MLS Team of the Week: Giovinco, BWP, Drogba Shine in Week of the Striker

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 25, 2016

MLS Team of the Week: Giovinco, BWP, Drogba Shine in Week of the Striker

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    Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 20 in Major League Soccer belonged to the strikers. 

    Didier Drogba and Sebastian Giovinco both netted hat-tricks north of the border in Canada for their respective sides, while Bradley Wright-Phillips extended his ridiculous form in the New York derby on Sunday. 

    The performances from the forward position were so good in Week 20 that we had to leave one player out of our Bleacher Report Team of the Week. 

    We shaped our Week 20 best XI in a 4-3-3 due to the plethora of impressive attacking performances. 

    Continue reading to see who else was named to the Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week.

GK: Tim Howard, Colorado Rapids

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    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    Tim Howard played so well in net for the Colorado Rapids on Saturday that it took a blistering thunderbolt to beat him. 

    The United States international produced his best game for Pablo Mastroeni's side in the 1-1 draw with FC Dallas at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. 

    The biggest save of the night from the former Everton man came in the 83rd minute as he kept out a Michael Barrios shot on the right side of the box to preserve the draw. The denial came one minute after Victor Ulloa blasted a shot into the upper-right corner of Howard's goal.

Full-Back: Chris Tierney, New England Revolution

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    Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

    All of a sudden the New England Revolution are a contender in the Eastern Conference. 

    The Revs extended their unbeaten run to three games on Saturday with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium. 

    Chris Tierney handed out the game-winning assist on Je-Vaughn Watson's tally, and he helped silence the Fire attack by giving up zero shots on goal over 90 minutes. 

    If they are able to keep up their summer resurgence, the Revs could find themselves near the top of the Eastern Conference table sooner rather than later.

CB: Ronald Zubar, New York Red Bulls

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    Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

    The New York Red Bulls recorded their second New York derby win of the season and fifth overall on Sunday with a 4-1 domination of New York City FC. 

    Plenty of praise will be handed to the Red Bulls attack for causing havoc over 90 minutes, but the back line deserves as much credit, if not more. 

    Ronald Zubar paired with Aurelien Collin to limit David Villa to 28 touches and zero shots on target. 

    In addition to playing superb defense on Sunday, the 30-year-old center-back scored on a set piece in the 23rd minute to extend the lead to two goals at the time.

CB: Hassoun Camara, Montreal Impact

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Zubar wasn't the only center-back whose performance at the back was overshadowed by a strong attack in Week 20.

    Hassoun Camara put in a solid 90 minutes of work in Montreal's 5-1 win over Philadelphia at Stade Saputo as he made four tackles, four clearances and three interceptions. 

    Camara paired with Victor Cabrera to hold the usually physical C.J. Sapong to 23 touches and zero shots during the 77 minutes the forward was on the pitch.

Full-Back: Ambroise Oyongo, Montreal Impact

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    Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

    Every facet of the Montreal lineup worked to perfection on Saturday night on their home field. 

    Left-back Ambroise Oyongo helped out on each side of the pitch as he dished out two assists and shut down Sebastien Le Toux on the flank. 

    The 25-year-old played a key role on the Impact's first strike as used a give-and-go on the left flank with Ignacio Piatti to set up Drogba. 

    Oyongo's second handout of the match came on Piatti's 87th-minute tally as he sent a cross over to the Argentine from the left edge of the penalty area.

MID: Jacob Peterson, Sporting Kansas City

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    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Jacob Peterson found plenty of holes in the Seattle defense to exploit in Sporting Kansas City's 3-0 destruction of the reeling Sounders on Sunday. 

    The winger ran rampant on the right flank for the majority of the contest due to the Sounders' inability to do anything productive on the pitch at Children's Mercy Park. 

    The 30-year-old was rewarded for his efforts in first-half stoppage time as he netted his second goal of the season for Peter Vermes' side.

MID: Sacha Kljestan, New York Red Bulls

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    Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

    Sacha Kljestan delivered a masterful performance in the final third on Sunday as the Red Bulls recovered from their disappointing draw in Week 19 against the Union. 

    The 30-year-old midfielder, who deserves another USMNT call-up, assisted on the first two tallies of the 4-1 rout over NYCFC at Red Bull Arena. 

    Kljestan also found the back of the net himself in the 41st minute as he slotted home a spot kick after Frederic Brillant was whistled for a handball on the left side of the box. 

    Sunday's victory boosted the Red Bulls up to second place in the Eastern Conference, but they still sit two points behind NYCFC in the race for the No. 1 seed.

MID: Ignacio Piatti, Montreal Impact

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    Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

    Montreal continues to be a different team with Piatti in the starting XI. 

    The Argentine midfielder, who missed the 3-1 loss to NYCFC in Week 19 due to suspension, handed out two assists on two of Drogba's three goals and scored himself late in the win over Philadelphia. 

    The 31-year-old, who sits one goal behind Villa in the Golden Boot race, put three of his eight attempted shots on target in the victory that moved Mauro Biello's side within four points of first place in the East.

FW: Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls

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    Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

    Wright-Phillips loves scoring in the New York derby against NYCFC.

    The Englishman notched his seventh and eighth goals against the Red Bulls' biggest rival on Sunday in the 20th and 70th minutes. 

    The goals marked the first time the 31-year-old had found the back of the net since June 25, and he moved into third place in the Golden Boot standings. 

    In six derby matches with NYCFC, Wright-Phillips has outscored his opponent 8-5 and has bagged three braces.

FW: Didier Drogba, Montreal Impact

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    Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

    When you leave Drogba unmarked, he's going to punish you. Philadelphia learned that the hard way as the Ivorian found plenty of space in the final third to record a hat-trick by the 52nd minute. 

    The 38-year-old opened his account on Saturday following a beautiful team move in the 19th minute. His second came off a rebound in the 42nd minute after Patrice Bernier forced a turnover in the Union's half. 

    The former Chelsea striker finished off his hat-trick in the 52nd minute as he split a pair of defenders to link up with Piatti's through ball. 

    The three-goal performance was the second of Drogba's MLS career, and he also recorded his first tally since May 28.

FW: Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC

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    Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    It was only a matter of time before Giovinco found his scoring boots again for Toronto FC.

    The Atomic Ant erupted like Mount Vesuvius on Saturday as he recorded a hat-trick in the Reds' 4-1 win over D.C. United at BMO Field. 

    Two of three strikes came on perfectly placed free-kicks in the 21st and 39th minutes. The diminutive Italian finished off his three-goal performance in second-half stoppage time with his right foot off a cross from Mark Bloom.

    Although they sit fifth in the Eastern Conference at the All-Star break, the Reds have the best chance to clinch the top seed due to the form of Giovinco and their long list of home matches left on the schedule.


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    Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports

    GK: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes) 

    CB: Jelle Van Damme (LA Galaxy) 

    CDM: Je-Vaughn Watson (New England Revolution) 

    CAM: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake) 

    LM: Alex Muyl (New York Red Bulls) 

    FW: Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City) 

    FW: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) 

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

    All statistics obtained from and


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