2017 MLS Week 8 Team of the Week

By MLSAces
Apr. 24, 2017

GK: Joe Bendik, OC

3X Team of the Week

Each week Bendik seems to make his case for Goal Keeper of the Year. This week he came up with a huge game against Eastern Conference opponent NYCFC. Bendik was bombarded with shots and was able to hold NYCFC to only one goal, scored by David Villa. All game Bendik made himself large and in doing so made a total of 6 saves in OC’s win.

DEF: Eriq Zavaleta, TFC

1x Team of the Week

Zavaleta made a name for himself last postseason with TFC and now has proven he is an everyday starter in MLS. Zavaleta played phenomenal at centerback this week as he, and the rest of his backline, was able to hold the Fire to just one goal. Zavaleta was also able to score his first goal of the season in TFC’s 3-1 victory. Solid offense and defense from Zavaleta lands him on our team of the week.

DEF: Adolfo Machado, HOU

1x Team of the Week

Adolfo Machado was a key acquisition for Houston this offseason as it gave the Dynamo a starting caliber centerback. This week Machado and the Houston backline held the Earthquakes to a 2-0 shutout. Machado’s large stature is key to his solid play and was key for the Dynamo to hold a shutout win over a hot San Jose team.

DEF: Kemar Lawrence, NYRB

2x Team of the Week

As one of the most underrated fullbacks in MLS, Lawrence shined once again in the Red Bull’s 2-0 win over Columbus. Lawrence slowed the strong attack from Columbus’s wingers and was able to lead the backline to a win. Lawrence was easily the best defender on the field in this game but he also made an offensive impact. Lawrence added an assist in this game as he was able to push down the sideline with ease.

DEF: Maynor Figueroa, FCD

1x Team of the Week

My final defender of the week was probably the best defender of the week. Maynor Figueroa has been key for FC Dallas in recent seasons but he was key for them in this game. FC Dallas went up against SKC in what was probably the most important game of the year for both squads. Figueroa played very well on defense holding the 1-0 shutout for the club. Not only did he play phenomenal defense to keep SKC off the scoreboard but he played impactful offense. Figueroa scored the game’s lone goal and was the best player for FC Dallas.

MID: Ronald Alberg, PHI

1x Team of the Week

There have not been many positives for the Union this season and when they went up 3-0 there looked like a small spot of brightness… until they blew it to tie at 3-3. But, Ronald Alberg was a huge force in two of the team’s three goals. Alberg had himself a brace this weekend and looked like he did for much of last season. Alberg’s ability to hold the midfield up and make the best pass moving forward is quite underrated in MLS. Philly will need Alberg to run plays for them if they want to break their slow start to 2017.

MID: Darlington Nagbe, POR

1x Team of the Week

USMNT player Darlington Nagbe had his best performance of 2017 in my opinion. Nagbe was a major impact on the score sheet from the left side of that talented midfield. He scored the game’s opening goal in the 18th minute off of an assist from David Guzman. Nagbe finally let his shot rip and got the ball in the back of the net. Next, Nagbe was able to assist on the team’s second goal with a productive pass to Darren Mattocks in the 40th minute.

MID: Clint Dempsey, SEA

2x Team of the Week

Nagbe’s MLS rival but USMNT teammate Clint Dempsey also had himself a huge week in MLS. Dempsey scored the game’s opening goal in the 29th minute. Dempsey was also able to assist on Jordan Morris’s 44th minute goal. The USMNT star had plenty of other shots on goal and even had one bounce right off the cross-bar. Dempsey looked like the Deuce of old and it was just fun to watch as a fan of him and a fan of soccer.

MID: Miguel Ibarra, MIN

1x Team of the Week

Week 8’s last midfield spot belongs to Minnesota’s Miguel Ibarra. Ibarra had a struggling start to his MLS career but this week’s game against Colorado seemed to opening things up for him. The Minnesota midfielder scored the game’s lone goal in the 72nd minute off of a header. Ibarra played very well in Minnesota’s midfield alongside Venegas and Molino and I believe he could hang-on to this spot the rest of the season.

FOR: Cyle Larin, OC

4x Team of the Week

As a NYCFC fan, Larin hurt me this week. But, as a soccer fan I loved watching Larin play. Larin started the games scoring with a header in the 31st minute and then put Orlando City up two with another header in the 51st minute. Larin is arguably the best striker in MLS and is attracting interest from all over Europe. I expect a sale of Larin this summer as he continues to be the best player in a purple uniform.

FOR: Sebastian Giovinco, TFC

1x Team of the Week

My final player this week is of course, 2015 MLS MVP, Seba Giovinco. The atomic ant looked like he was back in form scoring his first brace of the 2017 campaign. Giovinco started the scoring in the 28th minute and added his second goal in the 82nd. Giovinco’s game of course showed off his free kick skills with a beauty! TFC is hoping that the tiny Italian can continue this play and the three headed monster in Toronto can dominate the East.

Bench:

GK: Stefan Frei, SEA

1x Team of the Week

DEF: Leonardo, HOU

1x Team of the Week

DEF: Walker Zimmerman, FCD

3x Team of the Week

MID: Lee Nguyen, NE

2x Team of the Week

MID: Nicolas Lodiero, SEA

1x Team of the Week

FOR: Anthony Jackson-Hamel, MON

1x Team of the Week

FOR: CJ Sapong, PHI

1x Team of the Week