MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week: Week 23

Julius James makes his second straight Team of the Week

It will come as a surprise to some that the New England Revolution have
more players than any MLS club among the Team of the Week selections
for Week 23. After all, the team is tied for last place in the East with
23 points and is coming off two draws last week in which they conceded
equalizers at the very end. But the performances by Matt Reis, Benny
Feilhaber and Milton Caraglio were compelling.

Caraglio wasn't the only DP celebrated in the weekly Best XI, which
also features Portland's big money midfielder Diego Chara. Timbers
rivals the Seattle Sounders are recognized for their defense, Dynamo
defender Bobby Boswell for his offense and Sporting KC's Graham Zusi for
a showing that also earned him Player of the Week honors.

GK: Matt Reis (New England Revolution) — The red card notwithstanding, he put up the single best performance by a goalkeeper during the week against Houston.

DF: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Seattle Sounders) Whatever FC Dallas sent his way — and they put forth a major offensive — he sent it right back at them.

DF: Julius James (Columbus Crew)
A second straight Team of the Week showing by the Trinidadian, who has
played at a level equal to stalwart Chad Marshall. And people wonder why
the Crew are in first place?

DF: Bobby Boswell (Houston Dynamo) He wasn’t too shabby on the defensive end, but a goal in two different matches put him over the top.

DF: Leo González (Seattle Sounders)
Seattle manager Sigi Schmid devised a plan to contain FC Dallas wingers
Brek Shea and Marvin Chávez. González was a big reason that plan
worked. Chávez was a non-factor.

MF: Diego Chara (Portland Timbers) The
Colombian was more active in attack than at any time in recent memory
and it produced great results vs. Vancouver. That’s exactly what fans
expect from a DP. First Team of the Week mention for him.

MF: Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Slowly becoming the most influential player for Sporting, he pulled the
strings for his team with great authority and personality as they
secured two wins and second place in the East. The USMNT is only a
matter of time.

MF: Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution)
The Revolution could have had two victories this past week against
playoff teams if not for last-minute goals. Feilhaber marshaled the
resurgence, covering the entire field in both matches.

MF: Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)
When the left-footed David Beckham takes over a match, there is little
the opposition can do. He single-handedly shifted the momentum for
Houston in the dramatic 3-2 win over RSL.

FW: Milton Caraglio (New England Revolution) Starting to shed question marks about his injury history with two well-taken goals against New York.

FW: Dane Richards (NewYork Red Bulls)
Similar to what happened last year, the Jamaican is showcasing his best
soccer post-All-Star Game. He saved the Red Bulls from embarrassment at
Gillette Stadium, earning a second straight nod to the Team of the
Week.

Manager: Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City)
His team has come a long way and, by earning a maximum six points from
two matches this week, Sporting are now making a run at the Eastern
title. Vermes has handed the reins of his side to Zusi and he has also
set the tone for his team’s aggressive starts by surprisingly fielding
all of his potent attacking arsenal in the 1-0 win over D.C. United.

Honorable Mentions: Darrius Barnes (New
England Revolution), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Geoff Cameron
(Houston Dynamo), Fabián Espíndola (Real Salt Lake), Dan Gargan (Chicago
Fire), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), William
Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Dejan Jakovic (D.C. United), Jack Jewsbury
(Portland Timbers), Nick LaBrocca (Chivas USA), Chad Marshall (Columbus
Crew), Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City), Jeff Parke (Seattle
Sounders), Jorge Perlaza (Portland Timbers), Robbie Rogers (Columbus
Crew), Zach Scott (Seattle Sounders), Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas
City), Ricardo Villar (FC Dallas)

SEE THE FULL RECAP OF 2011 TEAM OF THE WEEK MENTIONS