MLS Team of the Week: Kaka, Dempsey Shine in Critical Week 5 Wins

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 4, 2016

MLS Team of the Week: Kaka, Dempsey Shine in Critical Week 5 Wins

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    Major League Soccer returned from the international break with a near-full slate of games that was capped by a tremendous four-goal output from Orlando City. 

    Former Ballon d'Or winner Kaka lifted the Lions to three points with a standout performance in his first start of the year. 

    Over in the Western Conference, Clint Dempsey powered the Seattle Sounders to a much-needed victory at home with a goal of his own. 

    In addition to the pair of superstars, a few first-time scorers made their way into the Week 5 edition of the Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week. 

    Continue reading to see which players featured in our best XI from the first weekend of April. 

GK: Travis Worra, D.C. United

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    There were plenty of strong goalkeeping performances on Saturday, but Travis Worra's 90-minute shift stood out the most because he helped D.C. secure a point on the road against a Western Conference opponent, the San Jose Earthquakes.  

    Even though he conceded a late equalizer to substitute Adam Jahn, Worra put in a tremendous showing in between the pipes for the Black and Red. 

    Worra's top denial came at the end of the match as he kept out a Chris Wondolowski shot in second-half stoppage time. The 22-year-old backup netminder made a total of five saves in the 1-1 draw at Avaya Stadium. 

RB: Robbie Rogers, L.A. Galaxy

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    Robbie Rogers helped the L.A. Galaxy shut down Vancouver's attacking influence on the left wing in Saturday's 0-0 draw at BC Place. 

    For 43 minutes, the American right-back held Kekuta Manneh to 13 touches before the winger went off with an injury. Rogers held Manneh's replacement Christian Bolanos to 35 touches and zero shots. 

    The 28-year-old also played a key role moving forward on the right flank as he handed out four key passes to go along with his five tackles and four interceptions. 

CB: Seb Hines, Orlando City

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    Orlando City's rout of Portland began in the 13th minute, when Seb Hines nodded home Kaka's free-kick into the back of the net. 

    The former Middlesbrough player headed in the set piece for the first of four tallies recorded by the Lions in front of their raucous home crowd at the Citrus Bowl. 

    On the other end of the pitch, Hines was a part of a back line that limited the defending MLS Cup champions to four shots on target. 

CB: Justen Glad, Real Salt Lake

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    One of the most surprising performances of the weekend came from Children's Mercy Park, where a diminished Real Salt Lake squad downed Sporting Kansas City 2-1. 

    Center-back Justen Glad was one of a few reserves who made a big impact on the pitch in the rivalry showdown on Saturday night. 

    The 19-year-old earned his first career goal in the 29th minute as he nodded Joao Plata's free-kick into the back of the net. Glad also helped Jeff Cassar's side limit the dangerous Sporting KC attack to three attempts on goal. 

LB: Maynor Figueroa, FC Dallas

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    One of the biggest plays from the explosive first half at Toyota Stadium came in front of the FC Dallas net. 

    Left-back Maynor Figueroa took advantage of Ethan Finlay's slight hesitation on the right side of the box and slid in to make a goal-saving tackle.

    The 32-year-old ended the 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew with seven interceptions and three tackles, including his vital challenge right before the halftime whistle. 

CDM: Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders

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    Osvaldo Alonso turned in a vintage outing in the middle of the park during Seattle's 1-0 win over Montreal. 

    The 30-year-old midfield general completed 93 percent of his 71 passes, made nine tackles and three interceptions and blocked a shot in the Sounders' first win of the season. 

    The disruptions caused by Alonso in midfield didn't let the Impact find an attacking rhythm for long stretches of the contest. 

AM: Justin Meram, Columbus Crew

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    Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Justin Meram edged out a few other attacking midfielders for a spot in our best XI this week because of his efforts on all parts of the field. 

    The Iraq international opened the scoring at Toyota Stadium in the ninth minute as he rose above everyone in the box and knocked Federico Higuain's cross into the back of the net. 

    The 27-year-old also produced a terrific defensive shift in 67 minutes as he contributed six tackles and two interceptions on the right flank. 

CAM: Kaka, Orlando City

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    Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

    Kaka's first start of the 2016 campaign was one to remember as he produced a goal and a pair of assists. 

    But the top moment from the Brazilian's stellar performance came in the 76th minute, when he allowed Kevin Molino to score his first career MLS strike from the spot. 

    The 33-year-old's contributions on Sunday night matched his best statistical match in MLS. He played a role in three strikes on September 25, 2015, with a trio of assists. 

AM: Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake

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    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    One of the few first-team regulars to start for Real Salt Lake on Saturday was extremely active in the final third. 

    In addition to earning his third assist of the year on Glad's opener, Joao Plata dished out eight key passes in the Claret and Cobalt's road victory over Sporting KC. 

    After Week 5, the 24-year-old Ecuadorian is the only player who has contributed to six of his team's goals in 2015. 

FW: Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders

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    Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

    No team needed a goal and a win more than the Sounders in Week 5. 

    Clint Dempsey handed Seattle its first three points of the year with a 79th-minute strike that allowed everyone in Seattle to breathe after a rough March. 

    The 33-year-old, who scored for the United States on Tuesday against Guatemala, recorded all three of Seattle's shots on target. 

FW: Luis Solignac, Colorado Rapids

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Colorado picked up its second shocking home victory of the early season on Saturday as it beat Toronto FC 1-0 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. 

    Luis Solignac helped the Rapids take advantage of Benoit Cheyrou's sending off in the 18th minute as he pulled down Marco Pappa's pass and slotted the lone goal of the contest past Clint Irwin. 

    The tally was the first for the 25-year-old in 18 matches for the Rapids. 


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    Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

    GK: Chris Seitz (FC Dallas)

    CB: Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids)

    CB: Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps) 

    RM: Marco Pappa (Colorado Rapids) 

    RM: Kevin Molino (Orlando City)

    LM: Lamar Neagle (D.C. United) 

    FW: Kennedy Igboananike (Chicago Fire) 

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

    All statistics obtained from and

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