Week 6 of the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week features 10 players making their first-ever appearance, while New York Red Bulls star Thierry Henry is named for the second consecutive week. Two other Designated Players on the list are LA's Landon Donovan and Toronto's Julian de Guzman.
Chivas USA celebrated their first win of the season in San Jose and the performance earned Heath Pearce and Nick LaBrocca spots in the best XI squad. Meanwhile, Benny Feilhaber didn't take long to leave an impression, winning a spot on the Team of the Week on his debut weekend.
GK – Donovan Ricketts (LA Galaxy): The Jamaican netminder kept Portland off the board with a handful of key saves to never allow the Timbers back into the game.
DF – Jan Gunnar Solli (New York Red Bulls): The converted midfielder had not yet shown his attacking potential from the right back position until Thursday’s 4-0 trouncing of D.C. United at RFK Stadium.
DF – Josip Mikulic (Chicago Fire): He continues to stand out as the leader of a much-improved Fire back line that still needs to eliminate key lapses of concentration.
DF – Heath Pearce (Chivas USA): The move to central defense has been smooth for the former fullback, especially because of the playmaking skills he offers, including on set pieces.
MF – Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution): Made an immediate first impression with his creativity and quick thinking on the ball. The US international has injected new belief into the Revs.
MF – Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy): After a three-game layoff, the Galaxy captain came out firing on all cylinders, making his patented runs and elevating LA’s passing game.
MF – Julian de Guzman (Toronto FC): In only his third start in Aron Winter’s new playing system, the Designated Player showed why many expect him to flourish. Creativity and passing – not goals – are his calling card.
MF – Nick LaBrocca (Chivas USA): One of the more technically gifted midfielders in the league enjoyed arguably his best performance in a Chivas shirt and was dangerous in front of net.
FW – Diego Cháves (Chicago Fire): With four goals in his first six MLS games, the Uruguayan’s start to his MLS career qualifies as one of the best ever by a new forward. His instincts, finishing skills and work rate already make him an elite striker.
FW – Kei Kamara (Sporting Kansas City): Aside from the two goals, “Special K” was enterprising against the Revolution and caused more than a few problems for the Revs.
FW – Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls): Fans wondering whether the goal against San Jose was a flash in the pan got their response with another two vs. D.C. United. The Frenchman is on his game.
Manager – Robin Fraser (Chivas USA): The Goats were winless heading into last weekend. But even down 1-0 on the road, Chivas USA showed the spirit to fight back and earn the win with two goals at the end of each half. They continue to build toward that big summer signing.
Honorable Mentions: Davide Chiumiento (Vancouver Whitecaps), Andre Hainault (Houston Dynamo), George John (FC Dallas), Rafa Márquez (New York Red Bulls), Dane Richards (New York Red Bulls)
2011 TEAM OF THE WEEK MENTIONS:
Goalkeepers: Tally Hall (Week 2, Week 3), Kasey Keller (Week 4), Dan Kennedy (Week 5), Donovan Ricketts (Week 6), Nick Rimando (Week 1);
Defenders: Danleigh Borman (Week 4), Bobby Boswell (Week 4), Danny Califf (Week 1), Omar Gonzalez (Week 3, Week 5), Zach Loyd (Week 1), Chad Marshall (Week 2, Week 3, Week 4), Josip Mikulic (Week 6), Drew Moor (Week 2), Jeff Parke (Week 1), Heath Pearce (Week 6), Alain Rochat (Week 2), A.J. Soares (Week 3), Jan Gunnar Solli (Week 6), Rodney Wallace (Week 5), Ethan White (Week 5);
Midfielders: Kalif Alhassan (Week 5), Osvaldo Alonso (Week 2), Kyle Beckerman (Week 1), Geoff Cameron (Week 3), Brian Carroll (Week 2), Davide Chiumiento (Week 1), Brad Davis (Week 4, Week 5), Simon Dawkins (Week 3), 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), 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), Teal Bunbury (Week 3), Diego Chaves (Week 6), Omar Cummings (Week 1), Caleb Folan (Week 3), Eric Hassli (Week 1), Thierry Henry (Week 5, Week 6), Kei Kamara (Week 6), Javier Martina (Week 2), Paulo Jr. (Week 2), Jorge Perlaza (Week 5), 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), Jason Kreis (Week 4), Ben Olsen (Week 1), Gary Smith (Week 3), Robert Warzycha (Week 5).