MLS Team of the Week: FC Dallas Trio, Pair of Rookies Shine in Week 17
All sorts of statements were made during Major League Soccer's four-day slate over Independence Day weekend.
FC Dallas caught the attention of many on a team level for their 4-0 thrashing of Orlando City on the Fourth of July at Toyota Stadium. Oscar Pareja's men held the Lions to zero shots on goal in the victory.
On an individual level, a pair of rookie scorers burst on to the national scene for New York City FC and the Montreal Impact. A pair of strikers named Kamara also celebrated the holiday weekend in style with two goals each.
Our MLS Team of the Week is shaped in a 4-3-3 formation to accommodate all of the splendid goalscoring outings from attack-minded players.
Continue reading to see who was named to the latest Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week.
GK: Bill Hamid, D.C. United
On a night when D.C. United played poor as a whole, Bill Hamid delivered a superb performance in between the pipes to keep the Black and Red in contention for a point.
The United States international made seven saves against a relentless Real Salt Lake attack powered by Juan Manuel Martinez and Yura Movsisyan.
By limiting the home side to one tally with his heroics in his own box, Hamid handed his teammates a chance to equalize. Jared Jeffrey stole a point for United in the 92nd minute on a header off a corner kick.
RB: Alvas Powell, Portland Timbers
Caleb Porter's Portland Timbers used an organized game plan to earn a rare point for a visiting side at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Right-back Alvas Powell, who missed a good chunk of the first four months with an injury, contributed six tackles and one blocked shot in the scoreless draw with the Colorado Rapids.
Thanks to their spot-on tactical approach, the Timbers joined the Philadelphia Union as the only clubs to leave Commerce City, Colorado, with a point in 2016.
CB: Matt Hedges, FC Dallas
FC Dallas produced one of the best team performances of 2016 in their 4-0 thumping of Orlando City on Monday.
Matt Hedges was a part of a center-back pairing that scored a goal each and held Orlando superstar Cyle Larin to 12 touches and zero shots in 68 minutes.
The 26-year-old defender, who netted FC Dallas' third tally of the evening off a Mauro Diaz free-kick, made two interceptions and two clearances on the defensive side of the pitch while silencing the Lions.
CB: Walker Zimmerman, FC Dallas
The other half of the FC Dallas center-back duo was a constant fixture in both boxes on Monday night.
Walker Zimmerman started the rout at Toyota Stadium in the 11th minute with a technically sound finish from the right side of the box off a Diaz corner.
The 23-year-old, who deserves a look from USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann, recorded two more shots as well as a pair of tackles and interceptions defensively in the 4-0 rout.
LB: DaMarcus Beasley, Houston Dynamo
The Houston Dynamo took a big step forward under interim boss Wade Barrett on Saturday night as they fought for 90 minutes with the Philadelphia Union before earning three points on Cristian Maidana's late winner.
The defensive effort led by left-back DaMarcus Beasley didn't allow the Union front four to thrive off each other like they have so far this season.
Beasley kept Ilsinho and substitute Leo Fernandes in check on the right wing as the Union searched for a key victory on the road. The 34-year-old ended the contest with six interceptions and two tackles.
RM: Jack Harrison, New York City FC
New York City FC look like a different side with 19-year-old Jack Harrison in the starting XI.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft produced a goal and an assist in the club's first derby win over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
Harrison opened the scoring in the sixth minute with some clever control at the top of the box, and he then assisted on David Villa's 66th-minute tally in the 2-0 victory.
CM: Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas
FC Dallas' midfield magician produced two quality assists on a pair of set pieces in the win over Orlando City.
Diaz handed out his eighth and ninth assists of the season on the goals scored by Zimmerman and Hedges.
The 25-year-old Argentine, who should be in the mix for MLS MVP, also contributed seven key passes in his side's 10th win of the season.
LM: Graham Zusi, Sporting Kansas City
Graham Zusi may have turned an important corner on an individual and team level in Sporting Kansas City's 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew.
Zusi, who has struggled to match his 23 combined assists from 2012 and 2013, turned in a dominant showing on the left wing at Children's Mercy Park on Sunday.
The United States international scored on a brilliant individual effort in the 56th minute and recorded the most shots of any player in the game in which Matt Besler scored a 91st-minute winner for Sporting KC.
FW: Kei Kamara, New England Revolution
After weeks of trying, Kei Kamara finally found the back of the net in league play for the New England Revolution.
The Sierra Leone international netted a pair of strikes in 15 minutes for the Revolution before they wasted their two-goal advantage at Stade Saputo.
Four of Kamara's seven goals in MLS action this season have come against Montreal; he also scored twice against the Impact on May 7 in his last match for the Crew.
FW: Ola Kamara, Columbus Crew
The man who replaced Kei Kamara in Columbus continued his scoring tear with a brace in the Crew's 3-2 defeat to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
Ola Kamara put Gregg Berhalter's men in the lead in the 22nd minute as he crashed the net to beat Tim Melia.
With his side down a man in the 75th minute, Kamara latched on to Tony Tchani's superb ball from midfield to level the contest at two goals apiece.
The 26-year-old Norway international has seven goals in his last five matches for the Crew.
FW: Michael Salazar, Montreal Impact
Before Montreal kicked off with New England on Saturday, few people knew Michael Salazar existed on the Impact roster.
The rookie forward made his name known immediately in his first start as he knocked in a pair of goals to bring the Impact back on level terms with the Revolution.
The 40th- and 48th-minute tallies were the first two of Salazar's MLS career. Before the 3-2 win over New England, the 23-year-old had played 29 minutes in five substitute appearances.
GK: Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
LB: Mark Bloom (Toronto FC)
AM: Juan Manuel Martinez (Real Salt Lake)
AM: Cristian Maidana (Houston Dynamo)
CM: Steven Gerrard (LA Galaxy)
FW: Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)
FW: Yura Movsisyan (Real Salt Lake)
Joe Tansey covers MLS for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @JTansey90.