Goal.com's MLS Best XI: Week 1

The first round of games offered its fair share of good performances.
Formation (4-4-2):





Bench: Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas), Chris Leitch (San Jose Earthquakes), Jeff Parke (Seattle Sounders FC), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Jamie Smith (Colorado Rapids), Omar Bravo (Sporting Kansas City), Charlie Davies (D.C. United)


Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake

The veteran 'keeper almost single-handedly preserved Salt Lake's win, coming up with no fewer than ten saves against the San Jose Earthquakes. The highlights of the night included a pair of saves on Chris Wondolowski and Khari Stephenson in the space of a minute that preserved RSL's lead late on.


Jed Zayner, D.C. United

While the storyline in D.C. will revolve around the three goal performance that eased concerns about the club's offense, Zayner can claim equal importance thanks to his contributions against his old team. He held down the right flank and largely limited the influence of the Columbus wide players.
Danny Califf, Philadelphia Union

Not only did Califf notch the lone goal in Philadelphia's shock win at Houston, he made at least two crucial defensive stops to help preserve the three points for his team.
  Tim Ream, New York Red Bulls

Another U.S. national team call up appeared to do wonders for the young New York defender as he did extremely well alongside to Rafa Marquez to shut down Fredy Montero and the Sounders. While it is recognized he still has some deficiencies in his game that he needs to address before becoming a top defender, they weren't apparent in a fine performance on the weekend.
  Zach Loyd, FC Dallas

The left back put in an excellent shift against Chicago. His constant runs forward pinned Chicago back and a superb assist for an equally super Milton Rodriguez strike was a just reward for his performance. 


Davide Chiumiento, Vancouver Whitecaps FC

The Swiss native's natural talent was evident both on the right side and playing in the middle, and he was Vancouver's most creative player on the field despite only playing 45 minutes. While a home win against Toronto is hardly the best indication of future success,  it is apparent that with talents such as Hassli and Chiumiento, Vancouver will not roll over.
Teemu Tainio, New York Red Bulls

The veteran Finn seemed to integrate seamlessly into MLS play. His experience was clear for all to see and he translated it into an effective and composed performance. His display in the center of midfield also made Hans Backe's decision to move Rafa Marquez to center back look all that much better.
Juninho, Los Angeles Galaxy

It is very difficult to argue against the Brazilian's player of the week credentials. Not only did he score two absolute belters to earn his side four points in their opening two games, his poise and positioning were second to none in the opening week of MLS play. It's to early to say for sure, but don't be surprised if Juninho pops up in the MVP discussion towards the end of the season.
Marcos Mondaini, Chivas USA

The former Boca Juniors man was lively all evening versus Sporting Kansas City. While he didn't register any goals or assists, he gave Luke Sassano plenty to think about and not only helped his team's attack, but also limited KC's options on his flank. If Mondaini keeps up these performances, he will surely become a fan favorite in the red-and-white half of LA.


Eric Hassli, Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Yes, he scored two well-taken goals, but that only tells half the story. The Whitecaps' new DP looks to be the real deal, as not only can he put the goals away, he is excellent at leading the line and creating space his teammates, both traits easily visible on Saturday.
Omar Cummings, Colorado Rapids

The Jamaican picked up where he left off in 2010, his terrifying pace and lethal finishing touch on display against a shellshocked Timbers side. If he keeps this kind of form up, expect the Rapids to do well in their quest to defend their MLS Cup.


Ben Olsen, D.C. United

Between Charlie Davies, United's terrible 2010 and a host of new faces, Olsen had plenty to think about as he prepared for the new season. However, he handled his team well, guiding them to a well-deserved 3-1 win over Columbus that will go a long way towards building the confidence necessary to overcome the demons haunting the side from the nation's capital.

You can follow Nick Rosano for more Earthquakes and MLS chatter at @nicholasrosano

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