Vela, Fernandez and Dos Santos headline MLS Best XI for Week 13

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Shaun Clark
The Portland newcomer joined the two Mexican stars among the best in Major League Soccer for the last round of games

The Portland Timbers put a winning end to their grueling 12-match road stretch to start the 2019 season, and they can thank their newest star signing for those precious three points.

Argentinian forward Brian Fernandez is off to a flying start in MLS, and his first league start showed why the Timbers were so desperate to add him. Fernandez's two-goal performance helped the Timbers topple the Philadelphia Union, and helped earn the striker a place on Goal's MLS Best XI for Week 13.

The LA-based Mexican duo of Carlos Vela and Jonathan dos Santos continued to pile up the Best XI selections, each scoring goals in their team's respective victories. Vela added to his league-leading goals (15) and assists (9) totals while Dos Santos helped the Galaxy overcome the absence of suspended striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to snap their four-match losing slide.

Here is Goal's   MLS Best XI for Week 13:


Goalkeeper


It was a busy week for New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles , who made a combined nine saves to help his team earn four points from two matches despite the absence of star center back Aaron Long. Robles made several acrobatic stops against Vancouver last Wednesday, then denied FC Cincinnati with four stunning stops to post a shutout.

LA Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham would have been the easy Best XI selection most weeks, but earns honorable mention this week after saving a penalty and recording six saves in the Galaxy's 1-0 win against Orlando City.


Defenders


Minnesota United has found a gem in Romain Metanire , with the dynamic right back providing attacking contributions along with solid defending. His well-rounded game was on full display against Houston, as he delivered the winning goal and shut down the left side of the Dynamo attack in Saturday's 1-0 win.

Colorado central defender Tommy Smith has had a rough season but much like the Rapids, he has begun turning it around. Smith delivered his best match of the season in Saturday's 3-2 win over Columbus, scoring a goal and providing steady defense.

Vancouver's Ali Adnan  has made an immediate impact for the Whitecaps since his arrival, and the Iraqi left back flashed his considerable qualities this week during a four-point week for Vancouver. That included a wonder goal in Saturday's win against FC Dallas.

Honorable mention among defenders goes to the LA Galaxy's Giancarlo Gonzalez , New York Red Bulls' Kemar Lawrence , LAFC's Tristan Blackmon , Seattle's Kelvin Leerdam  and Portland's Jorge Villafana .


Midfielders


It isn't a Best XI without a Carlos Vela appearance, and the LAFC star continued his domination of the MLS MVP race with another standout performance, delivering a goal and two assists in Saturday's 4-2 win versus Montreal.

Real Salt Lake's Sebastian Saucedo continues to turn it on, earning his second consecutive Best XI selection after scoring a beauty in RSL's 2-1 win against Atlanta United.

LA Galaxy standout Jonathan dos Santos was back to his all-star ways on Saturday, dominating play in midfield while also contributing a long-distance game-winner to help his team halt its recent slide.

San Jose's Cristian Espinoza earned his latest Best XI nod for his two-assist effort in San Jose's big road win against Toronto FC.

There were several quality midfield performances in Week 13, with Honorable Mention nods going to RSL's Jefferson Savarino , Portland's Diego Chara and Diego Valeri , LAFC's Eduard Atuesta and New York Red Bulls' Kaku .


Forwards


Sporting Kansas City's Johnny Russell had the best individual performance of the week, torching Seattle's defense for a hat trick, including this amazing dribble and finish in his team's 3-2 victory on Sunday.

San Jose's Chris Wondolowski made it two Best XI selections in a row by following up his four-goal masterpiece with an outstanding two-goal outing in San Jose's win at Toronto FC.

Portland's Brian Fernandez has taken no time to adapt to MLS, scoring in his debut a week ago and then firing home two goals in his first start, an impressive 3-1 road win against the Philadelphia Union.

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LAFC's Christian Ramirez , NYCFC's Alexandru Mitrita  and Colorado's Kei Kamara all earned Honorable Mention nods this week.

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