- Houston’s Tally Hall
Rationale, motive and intent: Four saves helped keep his team in the game (and perhaps in the playoff race) until the Dynamo finally got the late breakthrough goal in the driving rain at BBVA Compass Stadium.
- Vanvouver’s Jay DeMerit
- Portland’s David Horst
- Colorado’s Hunter Freeman
Rationale, motive and intent: Sometimes I actually feel for Jay DeMerit. Becaues no matter how much Martin Rennie tries to tidy up the defensive organization around BC Place, the Whitecaps’ veteran center back always seems to have so very much to do. He certainly did Saturday in the 0-0 draw with Seattle.
Horst? Yeah, I know about the penalty kick. But it was pretty weak salsa in my book. I’m looking at all the great and gritty that went on defensively around Jeld-Wen in his team’s 1-1 draw with D.C. United.
Freeman was up and down the right side in his team’s 1-1 draw with the Galaxy.
- Sporting Kansas City’s Graham Zusi
- Houston’s Ricardo Clark (pictured)
- Sporting Kansas City’s Julio Cesar
Rationale, motive and intent: Zusi scored twice in the big win, during the weekend’s most significant matchup. His defensive-minded teammate Cesar was always in the right place to keep Chris Rolfe contained and to tamp down those Fire counter-attack opportunities. Clark was full of hustle and bustle in midfield, as usual, but and then led the late offensive charge that ultimately sealed up the night.
- New York’s Thierry Henry
- Real Salt Lake’s Alvaro Saborio
- Real Salt Lake’s Fabian Espindola
- Columbus’ Jairo Arrieta
Rationale, motive and intent: Yep, it’s the old 3-3-4 formation. What can I say? I’m a journalist, not the second coming of Rinus Michels.
It’s simply impossible to pick between Saborio and Espindoloa when one is scoring most of the goals (three for “Sabo”) and the other is setting them up (three assists for “Espy”). So, we picked ‘em both.
Arrieta scored a couple of quality goals before the break for a club that absolutely, positively had to have all three points to keep pace in the playoff chase.