ProSoccerTalk’s Best XI from Week 16 in Major League Soccer includes a trio of three-goal scorers.
Chicago’s Sean Johnson (pictured)
Rationale, motive and intent: Toronto’s Milos Kocic was heroic in keeping his team in the game late Saturday against the relentless waves of New England attacks. But he also allowed five goals over two matches, so it’s harder to pin the medal on his chest. So this one goes to Chicago’s Johnson, whose eight-save night was just enough to nudge aside Portland’s Troy Perkins for the spot.
New York’s Brandon Barklage
Philadelphia’s Carlos Valdes
Portland’s David Horst
Chivas USA’s Rauwshan McKenzie
Rationale, motive and intent: Valdes looked like the Valdes of early 2011 with hardy work at PPL Park as his team took apart Sporting Kansas City. Horst cleared, kicked or tackled almost everything that came his way and was a beast on offensive restarts, scoring once and coming close two other times in Portland’s win over Seattle. McKenzie, a center back, played a big part as Chivas USA made steady progress in the standings with four of a possible six points over four days.
As for Barklage, if you don’t know why he gets a spot, then you’re not spending enough time with ProSoccerTalk. So, you know, get on that, eh?
Los Angeles’ Landon Donovan
New York’s Joel Lindpere
Portland’s Diego Chara
Montreal’s Felipe Martins
Rationale, motive and intent: We’ve already talked about Donovan’s leading role in a breakthrough week for the Galaxy. Lindpere ran and ran and ran, then ran some more as his team pulled a tie and a win out of four tough days, which included cross-country travel. Chara put in the dog-tough, screening work as the Timbers removed some pressure from the heated situation around Jeld-Wen Field. Speaking of putting in the work: Montreal’s Felipe Martins was a bugger to contain over two matches, registering a goal and two assists as the expansion Impact lost on the road but prevailed at home.
Houston’s Will Bruin
Toronto’s Danny Koevermans
Rationale, motive and intent: Both players had three goals over two matches, doing their parts – even if their teams failed to register a win. They can’t do everything.