With a huge win over New York Red Bulls that saw them clench the Supports’ Shield, Toronto FC’s Jozy Altidore returned to action and made this week’s TotW. Justin Morrow’s hat trick to help Toronto to the win also landed him a spot. Columbus Crew SC’s win over DC United thanks to excellent performances from Josh Williams and Justin Meram saw them make the Team of the Week. Houston Dynamo saw both Alberth Elis and Vicente Sanchez perform well in their win over Minnesota United FC to make the Team. FC Dallas, Atlanta United FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, Minnesota United FC, and Chicago Fire all land a player in the TotW.
GK – Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas)
– Holding an Orlando team with an attack led by both Dom Dwyer and Cyle Larin without a goal is an incredibly feat. Jesse Gonzalez made a world class stand in front of goal as he was tested repeatedly in the closing minutes of the game despite receiving a knock at the start of the onslaught. Jesse is a young keeper with a bright future, and with a highlight performance like he had Saturday earned him his place on the TotW.
DF – Justin Morrow (Toronto FC)
– This Toronto team has a team full of players ready to show that they can fill in gaps in the scoring when it is needed. With Sebastian Giovinco still out injured, and Jozy Altidore only just returned, Justin Morrow put up a hat trick to aid his team in their win over the Red Bulls to clinch the Supporters’ Shield. While not actually a rare occurrence for Morrow to put up a good performance, his performance Saturday was certainly one of his best this season.
DF – Josh Williams (Columbus Crew SC)
– Josh Williams is one of the best defenders in the MLS, and on top of that his presence both defending and attacking set pieces is nearly unrivalled in the MLS. His ability to get down to the opposite end of the of the pitch and make a difference is invaluable, and is what earned him this spot on the TotW.
DF – Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United FC)
– Captaining an Atlanta team to shutting out a creative Revolution side is no easy task, but Michael Parkhurst managed just fine. Making several key plays himself, Parkhurst help Atlanta to a point away against a tough attacking threat. While it wasn’t a fantastic performance against Tuesday, Parkhurst nearly captained a ten-man Atlanta to victory were it not for the two goals after the 90’ mark from Minnesota.
DF – Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps)
– Kendall Waston helped the Whitecaps to a solid victory over SKC, clinching the team a playoff spot and expanding their lead at the top of the Western Conference. Waston has been performing solidly in the Whitecaps defence all season, and a good playoff run would be a fantastic reward for him and the rest of the team.
MF – Vicente Sanchez (Houston Dynamo)
– Sanchez had a fantastic game against Minnesota, chalking up two assists. His creative play in the build-up and then out on the wing was a threat that Minnesota proved incapable of handling. If Sanchez can consistently produce these kind of results, then all the better for Houston as they enter the playoff picture.
MF – Justin Meram (Columbus Crew SC)
– With a goal in the Crew’s victory over DC United, Justin Meram continues to prove his value out wide. His shot came from the corner of the box and curled into the far corner of the goal. This capability is invaluable for any team and given the space like he was, Meram could replicate this every game. It’s his innate ability to find goals from spaces where other players might look for a pass that earns him a spot on the TotW
MF – Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo)
– Scoring the opening goal in the Dynamo’s 2-1 win over Minnesota, Alberth Elis showed his scoring capability with a glancing header that fooled the Minnesota keeper. His positioning on the play was fantastic, and his attacking positioning throughout the entire game was similar. Minnesota couldn’t mark him well and he was able to start up some really nice play in the final third.
MF – Kevin Molino (Minnesota United FC)
– While he wasn’t all that much of a presence in the 2-1 defeat to the Dynamo, Kevin Molino had a direct hand in the two late goals that won the game for Minnesota over Atlanta. Assisting the first goal of the game with a great through-pass, he then went and scored the winner with a superbly struck header to show just how capable he is despite Minnesota’s poor season.
FW – Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire)
– Nikolic fired away his 21st goal of the season in the Fire’s draw with NYCFC Saturday, and looks set to continue scoring. He is in some of the best form of his career this season, and the Fire will be looking to lean upon him in the playoffs as well. He sits one goal ahead of David Villa and Diego Valeri, and will likely need to score some more goals to secure the golden boot.
FW – Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC)
– With a return to action in Saturday’s win over the Red Bulls, Jozy Altidore proved that he is back in the shape to do exactly what he is capable of doing: out-muscle defenders and make a difference in the final third. Chalking up an assist in your first game back from injury is not an all-to-common feat, as you typically need to find some sort of groove first. Not Altidore, as he resumed bullying the Red Bull defenders as if he had never been injured.