- Montreal’s Troy Perkins
Rationale, motive and intent: He was upset about the trade and subsequent derisive statements coming out of Portland. He said he was show ‘em. Well, a shutout on the road (five saves) is a mighty fine start.
- Chicago’s Arne Friedrich
- San Jose’s Jason Hernandez (pictured)
- New York’s Roy Miller
Rationale, motive and intent: Friedrich continues to be unflappable. Go ahead … try to flap him. I bet you can’t do it. It’s that uncanny anticipation that keeps him from ever looking hurried. Miller was a factor on offense and defense in New York’s win over Houston as two of the East’s top teams did batter in New Jersey.
- Los Angeles’ Marcelo Sarvas
- Montreal’s Sanna Nyassi
- Chicago’s Chris Rolfe
- Sporting Kansas City’s Graham Zusi
Rationale, motive and intent: Sarvas had a monster game, even if it did get upstaged by Donovan’s super-monster game. Rolfe scored two out of Chicago’s attacking midfield position.
Did you see the goal Nyassi hit against New England? Thing is, the 60-yard run wasn’t even the best part; it was the flash-bang finish!
Anybody think Zusi got tired of me and others talking about Roger Espinoza and all of his influence on SKC’s midfield this year, and got himself into a motivational hot lather? Probably not, eh? Anyway, Zusi was involved in big ways all night in the club’s win over D.C. United.
- FC Dallas’ Fabian Castillo
- San Jose’s Steven Lenhart
- Los Angeles’ Landon Donovan
Rationale, motive and intent: Castillo is long on raw talent but tends to be painfully short on veteran decision-making. Well, he put things together in a big way against Colorado, with a goal and an assist, along with a primary role on the team’s other strike in the win. Lenhart set up one late goal and scored the late, late, late stoppage time winner as San Jose’s cardiac Quakes did it again.