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Vela, Gaitan and Arriola headline MLS Best XI for Week 11

20:21 BST 13/05/2019
Nico Gaitan MLS Chicago Fire 04242019
The Mexican star led another LAFC romp while Gaitan enjoyed an outstanding week for the Chicago Fire to lead the best performers in MLS Week 11

The Chicago Fire look to have found the playmaker they so desperately needed, while a pair of U.S. national team midfielders gave Gregg Berhalter plenty to be excited about ahead of the Gold Cup.

MLS Week 11 saw Nico Gaitan break out for a pair of standout performances, though a hamstring injury in the Chicago Fire's 2-0 win against Minnesota United spoiled an otherwise outstanding week where Gaitan and two other Fire teammates secured places on Goal's MLS Best XI for Week 11.

USMNT teammates Paul Arriola and Cristian Roldan both scored beautiful game-winning goals to not only boost their stock on the national team depth chart, but to help their respective teams earn victories.

Carlos Vela is back in the Best XI after missing out the past two weeks. He helped Los Angeles FC snap a mini-slump in a romp over the Columbus Crew.

Here is this week's Goal MLS Best XI for Week 11:


Goalkeeper


Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Max Crepeau celebrated his birthday a day early, recording five saves to help the Whitecaps beat rival Portland Timbers, 1-0, last Friday.

Atlanta United's Brad Guzan posted a pair of shutouts last week, and even though he didn't need to make any saves in last Wednesday's win against Toronto FC, he did make some big stops in Sunday's win against Orlando City to earn an Honorable Mention Best XI nod.


Defenders


Seattle Sounders left back Brad Smith did something no fullback had been able to do this season, stop Alberth Elis. Smith's defensive work helped keep the dangerous Houston Dynamo attacker quiet, which was instrumental in Seattle's 1-0 win against the Dynamo.

Atlanta United's Leandro Gonzalez Pirez anchored the Five Stripes defense in a pair of shutout wins. His leadership in the middle, and distribution out of the back was excellent in victories against TFC and Orlando City.

Chicago Fire fullback Przemyslaw Frankowski operated as a wing back in both Fire wins, providing a dangerous attacking threat on the flank, while also contributing defensively.

Chicago's Francisco Calvo, New York Red Bulls' Michael Murillo, D.C. United's Steve Birnbaum and NYCFC's Alexander Callens earned honorable mention nods this week among defenders.


Midfielders


Cristian Roldan scored a wonder goal for the second straight week, and Saturday's winner against the Houston Dynamo helped the Sounders snap a three-match winless run while giving Roldan more momentum heading into the Gold Cup.

Roldan wasn't the only USMNT midfielder to score a beautiful winning goal. Paul Arriola stepped up in a rain-soaked Audi Field and struck a perfect curling right-footed shot for the lone goal in Sunday's 1-0 D.C. United win against Sporting Kansas City.

Nico Gaitan played a big role in both of the Fire's wins last week, registering a goal and two assists in last Wednesday's 5-0 win against New England before scoring a goal in 33 minutes of action in Chicago's 2-0 win against Minnesota United.

Gonzalo Martinez has gone from slumping to shining, and he played well in both of Atlanta United's wins last week. He also delivered his first MLS goal in Sunday's win against Orlando City.

 

LAFC's Latif Blessing, Atlanta United's Hector Villalba and Julian Gressel, Real Salt Lake's Corey Baird, Toronto FC's Alejandro Pozuelo, New England's Cristian Penilla and FC Cincinnati's Roland Lamah all garnered honorable mention nods this week among midfielders.


Forwards


Philadelphia is undefeated since the arrival of forward Kacper Przybylko and it isn't a coincidence. He earned his second straight Best XI honor after setting up the winning goal in the Union's 2-1 road win against Toronto FC.

Chicago's Nemanja Nikolic, D.C. United's Wayne Rooney, Real Salt Lake's Sam Johnson and NYCFC's Heber all earned Honorable Mention honors this week at forward.