MLS Week 7: The Best XI, Worst XI and Team of the Week

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When the 2009 MLS season got underway, things weren't going so hot for former MLS Cup champions D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo.

D.C. managed just one win in its first five (a win vs. Houston), while the Dynamo started off winless in its first four.

Four combined wins later and both D.C. and Houston look like they might be up to their old tricks again.

Week Seven saw D.C. post a second-straight comeback victory while the Dynamo rode a tough defense to a second straight win and third straight shutout. With both teams climbing up the standings, the races in both conferences have tightened.

Those victories were just two of the highlights of Week Seven in MLS. Here is a rundown of the week's Best XI and Worst XI moments/plays/performances, as well as the SBI MLS Team of the Week:

MLS Week Seven Best XI

D.C. United pulling off a second straight comeback win.

The ageless Jaime Moreno scoring two goals for D.C.

Emmanuel Ekpo's beautiful juke, run and finish.

The contingent of Columbus Crew fans at BMO Field.

Kosuke Kimura's long-range blast.

Houston's defense posting a third-straight shutout.

The contingent of Dynamo fans at Gillette Stadium

The L.A. Galaxy defense making a one-goal lead stand up.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco entertaining the crowd with his variety of moves.

Seattle's defense standing firm despite being a man down for 42 minutes.

The contingent of Sounders fans who made the trip to Toyota Park.

MLS Week Seven Worst XI

The New York Red Bulls' stagnant offense.

New England with a second straight flat performance.

FC Dallas' defense falling apart yet again.

The Columbus Crew squandering another lead.

Chicago failing to win despite a man advantage for 42 minutes.

Matt Reis' miscue on Stuart Holden's goal.

San Jose's miscommunication on Chivas USA's game-winning goal.

debatable red cardissued to Jamison Olave (clumsy yellow sure, but straight red? Not so much).

Javier Morales elbow to the face of Pablo Mastroeni (which earned him a suspension)

Sparse crowds at Colorado-RSL, Chicago-Seattle and Houston-New England.

SBI MLS Team of the Week (Week 7)

———–Jaime Moreno———–Brian Ching————-

———————–Cuauhtemoc Blanco——————-

Colin Clark———————————-Emmanuel Expo

———————–Pablo Mastroeni————————

Jonathan Bornstein————————–Kosuke Kimura

————Tyrone Marshall—-Andrew Hainault———-

————————–Zach Thornton———————-

Honorable Mentions: Stefan Frei, Brian Namoff, Gregg Berhalter, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tim Ward, Ricardo Clark, Stuart Holden, Justin Braun


What do you think of this week's selections? What player or play or performance is missing from the lists? Who should have made Team of the Week that didn't? Who's inclusion were you happy to see?

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39 Responses to MLS Week 7: The Best XI, Worst XI and Team of the Week

  1. ELAC says:

    Chivas USA, MLS’s invisble team.

    Thornton, 15 pounds lighter = comeback player of the year?

  2. JoeW says:

    Good work (as usual) Ives. I’d suggest the following changes:
    –delete FCD’s defense from one of the worst things this week. DCU was on fire, playing good soccer and FCD could have easily lost that match 5-1. Only giving up 2 goals is a function of poor finishing by DCU, a few breaks and some good defense by FCD.
    –I’d add Fredy Montero’s elbow against Segares to the “worsts.” While I can’t speak to the potential for injury and force (if it was weak or strong), if you look at when it hits, his arm is almost straight up, there is practically no way (other than intent to elbow someone) that your arm would be in that position.

  3. Rafael says:

    I’ve said it before, we won’t really know how good the teams are until after they all have played 10 matches.

    D.C. United and Houston are starting to get their swagger!

  4. Ryan G says:

    Matt Reis’ miscue should be at the top of the list. Completely unacceptable from the guy who I felt was the best goalkeeper in MLS last season.

  5. Justin O says:

    Thorton = MLS MVP so far. CUSA would be doing well to have 10 points without him.

  6. Russ says:

    Best XI: Matt Reis’ miscue, as described by Sunday’s Fox Soccer Report: “tried to scoop it, but instead he pooped it”.

  7. RK says:

    Who is Andrew Hainault?

  8. rob says:

    Ives- Any thoughts on whether Marshall and Hurtado both deserve to be in the Best 11 if the season ended today?

  9. jtd says:

    doesn’t houston always start slow?

  10. SoulShadow says:

    Ives, it rained throughout the Dynamo-Revolution game, so the sparse crowd was certainly understandable. Though that performance may cause the few that were there to stay away even when it is perfect weather.


  11. Ives says:

    Thanks JoeW.

    As for the Montero red card. I agreed with the call but am not sure just how intentional it was. If it was a clear swinging attempt to hit Segares then maybe I add him to Worst XI.

    Hainault is Houston’s central defender, Canadian.

    Rob, if the season ended today I would have Jhon Kennedy Hurtado on my Best XI. Not Tyrone Marshall.

  12. Jedik says:

    Best XI should have the contingent of Chivas USA fans at Buck Shaw stadium on Saturday. Union Ultras and the Legion brought about 100 each. They took over both the south and north side of the stadium.

