MLS Team of the Week: Kaka, Molino, Giovinco Impress on Decision Day

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 24, 2016

MLS Team of the Week: Kaka, Molino, Giovinco Impress on Decision Day

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    Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

    The final day of the Major League Soccer regular season was supposed to hand us 90 minutes of drama-filled action with playoff berths on the line. 

    However, instead of the final playoff positions being determined late on, they were sealed long before the final whistle thanks to a few spoilers. 

    The Vancouver Whitecaps were the biggest spoiler on Sunday as they trounced Portland. Two of the other impressive showings on Decision Day came out of eliminated sides Orlando City and New England. 

    Due to the offensive outburst on Decision Day, we aligned our team selection in a 3-4-3 formation.

    Continue reading to see who was named to the season's final Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week.

GK: Tim Melia, Sporting Kansas City

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    Tim Melia helped Sporting Kansas City secure safe passage into the postseason with a clean sheet against San Jose. 

    Melia made four saves in the 2-0 win at Children's Mercy Park, including a pair diving denials on Chris Wondolowski in the 24th and 90th minutes. 

    The win kept Peter Vermes' side in fifth place in the Western Conference. Sporting are slated to play Seattle in the Western Conference knockout round on Thursday.

DEF: Ronald Matarrita, New York City FC

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    One of the young players in MLS worth watching throughout the postseason is New York City FC full-back Ronald Matarrita. 

    The 22-year-old closed out his impressive regular season with seven tackles and five interceptions in NYCFC's 4-1 win over Columbus at Yankee Stadium. 

    The easy victory over one of the most disappointing sides in MLS this season handed NYCFC the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

    Patrick Vieira's men will play their first-ever playoff game on Sunday at a location to be determined.

DEF: Aurelien Collin, New York Red Bulls

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    Aurelien Collin and the New York Red Bulls defense had little trouble dealing with the Philadelphia Union on Sunday.

    The Frenchman and his teammates silenced the threat of the four attackers sent out by Union boss Jim Curtin. The performance from both units was a complete 180-degree turn from the open five-goal affair between the two teams on October 1. 

    Collin made 15 clearances, won four aerials and picked up an assist on Bradley Wright-Phillips' 26th-minute tally. 

    There's a chance the Red Bulls and the Union could face off on Sunday in the Eastern Conference semifinal if the latter beat Toronto. If not, the Red Bulls will face D.C. United or Montreal.

DEF: Jelle Van Damme, LA Galaxy

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    Sunday's clash between the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas at StubHub Center may have been meaningless on the the home side's end, but their defense did all it could to play spoiler in the Supporters' Shield race. 

    Center-back Jelle Van Damme continued his strong season in the back as he helped limit FC Dallas to two shots on target while making seven interceptions, five clearances and three tackles. 

    The Belgian, who is in contention for Defender of the Year, will lead the Galaxy defense against a Real Salt Lake side with plenty of attacking threats in Wednesday's knockout-round match.

MID: Shkelzen Gashi, Colorado Rapids

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    Shkelzen Gashi was the brightest attacker on the pitch for Colorado as they unsuccessfully chased the Supporters' Shield on Sunday. 

    The Albania international leveled the Rapids' match with Houston in the 67th minute as he cut in from the left to connect with Marlon Hairston's cross. 

    In addition to putting a pair of shots on target, Gashi dished out five key passes in the 1-1 draw. 

    Unfortunately it wasn't enough for the Rapids to overtake FC Dallas as both sides drew, and Oscar Pareja's team lifted the Supporters' Shield.

MID: Kevin Molino, Orlando City

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    Orlando City sent themselves into the offseason on a high note as they downed D.C. United 4-2 on Decision Day. 

    Trinidad and Tobago international Kevin Molino picked up a goal and an assist in the club's final match at Camping World Stadium. The Lions are moving into a soccer-specific stadium for the start of the 2017 season. 

    Molino opened the scoring in the 13th minute as he tapped in Rafael Ramos' cross from the right side of the box. Eight minutes later, the 26-year-old played a simple ball to Kaka at midfield that the Brazilian took down the left wing on his way to scoring. 

    The future is bright for the Lions, but they must make the playoffs in their third year to achieve the high expectations they set for themselves.

MID: Kaka, Orlando City

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    Kaka also produced a goal and an assist for Orlando in their 4-2 win over D.C. United's second team. 

    The Brazilian showed off his class in the 21st minute as he burst down the left wing in the buildup to netting the second Orlando tally. 

    Kaka helped the home side secure their final three points of the season in the 50th minute as he perfectly laid the ball off to Cristian Higuita, who scored from the right part of the box. 

    The 34-year-old ended his second season in MLS with nine goals and 10 assists. 

MID: Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution

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    Diego Fagundez's goal and assist weren't enough to help New England overcome a goal differential of 12 against the Union in the one-sided contest for sixth in the Eastern Conference. 

    The Uruguayan punched in the first Revs goal of the 3-0 win over Montreal in the 13th minute as he blasted a free-kick into the right side of the net. 

    With time ticking down on the club's season, Fagundez knocked a pass over to Kei Kamara for the third New England strike. 

    Just like the other seven teams that missed out on the postseason, the Revs need to make some changes in the offseason to put themselves in contention in 2017.

FW: David Villa, New York City FC

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    David Villa came up one goal short in his quest for the Golden Boot. 

    Despite failing to catch Bradley Wright-Phillips in the race to be the league's top scorer, Villa helped NYCFC pick up a vital win.

    The Spanish forward set up Steven Mendoza's 45th-minute opener and added his 23rd tally of 2016 in second-half stoppage time at Yankee Stadium.

    NYCFC have a decent chance of making a run in the postseason with the red-hot Villa in the starting lineup, but they also need to avoid mistakes at the back.

FW: Giles Barnes, Vancouver Whitecaps

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    Giles Barnes should receive a fruit basket in the mail from Real Salt Lake in the near future. 

    The Jamaica international bagged a brace for Vancouver in their 4-1 win that knocked Portland out of the playoffs and put RSL in. 

    Barnes' first goal as a Vancouver player came in the 13th minute as he smashed a shot into the upper-right portion of the goal. The midseason acquisition from Houston did all the work himself on his second in the 31st minute as he forced a turnover on the left wing, charged into the box and scored. 

    The win over Portland handed the Whitecaps first place in the Cascadia Cup competition, which is a nice consolation prize for their disappointing year.

FW: Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC

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    Sebastian Giovinco and his masterful bag of tricks are ready for the postseason. 

    The Atomic Ant scored from the spot and produced a wonderful assist in Toronto FC's 3-2 win over Chicago at BMO Field. 

    After scoring the first Reds goal on a penalty, Giovinco dazzled with some spectacular on-the-ball work to set up Justin Morrow's strike in the 54th minute. 

    With Giovinco working back to full fitness and Jozy Altidore already in terrific form, Toronto should reach the Eastern Conference Final.


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    Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    GK: Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls) 

    DEF: Justin Morrow (Toronto FC)

    MID: Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders) 

    MID: Alex Muyl (New York Red Bulls) 

    MID: Cristian Higuita (Orlando City)

    MID: Julian Buescher (D.C. United) 

    FW: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution) 


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

    All statistics obtained from and

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