Ethan White

MLS Team of the Week — Stars of Week 30

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Week 30 of the 2015 Major League Soccer season is in the books, and despite what I thought on Friday, we know nothing more about about the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs picture now than we did then.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

There were some truly amazing goals scored in Week 30 — see: HERE and HERE — as well as a second hat trick of the season for a certain Canadian striker, so all things considered, it was a decent week of action around the most parity-filled league in the world. Which, of course, is to say there really are no good teams in MLS; they’re all equally average and flawed, which was my ugly realization over the weekend.

[ WEEK 30: TFC 3-2 CHIMTL 2-0 DCU | CLB 1-2 POR | SKC 1-1 SEA ]

That’s not to say, though, there weren’t some stellar individual performances worth recognizing, which bring us to this week’s MLS Team of the Week (in full below).

Thoughts? Questions? Agreements? Disagreements? (Of course not.) Leave them in the comments section, as always. I’m not afraid to defend my picks.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS Team of the Week archive ]

MLS Team of the Week — Week 30

Goalkeeper: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)

MLS Goalkeeper

Defenders: Wandrille Lefevre (Montreal Impact), Ethan White (Philadelphia Union), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps), RJ Allen (New York City FC)

MLS Defenders

Midfielders: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Kaka (Orlando City SC), Juninho (LA Galaxy)

MLS Midfielders

Forwards: Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC), Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact), Fanendo Adi (Portland Timbers)

MLS Forwards

Moving Dejan Jakovic is the right move for D.C. United

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Signs of “something better” keep appearing around RFK Stadium. Clearly, that’s a low bar considering the historically dreadful season just seen for D.C. United, which was truly woeful across all areas of the field.

But the offseason moves so far all seem to make sense. Clearly, what “makes sense” for D.C. United wouldn’t be what “makes sense” for all clubs. The best example there is Eddie Johnson’s signing. United is so desperate for some quality near opposition goal that it was worth a flier on a guy who doesn’t have a great reputation in the locker room.

That might be a risky move elsewhere; it’s not exactly a master stroke for United, but it does seem rather sensible.

Now, here’s a move that would make sense for any club: jettisoning a high-salaried defender who really isn’t a very good defender.

Canadian international Dejan Jakovic is off to Japan, apparently. Good luck to the man!

Thing is, he didn’t make sense around RFK. If you pay $300K for a defender in MLS, his name had better be Omar Gonzalez or Jamison Olave or perhaps Jose Goncalves. Otherwise, that’s like paying $10 for a beer at the stadium – it’s bad value.

The entire back line is being rebuilt at RFK. Sean Franklin, Nana Attakora and Bobby Boswell have been brought in to join Ethan White. While Franklin and Boswell are not cheap, they are better defenders than Jakovic. Again, it’s about value. And now there’s a little more of it along the back line at RFK.

Ben Olsen makes wholesale changes for United

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(Updated, 11:20 p.m. ET: Long story short, better effort but same result in a 2-1 loss. More later on the blog …)

D.C. United manager Ben Olsen clearly knows that something has to change around a team that cannot arrest the downward spiral.

Olsen’s team has lost six in a row, a club record. That includes an absolutely embarrassing 4-0 pounding at home Wednesday to MLS Cup runner-up Houston.

So the league’s youngest manager has responded with five lineup changes for tonight’s match against league-leading FC Dallas, including a couple of real talkers.

Goalkeeper Joe Willis, center back Ethan White and forward Casey Townsend will get their first starts of 2013 for United. Willis replaces U.S. under-23 international Bill Hamid, who has given up some bad goals this year – but who has also made some brilliant stops and hasn’t gotten a lot of help lately.

Willis looked great as Willis’ early season replacement last year during an injury for the Black and Red’s No. 1.

As for that “help” that Hamid has missed recently, White replaces the struggling Brandon McDonald. James Riley replaces Daniel Woolard in a shakeup along the outside in the back.

Nick DeLeon gets his first start since recovering from injury, replacing Marcos Sanchez on the outside of United’s midfield.

At striker, where United simply cannot find an answer in 2013, recent Richmond Kickers call-up Townsend is the next to audition for the position.

By the way, Chris Pontius is not on the trip; Olsen had hoped to get the former fast-riser, whose 2013 struggles have been part of the bigger problem around RFK, back into the rotation this week. Clearly, that won’t happen now.