Columbus’ Andy Gruenebaum
Rationale, motive and intent: He started off as the Crew’s backup in goal, but Gruenebaum keeps showing starter’s stuff. Latest evidence: a six-save night in New England as the teams split the points in a goalless draw.
Kansas City Seth Sinovic
Los Angeles Galaxy’s Todd Dunivant
Vancouver’s Martin Bonjour (pictured)
Rationale, motive and intent: Sinovic and Dunivant are both left backs. But these teams are never “teams” in the truest sense, so we allow for such liberties. Dunivant scored a mighty important goal for Los Angeles, while Sinovic was a buzz of productive activity in his team’s win at home. Bonjour was a force along the back line in another Whitecaps shutout.
Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman
Kansas City’s Julio Cesar
Montreal’s Patrice Bernier
Houston Dynamo’s Je-Vaughn Watson
Montreal’s Felipe Martins
Rationale, motive and intent: Yes, these are mostly defensive midfielders. So if this were a real team, it would be Italy. Old Italy, that is, the one so determined to clog things defensively, the one that purred over 1-0 results the way most of us purr over a bowl of our favorite Ben and Jerry’s. Beckerman, Cesar and Bernier are holding types who did, nonetheless, insert themselves forward and manage to make offensive contributions. Beckerman and Bernier were set-up men, while Cesar struck an absolute stunner of a volley. Martin’s curled in a terrific goal. Watson dropped deeper into a Dynamo midfield that was getting overrun, stabilizing the center third as Houston won at home.
Vancouver’s Sebastien LeToux
Real Salt Lake’s Fabian Espindola
Rationale, motive and intent: Espindola’s two goals helped guide his team to a 3-0 win at Chivas USA – a rare three-goal road win. LeToux’s late game-winner allowed Vancouver to grab up all three points, never mind going down to 10 men for the final half hour against Colorado.