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Hesmer's saves earn him Saturday's top star
by Ridge Mahoney, April 25th, 2010 2:08AM

TAGS:  colorado rapids, columbus crew, mls, new york red bulls


[MLS] The Galaxy and Crew remained unbeaten and the Red Bulls stayed atop the Eastern Conference after six MLS games played Saturday. The performances of these players earned Saturday's Three Stars ...

1. WILL HESMER (Columbus).

The four goalies who earned shutouts Saturday all earned them with some sparking saves, yet Hesmer gets the nod over his counterparts. He scrambled back to smother a bad back pass from Eric Brunner just as Alvaro Saborio was about to bang it into the net, turned away a curling free kick by Nelson Gonzalez with a full-length dive, and stoned Robbie Findley on a breakaway in the final minutes to preserve a 1-0 home win over defending champion Real Salt Lake.

2. MEHDI BALLOUCHY (Colorado).

The revamping of the Rapids midfield has meant more competition for Ballouchy, and handed a start to replace an injured Jamie Smith he responded with a strong showing against New England. He collected a ball in his own half of the field and dribbled upfield about 40 yards to bounce a shot into the net for Colorado’s first goal, then banged a bike off the inside of the goalpost during a goalmouth scramble before midfield partner Pablo Mastroeni hammered home a spectacular winner in a 2-1 victory.

3. SALOU IBRAHIM (New York).

After struggling in his first MLS start last week against Dallas, Salou got another opportunity in place of an injured Macoumba Kandji and got the first goal as New York downed Philly, 2-1. In the first half, he set up a shot for Joel Lindpere while being knocked down only to inadvertently deflect the blast with his face, and later appealed in vain for a penalty when felled by Jordan Harvey. Five minutes into the second half, he played a ball wide to Jeremy Hall from midfield and ghosted into the penalty area to overpower a challenge by keeper Chris Seitz and head Hall's cross into the net.

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