Photo by ISIphotos.com
Week one of the 2009 Major League Soccer season had all the drama, skill and excitement you could hope for from the first week of a season.
Yes, sure, there were some bad moments, and some sparse crowds, and some poor officiating in key spots, but there was far more positive to focus on. From the stellar performances of established MLS veterans like Landon Donovan and Amado Guevara, to the stunning showings of MLS newcomers such as Fredy Montero and the 2009 MLS Draft class, there was plenty to talk about (More on the MLS rookie class later today). Then there were the goals, with several Goal of the Year candidates already being delivered in the first week.
In what will become a weekly segment, SBI will take a look at the Best XI and Worst XI moments/scenes/performances/developments from Week 1, as well as providing an MLS Team of the Week.
Here are this week's Best XI, Worst XI and Team of the Week:
Week One Best XI
The performance of Seattle Sounders' fans
Fredy Montero's deadly finishing and passing
Osvaldo Alonso's stellar MLS debut
Davy Arnaud's two stunning goals
Amado Guevara's two clutch goals
Paulo Nagamura's unexpected brace
Guillermo Barros Schelotto's last-minute equalizer
Kenny Cooper's long-range blast from midfield over Jon Busch
Cuauhtemoc Blanco's last-minute free kick goal
Ben Olsen making the start for D.C. after his injury-plagued 2008 season
Landon Donovan's two goals, including a clutch equalizer, vs. D.C. United
Week One Worst XI
The Red Bulls' entire performance on Thursday
Zach Thornton's goal-mouth blunder
San Jose's (and specifically Darren Huckerby's) terrible finishing
Kelly Gray's poor clearance on New England's lone goal
Jon Busch's nightmare on Kenny Cooper's goal
The horrible field at Robertson Stadium
Dwayne DeRosario's shanked penalty kick (in an otherwise stellar game)
Kosuke Kimura's failed clearance turned pass to Paulo Nagamura
Jair Marrufo's penalty call in the DC-LA game
The nasty collision between D.C. defenders Greg Janicki and Devon McTavish
SBI MLS Team of the Week (Week 1)
————–Fredy Montero——-Landon Donovan———-
Dwayne DeRosario—–Amado Guevara——–Davy Arnaud
————–Paulo Nagamura—-Osvaldo Alonso————
Jim Brennan————–Wilman Conde——-Kevin Alston
Honorable Mentions: Jhon Kennedy, Brad Evans, Sebastien LeToux, Justin Mapp, Shalrie Joseph, Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
What were your Best XI and Worst XI moments/scenes/performances from Week One? Who made your MLS team of the week that didn't make ours? (And yes, I did change two of the Best XI to include Landon Donovan and Ben Olsen, who were clearly deserving.)
Share your thoughts below.