[MLS: Starting XI] Following one of the most exciting MLS weekends in recent memory, there's a lot more to talk about in MLS than just Clint Dempsey. Here's who we'll be talking about and hope to hear from on Monday ...
GOODSON. Goodson quietly put himself back into contention for a World Cup roster spot with a solid Gold Cup, and he helped the San Jose Earthquakes shut out Chivas USA, 2-0, in his first game
back in MLS in almost six years. Conventional wisdom is the Quakes are out of the Western Conference race, but the pairing of Muma Bernardez and Goodson gives
them the strength in the back to ward off all MLS challengers -- and make a run in the Concacaf Champions League that begins on Wednesday when the Quakes travel to Montreal.
10. CARLOS BOCANEGRA. We'll be interested to see how MLS's disciplinary committee comes down on the former U.S. national team captain after the straight red card he received in Chivas USA's game at San Jose. Shea Salinas
was very, very lucky to escape unscathed after the two-footed challenge.
9. LUIS SILVA. He has three
goals in three games since coming over from Toronto FC and is the symbol of the youth movement at D.C. United. The importance United places in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was evident as Ben Olsen substituted Silva after United went ahead in the second half of its 3-1 win over Montreal, only its third victory of the MLS season. D.C. United still has
title hopes as it faces the Chicago Fire in Wednesday's Open Cup semifinals.
8. CHRIS KLUTE. If there's a better left back in MLS than the
23-year-old Klute, we'd like to know. At this time last year, he was still playing in the NASL with the Atlanta Silverbacks. But he won the left back job for Colorado early this season and is a big
factor in the Rapids' surprise playoff run. His assist on the tying goal in the Rapids' 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake that earned them the 2013 Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup was his sixth of the season,
the most by any defender in MLS.
7. ANTHONY PRECOURT. The pressure on the new Columbus Crew owner to address Coach Robert Warzycha's situation will only increase this week as the Crew prepares to host New York on Saturday. The 3-1 loss to Houston on Saturday was its sixth defeat in the last seven
games. In taking over the Crew, the San Francisco energy investor said he was committed to
creating "the resources for winning in the short term and long term."
6. ALVARO SABORIO. There is no
better penalty taker in MLS than Costa Rican Alvaro Saborio. He was 12-for-12 all-time for Real Salt Lake until stopped by Colorado keeper Clint Irwin in early April and faced Irwin again on Saturday night in bizarre circumstances. Just as he lined up to take his spot kick, lightning struck nearby,
forcing the teams and fans to seek shelter. After a 62-minute delay, the RSL star went out and beat Irwin to give
RSL a 2-1 lead.
5. MERRITT PAULSON. The Portland Timbers owner is usually a prolific tweeter but he was silent on Twitter since the All-Star Game, which he attended to get a feel how the Timbers can match -- or do better
than -- Sporting Kansas City when they host in 2014. Portland holds the No. 1 pick in the allocation process, but we'd love to hear from Paulson on its value in light of the Clint Dempsey deal.
4. MIKE MAGEE. The deal that sent Magee home to Chicago from the LA Galaxy for the MLS rights to Robbie Rogers is looking one-sided. Magee's winning goal in the Fire's 2-1 win
at Philadelphia moved him into the MLS lead with 14 goals. He has scored eight MLS goals for the Fire and in all three Open Cup games heading into Wednesday's match against D.C. United.
3. PETER VERMES. The Sporting KC coach was livid and rightly so after his team fell at home to New York, 3-2, before a sellout crowd and relinquished the
Eastern Conference lead to the Red Bulls. A post-All-Star Game hangover from the Sporting crew? Vermes said the performance wasn't up to "Sporting level" and he
promised his players would "feel it from me."
2. SCHELLAS HYNDMAN. FC Dallas hasn't won since May 25 and fading fast in the Western Conference race
after its 3-0 loss at Seattle. A nine-game winless streak has followed a 1-0 win over San Jose that had FC Dallas five points clear at the top in the Western Conference and 12 points ahead of the
sixth-place team. The slide has one wondering how much longer Hyndman has in charge of the Hoops, who are now out of the playoff zone in sixth place and only one point ahead of the Sounders, who have
three games in hand.
1. MARCUS HAHNEMANN. Dempsey will address the Seattle media at a press conference scheduled Monday for 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET),
but the player of the moment in Seattle is Hahnemann, whose emergency appearance in goal on Saturday followed a 14-year MLS break -- the longest in league history. His hamstring was bothering him, so
he went out for a walk with his dog to test it in the morning. Says Sounders coach Sigi Schmid after the 3-0 shutout win over FC Dallas, "When we were talking
to our trainer he was saying, 'If I had to be 100 percent, I wouldn't have played many games in my career, so 95 percent is really, really good.'"
BENCH: Lloyd Sam. In recent years, the New York Red Bulls floundered in part because they failed to manage their roster, leaving them with no depth. That hasn't been a problem this year. Sam
came off the bench to set up the go-ahead goal at Sporting KC and scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 3-2 win that moved the Red Bulls into first place in the East.