MLS Team of the Week: Altidore, BWP, Rowe Stand Out with Week 28 Braces

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2016

MLS Team of the Week: Altidore, BWP, Rowe Stand Out with Week 28 Braces

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    FC Toronto's Jozy Altidore
    FC Toronto's Jozy AltidoreTom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

    It's becoming a weekly routine at this point in the Major League Soccer regular season to put Jozy Altidore and Bradley Wright-Phillips in our Bleacher Report Team of the Week. 

    The pair of scorching-hot forwards once again marveled in front of goal in Week 28 as their teams played to a 3-3 draw at BMO Field. 

    The six-goal affair in Toronto capped off an unusual weekend in MLS that saw only two home teams capture three points. In a league where winning on the road is one of the most difficult tasks, three teams picked up victories on their travels. 

    Altidore and Wright-Phillips weren't the only players to score twice in Week 28 as Kelyn Rowe and Ola Kamara did so for their respective sides as well. 

    We aligned our latest MLS Team of the Week in a 3-4-3 due to the large amount of goals that flew into nets across North America over the last three days. 

    Continue reading to see who else was named to our best XI from Week 28. 

GK: Jake Gleeson, Portland Timbers

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    Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

    Jake Gleeson was one of the most active goalkeepers in Week 28 as he made seven denials in Portland's 2-1 win over Philadelphia at Providence Park. 

    The netminder sprung into action early in the first half as he raced off his line to stop an incoming Fabian Herbers in the 21st minute. 

    Twelve minutes later, the New Zealander made his top stop of the night on C.J. Sapong at the right post. 

    The seven-save performance marked the most productive night in goal for Gleeson since he made nine stops against Vancouver on May 22. 

DEF: Raul Rodriguez, Houston Dynamo

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    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    The Houston Dynamo are the perfect fit for the role of spoiler in the Western Conference. 

    Wade Barrett's men, who are building toward the 2017 season, have put together plenty of solid performances since Owen Coyle stepped down as manager. 

    Houston surprised plenty of people on Saturday as they went into Rio Tinto Stadium and defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0. 

    Center-back Raul Rodriguez was a massive part of the defensive effort as he made 12 interceptions and five clearances while holding RSL to one shot on target. 

DEF: Jelle Van Damme, LA Galaxy

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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    If you come up with a short list for MLS Defender of the Year, Jelle Van Damme's name is one of the first to be written down. 

    The Belgian center-back turned in another impressive 90-minute shift for the LA Galaxy in their 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Sunday. 

    Van Damme made a key goal-saving block early in the first half and helped weather the storm as Sporting took 21 shots. However, only three of those attempts made it on target. 

    The draw at Children's Mercy Park helped the Galaxy keep pace with FC Dallas in the Western Conference playoff race. Bruce Arena's men are four points back with four matches remaining. 

DEF: Jared Watts, Colorado Rapids

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    A draw at home may be seen as a negative result for the Colorado Rapids, but they are still in good shape after their scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. 

    In the 0-0 affair at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Jared Watts made six clearances, four interceptions, two tackles and blocked a pair of shots for the Rapids. 

    Thanks to the strong play from the 24-year-old center-back and his teammates in defense, the Rapids remained five points behind FC Dallas and one back of the Galaxy. 

    Dropping two points at home could be seen as a setback, but the Rapids still have two games in hand on their two rivals for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. 

MID: Ethan Finlay, Columbus Crew

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    Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    Just when we thought the Columbus Crew would lay down and show no fight for the rest of the regular season, they pulled off a 4-1 victory over Orlando City on Saturday.

    Ethan Finlay continued his strong second half of the 2016 campaign with a goal and two assists in the victory at Camping World Stadium. 

    The American winger opened the scoring in the sixth minute as he finished off a nice attacking move with a tap-in on the right side of goal.

    Finlay then turned into the role of provider on both of Ola Kamara's goals in the 44th and 95th minutes to move his season total in assists to eight

MID: Kelyn Rowe, New England Revolution

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    Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

    Kelyn Rowe helped the New England Revolution take the upper hand in the race for sixth in the Eastern Conference on Saturday. 

