With at least 14 teams playing during most weeks of the MLS season, narrowing down a Team of the Week to 11 players involves some tough decisions.
Rather than trying to fit the candidates into a 4-4-2 formation or some other such arbitrary designation, the top 11 performances will be honored, and if that means a glut of forwards occasionally, as is the case this week, so be it.
Brad Knighton (New England). Only a few of his nine saves were tough ones but the 24-year-old kept his nerve in a tight game, just the second league start of his career.
Bryan Namoff (D.C. United). Set up the only goal of the game with a long ball out of the back and cleared a Houston shot off the line to preserve United's first victory of 2009.
Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City). Marshalled a strong defensive effort in a fierce wind as the Wizards got their first win and first shutout.
Tim Ward (Chicago). Moved from the back line to midfield at halftime as the Fire held onto a 1-0 lead for 57 minutes while down a man.
Clint Mathis (Real Salt Lake). Did a lot of hard work and applied a few clever touches. Deservedly earned two assists.
Gerson Mayen (Chivas USA). Second straight week with an assist in a winning effort (2-1 against Columbus).
Shalrie Joseph (New England). Asserted himself in the middle, set up the first goal, and played a role in creating a few other chances as the Revs rallied from a 1-0 deficit to beat Dallas, 2-1.
Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake). One of two players to hit a hat trick last week, Findley scorched Columbus with three precise finishes in RSL's 4-1 rout of the defending champion Crew.
Conor Casey (Colorado). Years after cracking the national team pool while playing in Germany, Casey has finally recovered from a series of injuries, and netting thrice against the Galaxy indicated his strong finish to the 2008 season is no fluke.
Omar Cummings (Colorado). Much has been made of the Yura Movsisyan-Findley pairing, yet Casey and Cummings, who earned two assists last week, are also looking like a good match of size and speed.
Claudio Lopez (Kansas City). Frequently tormented the San Jose defense and is looking much sharper than he did during much of an injury-interrupted 2008 season.
Week 2 Team of the Week