Defensive midfielders ruled in Round 15.
For instance, Impact attacker Felipe Martins may have curled in a beauty of a historic goal in Montreal, but it was Patrice Bernier’s terrific work that set up his teammate’s landmark strike. Bernier collected official assists on three goals as the Impact prevailed in the debut of a refurbished Stade Saputo.
(One of those assists for Bernier, in all honesty, may be removed upon routine league review. To give Bernier an assist on Justin Mapp’s fine, mazy run from the left wing is almost like giving me an assist for writing about it.)
South of there, Sporting Kansas City’s defensive screener Julio Cesar was a hardy presence in his teams’ 2-0 win over Toronto. And what a goal he scored! We talked about it yesterday. (About giving credit where credit is due for a strike of such sweetness … but my, oh my, where was the TFC marking?)
So, either man would have made a fine choice as ProSoccerTalk’s Player of the Week.
But there was a certain dreadlocked defensive midfielder who didn’t get a lot of playing time during almost a month with the national team – and he unleashed all that pent up soccer energy on poor Chivas USA.
Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman had his paw prints on all three goals as the visitors ran roughshod at the Home Depot Center, to the tune of a 3-0 win. (Beckerman collected two official assists, but he also claimed the midfield distribution that led to RSL’s second goal, a beauty from Fabian Espindola that very nearly won PST honors for the Argentine forward.)
In addition to all the defensive work in front of Real’s back line, Beckerman completed 88 percent of his passes (59 of 67) as the road team controlled the night.