After a strong defensive performance against the New England Revolution, two members of the New York Red Bulls find their way into the MLS Best XI.Forwards:
Maicon Santos, D.C. United: Santos scored the opener and the game-winner against Houston, continuing his great start to the season. After a disappointing year in FC Dallas, Santos has proven to be just what DC United needs up top, forming up with Chris Pontius to create a dangerous scoring duo.
Steven Lenhart, San Jose Earthquakes: The outspoken forward took over the game against Philadelphia the minute he stepped on the field as a substitute, scoring both goals in the win at PPL Park. He nearly notched an assist, as well, were it not for an offsides blunder by the referee.
Marvin Chavez, San Jose Earthquakes: Both substitutes by Frank Yallop are represented on this week’s squad, as Chavez was equally as devastating against Philadelphia. Chavez knocked in both crosses to Lenhart, notching his second and third assists on the year.
Kyle Beckerman, Real Salt Lake: Toronto nearly notched its first point on the year, but Beckerman broke the Reds’ hearts, setting up Jonny Steele for the game winner in stoppage time.
Eric Avila, Toronto FC: Avila’s efforts need to be recognized even in a loss, as he scored a goal and drew a penalty early in the match. Unfortunately Torsten Frings was not able to convert.
Dax McCarty, New York Red Bulls: With so many players missing on the pitch, along with the loss of Thierry Henry, McCartly helped lead New York to a significant win over New England. McCarty was all over the field, and proved to be the catalyst in the victory.
Matteo Ferrari, Montreal Impact: The Italian halted the strong Portland offense, as Kris Boyd and Darlington Nagbe failed to do much at Olympic Stadium. He has provided the strong veteran presence an expansion franchise needs in the backline.
George John, FC Dallas: John has seemed to regain his form from past seasons after a slow start to the season. After returning from loan with West Ham United, John has improved both in his position and his fitness every week since that start.
A.J. De La Garza, Los Angeles Galaxy: De La Garza helped lead a defense with a keeper in net that had not played in nearly six years. Despite giving up a penalty, De La Garza and crew neutralized FC Dallas throughout most of the match.
Y.P. Lee, Vancouver Whitecaps: The entire backline provided a strong defensive effort against Columbus, but Lee’s game-winning goal must be recognized. Lee knocked in the free kick from 25 yards out, tallying an early candidate for goal of the year.
Ryan Meara, New York Red Bulls: Meara’s performance had head coach Hans Backe stating after the game that he is “the future”. Meara had five saves, including three on New England’s Saer Sene. The 21-year old went through rookie struggles at the beginning of the year, but has come on strong in the past few weeks.
Ferrari-John-De La Garza-Lee
Bench: David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Joe Cannon (Vancouver Whitecaps), Kamani Hill (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire)
Martin Rennie, Vancouver Whitecaps: Despite entering the season with a bevy of forwards, it has been Vancouver’s defense that has them off to a solid start in 2012. The Whitecaps’ defense started the season on an MLS-record 427 minute shutout streak, and have six shutouts in eight games. They now head into a matchup with Western Conference leading San Jose, who ended that record streak three weeks ago.
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