It’s been another superb week of football in Major League Soccer with the majority of results coming in for the home sides. Here is the Major League Soccer News Team of the Week for Monday 30th April 2018.
GK – MATT TURNER, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
At the start of the season New England head coach and legendary US goalkeeper Brad Friedel told Matt Turner heading into preseason that he was third in the club’s goalkeeping stakes behind previous starter Cody Cropper and longtime MLS veteran Brad Knighton. Friedel made it clear that every player would have a clean slate and he has been as good as his word, Turner earning the starting jersey and has been excellent ever since. He oversaw Revolution’s victory and clean sheet against Sporting Kansas City and Johnny Russell, who had a hat-trick in his last game.
LB – MILTON VALENZUELA, COLUMBUS CREW
Both Columbus Crew full-backs were important as they recorded a 2 – 1 triumph over San Jose Earthquakes. The Crew have been quietly going about their business, almost unseen in the Eastern Conference as New York City FC and Atlanta United have been making the headlines. Valenzuela laid on the assist for his teammate to open the scoring and while found wanting when San Jose got their goal through Danny Hoesen, held firm the rest of the game. Steven Beitashour is unlucky not to find himself in this spot after his goal-line clearance saved the match for Los Angeles FC.
CB – KENDALL WASTON, VANCOUVER WHITECAPS
Waston has had a very up-and-down season, after receiving red card for violent conduct against Atlanta United in the 13th minute only for his one-game suspension and accompanying fine to be unanimously rescinded. He was mighty in Vancouver’s win over Real Salt Lake and a clean sheet always draws the attention of team of the week!
CB – LAURENT CIMAN, LAFC
A clean sheet for Los Angeles FC and a winning goal to boot, another free-kick after scoring one last week against his former employers Montreal Impact. Ciman provided Los Angeles with the Hollywood finish that the new Banc of California Stadium deserved and performed well alongside Zimmerman to keep Seattle Sounders at bay.
CB – BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER, CHICAGO FIRE
Another player who is starring out of his traditional position against Toronto. The experienced German legend has been moved back into an anchor position in central defence in Chicago, a position which Brian Clough previously utilised Dave Mackay for his successful Derby County team back in the club’s most notable period of success. Even back there, Schweinsteiger still influences matters further forward with the Silver Fox first scoring a header from a corner before laying on the ball for the 94th minute equaliser from Kevin Ellis.
RB – HARRISON AFFUL, COLUMBUS CREW
The second Crew full-back to make the team is Harrison Afful, he was the man who opened the scoring thanks to a good ball from Milton Valenzuela.
CM – ZOLTAN STIEBER, D.C. UNITED
Stieber didn’t deserve to be on the losing side as he opened the scoring for D.C. United following a great run to finish first time with the inside of his left boot. He then added to his performance by assisting Darren Mattocks with a beautiful cross, taking the defenders out of the game and allowing Mattocks to cushion the ball into the back of the net. That levelled the game at the time, before Philadelphia went on to claim all three points. For his contribution, Hungary’s Zoltán Stieber is named our second team of the week captain.
CM – BOREK DOCKAL, PHILADELPHIA UNION
Speaking of Philadelphia Union’s late winner, the man who got it was the number 10 from the Czech Republic. Shorn of defensive pressure, he controlled the ball inside the penalty area close to the six-yard box and unleashed an unstoppable strike into the roof of the net above Steve Clark.
CM – DARWIN QUINTERO, MINNESOTA UNITED
Quintero is one of the big names in the Minnesota team, having suffered a four-game losing streak and seeing Christian Ramirez depart the field with an apparent hamstring injury in the first half, it was imperative for the Loons to show character and show character they did in coming back from one goal down against Houston Dynamo. Quintero converted a pressure penalty in front of his home crowd, sending the ball out of the goalkeeper’s reach into the side of the net.
CF – OLA KAMARA, LA GALAXY
It would have been easy to pick Zlatan Ibrahimovic or David Villa for his 400th and 401st career goals in this spot but that would be the popular choice. Ola Kamara has had to deal with the arrival of the mercurial Swedish superstar and has not wavered in his commitment to the LA Galaxy cause, himself an arrival in the off-season in a trade with last week’s team of the week centre forward Gyasi Zardes (and $400,00 in allocation money). Kamara continues to prove his worth to manager Sigi Schmid with a goal on the hour to get his team back into the game. The finish was impressive, as was the ball from Zlatan but Kamara displayed both composure and anticipation of the sliding defender to fail to cut it out before sending the ball past the ‘keeper.
CF – BRADLEY WRIGHT-PHILLIPS, NEW YORK RED BULLS
His goal-scoring in MLS has never been in question, for five years now in the colours of Red Bulls he has been a machine and now is displaying his ability too not just link up with teammates but provide them with assists. His relationship with Kaku is vital if the Bulls want to do anything of significance this season and BWP is not shying away from responsibility; “Wherever there’s space, I’m trying to get in and see what plays I can make. The game’s providing that, and I’m just trying to do it. I don’t just want to be known for goals. If I can get an assist and help the team, I’ll try to do it.” Some have called for Wright-Phillips to get an England call and it may come as long as he continues to selflessly impress for his club.