxy's 4-1 victory over D.C. United at the StubHub Center. 

    The 31-year-old, who entered for Giovani dos Santos at the half, set up LA's equalizer in the 54th minute as his corner found the head of Daniel Steres. Eleven minutes later, Magee put the Galaxy into the lead with a chip over the head of Andrew Dykstra. 

    In the 83rd minute, the 2013 MLS Most Valuable Player was taken down by Dykstra in the box, and he scored his second of the match four minutes later. 

    The 45-minute showing from the MLS veteran was the best of the weekend, but don't expect him to hop into the starting lineup right away since the Galaxy are trying to keep his minutes down early in the season.

FW: Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake

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    Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

    Before Real Salt Lake's defense broke down and gave up two goals in second-half stoppage time to Orlando City, Joao Plata's brace was the big story on opening day for the Claret and Cobalt. 

    The Ecuador international opened the scoring with a penalty in the 26th minute of a match that was 10 versus 10 at the start of the second half. 

    Plata extended the RSL advantage to two in the 66th minute as he knocked a Tony Beltran cross into the goal from short range. 

    However, the two-goal performance from Plata was wasted as the RSL back line gave away the victory in the waning stages of the 2-2 draw at the Citrus Bowl.

FW: Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC

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    The longer Toronto's match with the Red Bulls stayed scoreless, the more you felt Sebastian Giovinco would be the difference in the latter stages of the contest. 

    The Atomic Ant finally broke the defensive deadlock in the last 10 minutes at Red Bull Arena as he scored from the spot and set up Marky Delgado's 91st-minute tally. 

    In the 82nd minute, the diminutive Italian played a nice cross in from the left wing in the direction of a surging Tsubasa Endoh, who was fouled in the box by Kemar Lawrence. Giovinco stepped to the spot and converted his first strike of the new campaign. 

    Giovinco secured three points for the Reds in the 91st minute, when he fed Delgado with a pass on the counter. Thanks to the contributions of the Italian, Toronto became the first of four road teams to win on Sunday.

Bench

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    Alex Menendez/Getty Images

    GK: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes) 

    CB: Gideon Baah (New York Red Bulls) 

    CM: Nick DeLeon (D.C. United) 

    CM: Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas) 

    CM: Diego Chara (Portland Timbers)

    FW: Cyle Larin (Orlando City) 

    FW: Fanendo Adi (Portland Timbers) 

    Joe Tansey covers MLS for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com.

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