The stars came out for the big match between the New York Red Bulls and the LA Galaxy in Week 8 and they reappear in MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week selections with two Designated Players from the magical night in Carson, Calif., making the best XI squad.
The two newest faces come from Seattle and Toronto, where two first-year players who were short on MLS starts proved they are big on confidence and personality.
GK: Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas) – Great goalkeepers answer the bell when called on and Hartman did just that against DC on more than one occasion, including a late save on United's Fred that was worth a standings point.
DF: Ugo Ihemelu (FC Dallas) – He chased down everything that came his way against D.C. United. Ihemelu’s full-time return to center back has helped offer some stability to an FC Dallas team still coping with the loss of its best player.
DF: Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls) – Not just for the goal-line clearance. In a game where RBNY’s back line was under more pressure than usual, Ream showed he is as timely and precise with his defending as he is with his passing.
DF: Drew Moor (Colorado Rapids) - The symbol of a Rapids team that has suffered more than a season’s worth of lumps and adversity. With every punch to the gut, he’s back up off the mat. Battled every Revs attacker on Saturday and won most every duel.
DF: Heath Pearce (Chivas USA) – The new fixture at central defense for the Goats was one of the major reasons that they held up for 87 minutes with a two-man disadvantage against RSL. Pearce was a ball magnet, making a game-high 10 clearances, mostly under difficult circumstances.
MF: David Beckham (LA Galaxy) – The Englishman rose to the occasion against the Red Bulls. Whether from central midfield or out on the right, the pinpoint precision of his passing is central to the Galaxy’s new style and central to its ability to score. Another assist on Donovan’s header takes him just one off the league lead.
MF: Servando Carrasco (Seattle Sounders) – The rookie midfielder was unfazed in only his second career start, going the 90 minutes and handling them like a seasoned pro. He made good decisions, he took the majority of set pieces and he wasn’t afraid to mix it up when necessary.
MF: Juninho (LA Galaxy) – The skillful Brazilian is a quiet but critical piece of the passing game that the Galaxy are evolving this year. His feel for the game against New York was evident as he generally popped up in the right spots, keeping the play moving and giving order to his team.
FW: Charlie Davies (D.C. United) – Author of a goal and assist last Wednesday against Seattle, Davies continues to press on and make his runs regardless of the quality of service he may receive.
FW: Joao Plata (Toronto FC) – What 19-year-old in MLS has the gall to grab the ball and demand he take a penalty kick in his first ever start? Fans, teammates and coach alike love the Ecuadorean's attitude.
FW: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) – The Frenchman’s renewed drive and bite in 2011 was on display for all to see against LA. He not only scored and gifted fans doses of flair, but he also engaged in the hard-nosed play when necessary, standing up for his team against the Galaxy’s biggest names.
Manager: Gary Smith (Colorado Rapids) – The defending champs come away with four points from a two-game road trip in the span of three days. A team suffering from critical injuries and numerous absences also lose Caleb Folan and Omar Cummings along the way but still compete valiantly. The ultimate sign of great coaching.
Honorable Mentions: Colin Clark (Houston Dynamo), Bouna Coundoul (New York Red Bulls), Julian de Guzman (Toronto FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Patrick Ianni (Seattle Sounders), Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Nick LaBrocca (Chivas USA), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders), Andy Najar (D.C. United), Je-Vaughn Watson (Houston Dynamo), Josh Wolff (D.C. United)
2011 TEAM OF THE WEEK MENTIONS:
Goalkeepers: Stefan Frei (Week 7), Tally Hall (Week 2, Week 3), Kevin Hartman (Week 8), Kasey Keller (Week 4), Dan Kennedy (Week 5), Donovan Ricketts (Week 6), Nick Rimando (Week 1);
Defenders: Corey Ashe (Week 7), Danleigh Borman (Week 4), Bobby Boswell (Week 4), Danny Califf (Week 1), Omar Gonzalez (Week 3, Week 5), Ugo Ihemelu (Week 8), Zach Loyd (Week 1), Chad Marshall (Week 2, Week 3, Week 4), Josip Mikulic (Week 6), Drew Moor (Week 2, Week 8), Jeff Parke (Week 1), Heath Pearce (Week 6, Week 8), Tim Ream (Week 8), Alain Rochat (Week 2), A.J. Soares (Week 3), Jan Gunnar Solli (Week 6), Carlos Valdes (Week 7), Rodney Wallace (Week 5), Ethan White (Week 5), Sheanon Williams (Week 7);
Midfielders: Kalif Alhassan (Week 5), Osvaldo Alonso (Week 2), Kyle Beckerman (Week 1), David Beckham (Week 8), Geoff Cameron (Week 3), Servando Carrasco (Week 8), Brian Carroll (Week 2), Davide Chiumiento (Week 1), Keon Daniel (Week 7), Brad Davis (Week 4, Week 5, Week 7), Simon Dawkins (Week 3), Dwayne De Rosario (Week 7), Brad Evans (Week 7), Julian de Guzman (Week 6), Landon Donovan (Week 6), Dilly Duka (Week 5), Benny Feilhaber (Week 6), David Ferreira (Week 4), Shalrie Joseph (Week 3), Juninho (Week 1, Week 8), Nizar Khalfan (Week 4), Nick LaBrocca (Week 6), Javier Morales (Week 2), Marco Pappa (Week 2), Chris Pontius (Week 5), Teemu Tainio (Week 1), Steve Zakuani (Week 3, Week 4);
Forwards: Omar Bravo (Week 1), Will Bruin (Week 4, Week 7), Teal Bunbury (Week 3), Diego Chaves (Week 6), Omar Cummings (Week 1), Charlie Davies (Week 8), Caleb Folan (Week 3), Eric Hassli (Week 1), Thierry Henry (Week 5, Week 6, Week 8), Kei Kamara (Week 6), Javier Martina (Week 2), Alejandro Moreno (Week 7), Paulo Jr. (Week 2), Jorge Perlaza (Week 5), Joao Plata (Week 8), Emilio Renteria (Week 7), Luke Rodgers (Week 5), Mauro Rosales (Week 4), Camilo (Week 3), O'Brian White (Week 4), Chris Wondolowski (Week 2);
Managers: Hans Backe (Week 2), Robin Fraser (Week 6), Dominic Kinnear (Week 7), Jason Kreis (Week 4), Ben Olsen (Week 1), Gary Smith (Week 3, Week 8), Robert Warzycha (Week 5).