MLS Team of the Week: Villa, Kamara, McCarty Stand out in Wild Week 30
Week 30 was a massive week for a few clubs looking to secure the best possible position in the Major League Soccer postseason.
The Montreal Impact and D.C. United made moves in the Eastern Conference as they overtook Philadelphia for fourth and fifth, respectively, with a pair of victories.
Seattle made a similar jump in the Western Conference as they downed Chicago and Vancouver in the last seven days to jump up to fifth place.
We selected our latest Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week off the weekend matches as well as the four contests that were played on Wednesday. Our best XI is shaped in a 4-3-3 formation to accommodate an extra forward who shone over two games.
Continue reading to see who was named to the Week 30 edition of the Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week.
GK: Evan Bush, Montreal Impact
The play of Evan Bush in between the pipes was a major reason why Montreal took six points out of Week 30.
Bush stopped five shots in Wednesday's 3-1 victory over the Earthquakes, with his most important denial coming on a Chris Wondolowski penalty in the 86th minute. The spot-kick stop kept the Impact up by one before Johan Venegas finished off the match in stoppage time.
The Montreal netminder was massive once again in Sunday's 1-0 win over Orlando City. Two of Bush's five saves at Camping World Stadium were of the spectacular kind.
He turned away Cyle Larin's attempt from close range in the 62nd minute and then punched a late effort from the Canadian forward over the bar to preserve the win in the 88th minute.
The pair of victories in Week 30 boosted the Impact into fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 44 points.
RB: R.J. Allen, New York City FC
New York City FC delivered a statement on Friday as they went on the road and held the Houston Dynamo without a shot on target at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Right-back R.J. Allen helped quell the Dynamo threat on the left wing as he held Alex to one key pass over 88 minutes in the Texas heat.
The 25-year-old defender, who is one of the most underrated full-backs in MLS, made two key passes in the attacking half in addition to his three clearances defensively.
The road victory by Patrick Vieira's men kept them level on points with the New York Red Bulls in the race for top spot in the Eastern Conference, but they are currently behind their main rivals on a tiebreaker.
CB: Laurent Ciman, Montreal Impact
The Laurent Ciman-led Montreal defense survived an onslaught of shots from Orlando City to finish off Week 30 with a perfect record.
The Belgian center-back and his teammates faced 22 shots on Sunday but only allowed five to get through and test Bush, who was up to the task of keeping the clean sheet in net.
Ciman was forced into making seven clearances, four interceptions and two tackles in the most important victory of the season to date for Mauro Biello's men.
The 31-year-old was also busy in Wednesday's win over San Jose as he made seven clearances, six interceptions and three tackles.
CB: Walker Zimmerman, FC Dallas
While everyone in the Eastern Conference was busy jostling for position, FC Dallas created distance in the Western Conference with a 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy.
American center-back Walker Zimmerman provided Oscar Pareja's side with the game-winner in the 39th minute as he bounced in a header off a corner kick.
The 23-year-old also made four clearances and three interceptions while limiting the dangerous Galaxy attack to one shot on target.
Saturday's victory handed FC Dallas a five-point advantage over Colorado, NYCFC and the Red Bulls in the race for the Supporters' Shield. The trophy is theirs to lose over the final two matches of the season.
LB: Marc Burch, Colorado Rapids
Colorado may not have gained ground on FC Dallas in the Western Conference standings in Week 30, but they did secure a playoff position with a 1-0 win over Portland.
The defense of the Rapids that has let in just 27 goals in the regular season played a big role in stopping Portland's big-play potential at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Experienced left-back Marc Burch was matched up against Darlington Nagbe, and he held the United States international to 51 touches, two key passes and zero shots.
The Rapids may not be the sexy pick to win MLS Cup, but they have a real chance of hoisting the trophy on December 10 because of their defensive prowess.
MID: Dax McCarty, New York Red Bulls
Dax McCarty isn't known for his presence in the final third, but he is capable of providing the Red Bulls with a big goal every once in a while.
The Red Bulls captain produced the game-winner in the 66th minute on a header off a Sacha Kljestan free-kick to power his side to a 3-2 win over Philadelphia.
The strike came 19 minutes after McCarty played a beautiful ball through to Bradley Wright-Phillips for the forward's 22nd strike of the season.
Jesse Marsch's side may sit atop the Eastern Conference entering the international break, but that could change in a heartbeat given how tight the race for the No. 1 position is.
MID: Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders
Just like McCarty, Osvaldo Alonso is not known for his scoring prowess, but he can deliver a moment of brilliance when the time's right.
The Cuban-born midfielder scored for the second time in three games as he bagged an equalizer in Seattle's 2-1 win over Vancouver at BC Place.
In addition to striking the back of the net, the 30-year-old made six interceptions and four tackles in the match that ended with 10 men on each side.
If the Sounders continue their current pace, they could end up hosting a playoff match in what many deemed as a lost season before Sigi Schmid was fired.
MID: Lamar Neagle, D.C. United
No player single-handedly affected the playoff race more than Lamar Neagle in Week 30.
The D.C. United midfielder came off the bench and provided the Black and Red with a goal and an assist on Wednesday before bagging a brace on Saturday.
Neagle's 18-minute cameo on Wednesday allowed D.C. to pull away from Columbus and eliminate the Crew from playoff contention.
Saturday's performance at BMO Field was a shock to many as Neagle and United took down Toronto FC on their home pitch.
The 29-year-old has quietly become a massive part of D.C.'s charge up the Eastern Conference standings as he has six goals since August 24.
FW: Dominic Oduro, Montreal Impact
If we told you a Montreal forward would be a major factor in the club's success in Week 30, you would've gone for Didier Drogba, but the Ivorian only played 20 minutes in two matches.
Dominic Oduro started both games up top alongside Matteo Mancosu and provided the Impact with two critical goals.
Oduro opened the scoring on Wednesday on a 22nd-minute rebound after he was left open on the right side of the box by the San Jose defense.
The 31-year-old netted his sixth tally of the season on Sunday as he blazed through the Orlando defense to score a 56th-minute winner.
The goals in Week 30 were the first for Oduro since he found the back of the net against Columbus on May 7.
FW: David Villa, New York City FC
David Villa continued his quest for the Golden Boot on Friday as he knocked in both of NYCFC's strikes in Houston.
The Spaniard got away with a heavy first touch in the 51st minute on the right side of the box that eventually led to the opening strike from a tight angle.
Villa secured three points for the visitors in the 91st minute as he slammed a shot from the top of the box into the roof of the net.
The brace was the second in a row for the 35-year-old, who is one behind Bradley Wright-Phillips in the race to be the league's top scorer.
FW: Kei Kamara, New England Revolution
Kei Kamara may not have been credited with a goal or assist on all three of New England's goals on Saturday, but he played a vital role in setting up all of them.
The Sierra Leone international opened the scoring against Sporting Kansas City in the fourth minute as he slotted a shot into the bottom-right part of the net.
Kamara's perfectly timed run and cross from the right wing started the buildup to Kevin Ellis' own goal in the 75th minute that put the Revolution ahead.
The forward completed the stellar night against his former side in the 82nd minute as his effort on the left wing set up Juan Agudelo.
Saturday's win put the Revolution three points back of the Union for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The gap is not insurmountable, but the Revs have to win in Chicago on October 16 to remain alive in the race.
GK: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
RB: Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew)
CB: Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders)
MID: Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps)
MID: Andoni Iraola (New York City FC)
MID: Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes)
FW: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution)
Joe Tansey covers MLS for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @JTansey90.