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MLS Team of the Week: Shuttleworth shuts out Dallas as Kaka provides Orlando masterclass

MLS Team Of The Week

With this team of the week, Minnesota’s convincing victory over Dallas on Saturday landed both Bobby Shuttleworth and Christian Ramirez a spot for their superb performances. Orlando’s convincing victory over the Revolution Wednesday earned a spotlight for Seb Hines and Kaka, with 3 goals and an assist between them. RSL’s Justen Glad and Jefferson Savarino feature following their win over the Sounders. Dc United also had two players feature this week, with Patrick Mullins scoring four goals inside of 31 minutes and being the first player in the MLS to score four in one half. Paul Arriola assisted two of those goals along with excellent play and so also makes the team. Dallas, the Revolution, and the Timbers also see a player featured.

GK – Bobby Shuttleworth (Minnesota United FC)
– Despite Minnesota’s seemingly dominant performance over a ten-man Dallas side on Saturday, Dallas still presented a massive threat and could have made it a much closer game were it not for Shuttleworth’s fantastic performance in net. With several key saves, Shuttleworth proved that he can stand up to a relentless attack and go toe-to-toe against dynamic attacking threats like that which Dallas possesses.

DF – Chris Tierney (New England Revolution)
– Chris Tierney put in a solid performance in the Revolution’s important win against top-dogs Toronto. Assisting Lee Nguyen’s goal to kick off the scoring merely capped off what had already been a convincing performance in keeping the Toronto attack at bay. The assist and ultimate goal would prove to be the catalyst that set off a bout of scoring that ended in the Revolution’s favour and earned a win.

DF – Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake)
– Part of the defence that shut down the Sounders Saturday, Justen Glad was key in keeping Dempsey and co. shut down. Now having to fight for their place in the playoffs, RSL will rely even more on the capabilities of Glad and the rest of their defensive line.

DF – Seb Hines (Orlando City SC)
– Having played an essential part in Orlando’s superb victory over the revolution, Seb Hines not only was a defensive workhorse, but also managed to get on the score sheet. A powerful presence in the box, Hines is always an easy target to pick out during set-pieces. Couple that with excellent defensive capabilities and you’ve got a recipe for TotW material.

DF – Hernan Grana (FC Dallas)
– In the 2-0 win over the Rapids, Grana assisted both goals in what was yet another industrious performance from the right-back. Working down the right side, Grana works as a traditional fullback, overlapping the winger, or supporting the midfield, but he can also work as more of an inverted back that provides support centrally in both defence and attack. With such variety in skills and his industrious work-rate, he makes a clear impact in most of Dallas’ games.

MF – Paul Arriola (DC United)
– Having assisted two of Patrick Mullins goals, Paul Arriola was also a playmaking presence in the midfield for DC. With a combination of effective pressing and pin-point passing, Arriola left his mark on a game that ended very positively for DC. This sort of performance is what earns one a spot on the TotW.

MF – Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
– With his two goals in Sunday night’s victory over a nine-man Orlando side, Diego Valeri set the MLS record for scoring in consecutive league matches at nine straight. With his goals coming from a well-struck penalty and a true “poacher’s” goal, Valeri showed off his capability in front of the net in many different situations. Valeri is tied with Nemanja Nkolic in the race for top-scorer at 20 goals apiece, with David Villa one goal behind. This is excellent competition, and just goes to show the calibre of player that Valeri is.

MF – Jefferson Savarino (Real Salt Lake)
– Jefferson Savarino made his impact on Saturday’s result against the Sounders with a goal and an assist. With class finishing skills, and the field-presence to be where he needs to be in order to influence play both in front of goal and from outside the box, Savarino can be a real difference make in RSL’s push to make the playoffs.

MF – Kaka (Orlando City SC)
– With a master-class performance against the Revolution, Kaka has once again shown that he can be an impact player despite his age. All throughout the game, Kaka was pressing, feeding dangerous passes, and being a threat on goal. With a presence like that in the midfield, any team would be the better for it.

FW – Christian Ramirez (Minnesota United FC)
– With a goal and two assists in Saturday’s route of FC Dallas, Christian Ramirez proved that despite his team’s poor form he still has some quality to show. If he and the rest of the team can continue building on their performance though out the season, then they’ll have something good to reflect on come next season.

FW – Patrick Mullins (DC United)
– The man of the match in Saturday’s demolition of the Earthquakes, Patrick Mullins scored four times in the span of 31 minutes. This led to a devastating second-half for the visiting Earthquakes, and won the night for DC. It should be mentioned that inside of those goals, Mullins scored a perfect hat trick, managing to score with both feet and his head.