  13. Joe says:

    @ Justin O you must be joking. Ben Olsen=comeback player of the year.

  14. Jimmie says:

    how about the lack of call in the rsl v. C.Rapids game when the defender clearly passed the ball back to the keeper. It should have been called, and it was before any goal was scored.

  15. JGIB says:


    I’m glad you too can see that the Olave red card was not a correct call and clearly should be over turned

  16. pslong9 says:

    Olave call shouldn’t be considered dubious. Clear red card.

  17. drock says:

    If TFC makes it to the playoffsthis year, that whole crap team should win the Comeback Award. They’re horrible.

    Zach Thornton, right now, has the edge over Ben “HasBeen” Olson. Benny has been playing better, but Zach Thornton is partying like it’s 1999 all over. As long as he stays off the goats milk in LA he should be fine and lead Chivas USA to the final where they will lose to DC. Aha…just when you were hatin on me DCU Fans, I come through with a bold prediction!

    By the way who is leading the MLS Sack Race? I would say Hyndman from FCD, but didn’t he just get re-signed?

    I’m going to go off on a limb and say Bobby from C-bus or Bruce in LaLa Land get the axe first.

    Just one man’s opinion.

  18. Sounders Fan says:

    As a Sounders fan, I have to say that Fredy Montero might have been Worst XI fodder even without the red card. The kid is very talented, but he hasn’t gelled with Ljungberg, and he doesn’t seem to be willing to put in the same level of effort as some of his teammates, particularly in terms of backtracking on the defensive end. Hopefully the week off will help him clear his head and re-focus on soccer, and the team can step up and score some goals in his absence. Go Sounders!

  19. Reid says:

    Question for Seattle Fans:

    With the amount of fans going to these games, is there talk of opening more seats, either this year or next year?

  20. AlexS says:

    Hainault made his first MLS appearance when Wade Barrett came off in the first half with a leg injury and played well on the left flank. Honestly, I though Geoff Cameron (who is a damn good midfielder Houston picked up in the third round last year) was better at centerback than Hainault was at left back, but neither were tested at all during the game.

  21. sonicdeathmonkey says:

    RK, Hainault is a Canadian U-23. He’s been on their radar for awhile, but they were having issues with his previous club from the Czech Republic.

  22. Ian says:

    Reid, there was a rumor that the FO was hiring more staff to accomidate more fans, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon, haven’t heard much about it lately

  23. Justin O says:

    @ Joe – That wasn’t me.

  24. Justin O says:

    Seattle have a lot of home matches in June and July, then theya re on the road until 20 August or so. I would look for them to open up somw more seats for the matches after that break – from August 20 on.

  25. Dave says:

    Kosuke Kimura’s goal was a milestone- it was the first MLS goal by a Japanese-born player.

    As for the Olave red card: it was a two-footed, studs-up tackle, and the only reason for it not to be a red card is if you’re a fan of him or his team.

  26. Joey says:

    Ives: To be fair the RSL-CO match was played in 40 degree weather in the rain, so reprimanding fans for (lack of)attendance is slightly ridiculous.

  27. Justin O says:

    Joey – the weather explains the lack of walk-ups but not the lack of saason tickets and advance sales.

  28. JGIB says:

    Dave so are you saying that Ives is a RSL fan…..and as for the attendence at the RSL-COL game that place was barren. Almost as many RSL fans then rapids fans….The rapids fans next to me said its embarassing to have a brand new SS and no one will show up for the games

  29. Casey C. says:

    Im sorry, both goals FCD gave up were blatant marking errors, and like you said Joe, it couldve been 5-1. FCDs d deserves a worst XI.

  30. Jimmie says:

    Casey should have gotten a red for deliberately landing on Olave’s leg.

  31. Leonardo says:

    *Hurtado* is honorable mention again. hm. he has now… 4? made the Best XI once. That’s all-star material.

    I’m diggin’ how he’s in the photo

  32. Leonardo says:

    thornton is over-rated this week. the Quakes’s Alvarez blew two easy goals. he sucked, not that Zach did anything great that game. but he has been solid in others

  33. alejandro says:

    I was at the CHI-Sounders match. Most of the Sounder’s fans were regional with some “ex-pats” thrown in for good measure. I did not confirm if any actually made the trip from Seattle.

  34. art says:

    “Chivas USA, MLS’s invisble team.”

    how true, how true, how true. short of a supporters shield and MLS cup they’ll still be the neighbors no one wants to talk to.

  35. madmax says:

    Ives I would drop Tim Ward from honorable mention. He did run Zakauni out of the game, but he also lost Tyrone Marshall for the tying goal.

  36. Werner says:

    How is Marco Pappa not even a honorable mention… no love for the guatemalans

  37. Ryano says:

    A two legged lunging studs up tackle is “debatable”? Nope, as a neutral, that’s a straight red every time. This one, they got right.

  38. Sterlinho says:

    @ alejandro

    I recognized a few of the Emerald City Supporters when they were shown on TV. So, yes, people made the trip from Seattle.

  39. AV says:

    Here is a picture of half our group about 30 minutes before kick off (the others arrived closer to game time)

    link to