Chris Pontius, D.C. United: Pontius scored his first career hat trick on Sunday against New York, and very easily could have scored another. Even though Dwayne De Rosario has yet to score this season, D.C. United is a true contender in the Eastern Conference thanks to Pontius and Maicon Santos up top.
Will Bruin, Houston Dynamo: Houston continues its season-opening road trip, and Bruin made sure it left Columbus with at least a point. After scoring the opening goal, Bruin hit Brian Ching in the 81st minute for the equalizer.
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire: It didn’t take long for Chicago to take the lead at BMO Field, as Nyarko intercepted Toronto’s Torsten Frings after he took too much time on the ball. From there, Nyarko assisted Dominic Oduro to put Chicago up 1-0 just 25 seconds in. Nyarko also scored the game winner on a breakaway in the second half.
Nick DeLeon, DC United: Much like his teammate Chris Pontius, DeLeon made his way through the Red Bulls’ backline at will. Though he only tallied one goal, DeLeon’s speed and aggression helped pave the way for the dominant win at RFK Stadium.
Reggie Lambe, Toronto FC: It just does not seem to be Toronto FC’s year. Even with Lambe’s brace against Chicago, the Reds were still not able to even leave BMO Field with a point.
Eddie Gaven, Columbus Crew: After a soft goal in the 63rd minute tied the game up for Columbus, Gaven made sure to keep the Crew in the game with an impressive strike from just outside the box only ten minutes later.
Aurelien Collin, Sporting Kansas City: The Frenchman is second on the team in goals, and has helped lead the strongest defense in the league. Despite SKC losing their first game on the year, Collin and co. again held strong, only allowing an own goal from Chance Myers.
A.J. DeLaGarza, Los Angeles Galaxy: After a dreadful start to the season, the Galaxy has given up just three goals in the last three matches. DeLaGarza is a big component of that, as he was all over the field and contained Colorado for most of the match.
Carlos Valdes, Philadelphia Union: Despite playing with just nine men on the field for the final minutes of the match, Philadelphia was able to escape Carson with a win. Valdes was the main reason for that, as the Colombian kept Chivas USA from ever truly threatening offensively. After losing a midfielder and defender, Valdes moved around tirelessly to prevent Chivas from tying the match.
Steven Beitashour, San Jose Earthquakes: San Jose now sits atop the Western Conference for the first time in four years. Beitashour was a large reason why, as he routinely made his way up the field, notching two assists in the win.
Josh Saunders, Los Angeles Galaxy: While Saunders did give up a goal to Omar Cummings, he redeemed himself in the closing minutes of the match. After Colorado was awarded a penalty kick, Saunders stopped the possible game-tying goal, making a diving stop of the shot from Cummings to clinch the win for the Galaxy.
Collin-De La Garza-Valdes-Beitashour
Bench: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Farfan (Philadelphia Union), Jack Jewsbury (Portland Timbers), Perry Kitchen (DC United), Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union), Camilo Sanvezzo (Vancouver Whitecaps), Khari Stephenson (San Jose Earthquakes)
Frank Yallop, San Jose Earthquakes: Yallop has his team in first place after seven weeks, after San Jose failed to make the playoffs last season. The offense was strong last year, but the backline has improved significantly in 2012, which has helped lead the way to the top of the standings.
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