The best Major League Soccer had to offer in its third week of action.
Bench: Faryd Mondragon (Philadelphia Union), Leonardo (Los Angeles Galaxy), Michael Lahoud (Chivas USA), Bobby Convey (San Jose Earthquakes), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders FC), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City)
|Tally Hall, Houston Dynamo
Tally Hall is nothing short of a savior for a largely lackluster Dynamo side. He stood on his head to earn his team a second consecutive point on the road and has unexpectedly emerged as one of MLS’ top goalkeepers in the early part of the season.
|Danny Califf, Philadelphia Union
While the Union didn’t get anything out of their trip to Southern California, their defensive effort was mostly solid as Danny Califf led the backline in neutralizing Juan Pablo Angel and Landon Donovan, only to concede from a set piece.
|Omar Gonzalez, Los Angeles Galaxy
On the other end of the field, Gonzalez did superbly upon his return from injury, showing just how much the Galaxy could have used him at RSL a week earlier.
|Eric Brunner, Portland Timbers
The ex-Crew defender put in a superb shift at New England to help the Timbers earn their first MLS point. He showed himself to be a nearly complete center back, both reading the game well and imposing himself physically on the New England forwards.
|Eddie Gaven, Columbus Crew:
Columbus’ midfield play looked significantly improved from previous weeks, no small thanks to the improved play of Eddie Gaven. He moved the ball excellently throughout the game and showed no shortage of stamina in the late game, coming up with a well-deserved goal.
|Shalrie Joseph, New England Revolution:
While the Revolution wre frustrated at home by Portland, Shalrie Joseph’s play continued to be a bright spot for New England. While he faced a stern challenge from James Marcelin, he was instrumental in dictating New England’s play.
|Geoff Cameron, Houston Dynamo
Cameron’s incessant running and defensive effort helped to slow down a potent New York midfield made even deadlier by the introduction of Dwayne De Rosario at halftime. While New York still had their chances, Cameron was largely responsible for Tally Hall and the defense not being completely overrun.
|Simon Dawkins, San Jose Earthquakes:
The former Tottenham man made a big impact in his second MLS start, running box-to-box to help San Jose rescue a point against a dangerous Seattle side. He got on the scoresheet with a well-timed run and a cool finish past Kasey Keller.
|Steve Zakuani, Seattle Sounders FC
Zakuani continually harried the Earthquakes’ full backs with his pace, playing most effectively in the first half when given more opportunities to run with the ball down the flank. While his influence lessened in the second half, he was still a key component in Seattle’s attacking moves, grabbing an assist with a well-placed cross to O’Brian White.
|Camilo, Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The small player had a huge impact in Vancouver’s comeback against Kansas City, netting a brace in stoppage time to rescue a point after being down 3-0 70 minutes into the game. His finishes when it counted most made one of the biggest individual impacts of this round of MLS.
|Caleb Folan, Colorado Rapids
The Irishman scored two fine goals against Colorado, but the first especially was a thing of beauty. Folan left Rodrigo Brasesco for dead with some fancy footwork before curling it past Pat Onstad to open the scoring for Colorado. A second headed goal illustrated the big man’s versatility and all but capped Colorado’s easy win over D.C.
|Gary Smith, Colorado Rapids:
While D.C. might not be the toughest of opposition, Smith’s Rapids are playing like champions. He has done very little to alter the 4-4-2 setup that has brought success to Colorado and early on it seems to be working a treat. The Rapids completely dismantled United in the second half of Sunday’s game, with their wing play working to perfection and the defense coming up strong on all but one misplayed set piece.
You can follow Nick Rosano for more Earthquakes and MLS chatter at @nicholasrosano
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