    The midfielder bagged a brace and recorded an assist on Kei Kamara's opening tally to move the Revs above D.C. United and Orlando in the tight competition for the final playoff spot in the East. 

    Rowe's first strike of the match in the 27th minute was a bouncing shot from just outside the right side of the box that found the bottom-left corner of the net. 

    The 24-year-old secured three points for the Revs in the 59th minute as he cleaned up following a clearance attempt from the center of the box. 

MID: Jack Harrison, New York City FC

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    Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

    The first of two entertaining matches involving a New York team in Week 28 saw Jack Harrison produce a pair of assists for New York City FC. 

    The No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft helped Patrick Vieira's side grab an early advantage in the eighth minute as he knocked down a cross on the right part of the box over to the boot of Thomas McNamara.

    With his side down a goal in the 78th minute, Harrison delivered a brilliant curling ball from the left wing on to the head of Khiry Shelton. 

    NYCFC's 2-2 draw with FC Dallas kept them in play for one of the top two spots in the Eastern Conference. They are behind the New York Red Bulls on a tiebreaker. 

MID: Darren Mattocks, Portland Timbers

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    Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

    Darren Mattocks produced an unlikely two-assist performance in Portland's win over the Union on Saturday.

    The Jamaican winger, who had one goal and one assist to his name in 2016 before Saturday, dished out a pair of handouts while going up against Rookie of the Year candidate Keegan Rosenberry. 

    The 26-year-old used a quick turn on the left edge of the pitch to get around Rosenberry to set up Diego Valeri's 46th-minute tally. 

    Seven minutes later, Mattocks forced a turnover against Rosenberry and charged toward goal to find Fanendo Adi for the game-winner.

    The win moved Caleb Porter's men into fifth place in the Western Conference and kept them six points ahead of the Seattle Sounders in seventh place. 

FW: Ola Kamara, Columbus Crew

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    Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    Ola Kamara continued to wake up from his dormant spell in the final third with a brace in the Crew's three-goal win over Orlando City. 

    The Norwegian, who couldn't be stopped in front of the net during the summer, scored his second and third goals since July 31 for Gregg Berhalter's men on Saturday. 

    Kamara also picked up an assist on Finlay's tally as he played the ball over to the open midfielder from the left side of the box. Finlay returned the favor on Kamara's 44th-minute goal. 

    The two-goal performance moved the 26-year-old striker's goal total to 13, and the win moved the Crew seven points back of the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. 

FW: Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC

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    John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

    The on-fire Jozy Altidore powered Toronto FC back from a two-goal deficit to earn a 3-3 draw with the New York Red Bulls in the final match of Week 28. 

    The United States international pumped in the first of his two strikes in the 68th minute on a beautifully taken free-kick from 25 yards out. 

    Altidore leveled the contest at three goals apiece in the 86th minute as his deflected shot from the top of the box squeaked into the right side of the net past Luis Robles. 

    The seventh and eighth goals of the season from the 26-year-old helped the Reds clinch the first playoff berth in MLS this season. 

FW: Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls

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    John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

    Before the Red Bulls blew yet another two-goal lead, Bradley Wright-Phillips netted his 19th and 20th tallies of the regular season. 

    The English forward handed his side their first two-goal advantage of the match in the 31st minute as he chipped Alex Bono from short range. 

    Wright-Phillips extended his lead atop the Golden Boot standings three minutes into the second half as he slammed a shot into the right portion of the goal. 

    Unfortunately the Red Bulls could not benefit from Wright-Phillips' performance as they conceded twice in the second half and failed to gain ground on Toronto in the Eastern Conference standings.


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    Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

    GK: Steve Clark (Columbus Crew) 

    CB: Bobby Boswell (D.C. United) 

    RM: Jacob Peterson (Sporting Kansas City)

    CM: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) 

    CM: Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City) 

    CM: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders) 

    FW: Maximiliano Urruti (FC Dallas) 


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

    All statistics obtained from and

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