Oct. 30, 2016
MLS Team of the Knockout Round
GK: Stefan Frei SEA
Frei had the best knockout round of any goalkeeper by far. He was the only keeper that kept a shutout and in doing so he helped Seattle move on to the next round. Frei was heavily tested in this game by recording seven saves. Frei has been a huge part of the second half success for Seattle and in this game he was huge in saving the Sounders once again.
DEF: Laurent Ciman MON
Surprisingly, last season’s defender of the year opened the scoring for Montreal with a goal in the 4th minute. He was a huge force defensively as well shutting down any attempt that D.C. put forward. Ciman is the anchor on Montreal`s backline and will need to play at a continued high level going up against the Red Bulls next round.
DEF: Nick Hagglund TFC
TFC has a defense that is filled with big name MLS veterans but 24 year old Nick Hagglund came up huge in their win over the Union. Hagglund and the rest of the Toronto defense only allowed one late goal to Alejandro Bedoya. Hagglund was also a factor on offense assisting on the 48th minute Osorio goal. Hagglund gives TFC some young defensive hope for the future.
DEF: Joevin Jones SEA
Before the season began I stated (on either Twitter or my blog, I can`t remember) that Joevin Jones would be their best signing of the offseason, I think you can argue I was right. Jones has been a very good defender in that fullback position all season long and once again he did it against Sporting Kansas City. Jones`s ability to push up the field is great for Seattle and it was the factor in this game. Jones had the crucial assist that lead to Nelson Valdez`s goal.
DEF: Chad Marshall SEA
I believe that Marshall has been the best defensive player for Seattle all year long. He is experienced, big, and is a huge factor on set pieces. Marshall was a key defender this week that helped in shutting down the attack of Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi, and Benny Feilhaber. I was very impressed with his calm play when balls were sent into the box. Marshall is a true veteran that can lead a defense to victory.
MID:Jonathan Osorio TFC
Osorio has been a huge factor on offense for the past few games. This game he scored again giving TFC a 2-0 lead over the Union. Osorio has great skill in keeping possession of the ball and dribbling around defenders. He once again had success in doing so and was able to lead the offensive play forward. His play in the midfield set up opportunities for Giovinco and Altidore to play how they do best.
MID: Landon Donovan LA
First, I was surprised to see Donovan starting for LA but then I was even more surprised with how well he played for LA. Donovan has obvious lost some of his pace and some of his ability but his defensive ability for the Galaxy in this game was outstanding. Donovan was able to give his backline much help by gaining and holding possession. If Donovan can play like this for the remainder of the post season LA has a hige chance to win their next round.
MID: Ignacio Piatti MON
People may argue that Piatti isn`t actually a midfielder but I think he is... so he is here. Piatti had a great game for Montreal and lead them to an upset victory over the then hot D.C. United. Piatti scored a goal in the 83rd minute giving the Impact a four goal lead. Earlier in the game he assisted on the first of Mancuso`s goals. Piatti was the only true play maker on the field for Montreal and was the pushing force up the field for them. D.C. couldn`t handle Piatti and his play in the midfield.
MID: Emmanuel Boateng LA
Los Angeles came out hot against RSL and scored early. But LA conceded a penalty kick that allowed RSL to tie it up. Allowing that penalty goal really made Boateng mad. He came out and scored two more goals to give LA a lead. Boateng`s brace lead the way and he was my MVP for the knockout round of this year's post season.
FOR: Matteo Mancuso MON
Mancuso is the forward that Montreal will need to step up in the absence of Didier Drogba. This week he did just that and scored a brace in their win over D.C. He was capable of finishing off the great plays of Piatti in the midfield. Mancuso also added an assist in this game. He was awarded an assist on Piatti`s 83rd minute goal.
FOR: Alan Gordon LA
Reading Twitter before the start of the Galaxy game, there was an outrage that Alan Gordon was starting over Robbie Keane. It paid off having Gordon in because he was able to be in the right position to put away a Dos Santos pass in the 14th minute. Gordon also added two assists in this game as well. He assisted on both of Boateng`s goals. Alan Gordon is a great MLS veteran to have on your team for experience and ability.
GK: Brian Rowe LA
DEF: Steven Beitashour TFC
DEF: Robbie Rogers LA
MID: Lamar Neagle DCU
MID: Giovanni Dos Santos LA
FOR: Sebastian Giovinco TFC
FOR: Jozy Altidore TFC