Major League Soccer

MLS Week 2: The Best XI, Worst XI and Team of the Week

Freddie Ljungberg (ISIphotos.com)

                                                Photo by ISIphotos.com

Great goals, memorable individual performances and disappointing crowd turnouts were the highlights and lowlights of Week Two of the MLS season. The Seattle Sounders continued to impress while FC Dallas continued to do the exact opposite, both on and off the field.

A fan of great goals? There were some of those? Love a good comeback and a last-minute goal? There were those as well. There was a little bit of everything for the MLS fan.

Here is a look back at what we think were the Best XI and Worst XI moments/plays/performances/scenes of the second week of the 2009 MLS Season, as well as the Week 2 MLS Team of the Week.

See if you agree with our picks. Enjoy:

Week Two Best XI

Fredy Montero's curling long-range blast.

The crowd at Qwest Field…..Again.

Kasey Keller showing that he's still got it.

Freddie Ljungberg making his Seattle debut and not getting hurt (yet).

Terry Cooke's Free Kick Goal and super sub performance.

Kenny Mansally's last-minute equalizer.

Shalrie Joseph becoming a playmaker while dominating midfield as usual.

The San Jose Earthquakes pouring in the goals after so many misses in week one.

Chivas USAgetting goals from its two new forwards, Eduardo Lillingston and Bojan Stepanovic.

Rookies(Steve Zakuani, Kevin Alston, Jeremy Hall, Sam Cronin, Stefan Frei) continuing to impress.

More than 1,500 Toronto FC fans making the trip to Columbus.

Week Two Worst XI

The attendance at the FC Dallas-Chivas USA game (6,524).

The attendance at the New York Red Bulls home opener, second-lowest in team history. (12,462)

The modest attendance at Crew Stadium(14,686) for the Crew's first home match since winning MLS Cup (ten percent of those fans were visiting from Toronto).

The teams missing players due to international duty (Toronto, Chicago, etc.)

FC Dallas still looking for its first goal from inside 60-yards out.

Houston's defense in the first half vs. San Jose.

The Red Bulls defense blowing a 90th-minute lead.

Columbus' own goal involving Gino Padula, Wil Hesmer and the crossbar.

Josh Wicks and his adventures in the D.C. goal.

Kansas City falling to 0-2 on the day Kevin Hartman breaks the league record for saves.

Some of the 1,500 traveling Toronto FC fans clashing with police and damaging Crew Stadium.

SBI MLS Team of the Week (Week 2)

—————–Cam Weaver———Fredy Montero————-

Arturo Alvarez—–Guillermo Barros Schelotto—Terry Cooke

—————–Shalrie Joseph—-Osvaldo Alonso————–

Chad Marshall———–Tyrone Marshall————-Tim Ward

——————————Kasey Keller————————–

Honorable Mentions: Joe Cannon, Jeremy Hall, Kevin Alston, Wilman Conde, Brad Evans, Logan Pause, Kenny Mansally, Bojan Stepanovic, Mac Kandji


What were your Best XI and Worst XI moments/scenes/performances from Week Two? Who made your MLS team of the week that didn't make ours? We are open to suggestions so feel free to offer up your own candidates.

Share your thoughts below.

  • TFC_4_Life

    Its funny how an imaginary line can divide people so much. We all love the game of soccer and we should all support it together. I’m sick of reading comments about how disrespectful Canadian or American fans are to one another. We share a continent and we share a soccer league, lets leave nationalism out of if. If TFC fans don’t like columbus fans its because they are a rival team, not because they are from the U.S. Just look at how TFC and Montreal Impact fans clashed last year in an all canadian affair. Rivalries are a great thing for sports, the positives of 1500+ TFC fans traveling to support their team are far greater then the negatives of one arrest.


  • Sterlinho

    If you think Toronto fans are bad, then wait until you have to deal with Portland’s Timbers Army. As seen in the comment above.


  • J

    I don’t care what excuse you use nor what spin you put on it, it’s still disrespectful! You think it was easy for me to explain it to my kid? I don’t care what the reason was, I would never disrespect some other countries national anthem.


  • RK

    J: had you explained to your kid the real reason, perhaps you both wouldn’t be so ignorant.


  • Chico

    Bro I saw the video of the TFC incident. These guys were chanting against each other like girl scouts. This is a non issue man, plus Columbus loves it when the Reds come down it helps out the local economy.


  • Joe

    Booing the anthem is booing the anthem. If someone told me that they were playing the Canadian and English anthems I wouldnt boo during the anthems. I would sure as hell boo after but not during. Maybe that is because I have some class.


  • Ian

    “I didn’t get to see the Sounders game but was wondering how Ljungberg looked in the game? I hope he still showed some skill out there.”

    the few times I saw him with the ball, he made some good looking passes that just didn’t get finished. There was one inside the box that either got poked away or saved, can’t remember, but it should’ve been a beautiful assist.


  • Skinn

    Some people just can’t be reasoned with. J and Joe are those people. It’s always useful to understand contexts and motivations for people’s actions before deciding to label them as classless, or even worse.

    Now, back to soccer. What a start to the MLS season.


  • BrianK


    Can you expand a little on Aturo Alveres. What do you make of this guy? Is he going to have a break-out season?


  • Justin

    Best – Seattle. The team, the fans, the front office. How exciting will this weekend’s game be…I can’t wait.

    Worst – Not MLS related but it has to be ESPN. The worldwide leader in every sport but the one loved by the most people in this world.


  • Tom P

    I request that no one ever again mention the booing in Canada again. It is just a stupid waste of time.

    It is over and done and no one sane cares anymore.(canadian or american)

    Congrats Canada on firing your coach. I hope we do the same before WC 10 or we are going 3 and out yet again. I like the guy. He seems like a very decent man.But he is a product of the culture at the USSF and it is that culture that keeps us from improving in our ability to play the game at a higher level and produce game changing players instead of semi competent robots.


  • Mark H

    2 people arrested in Columbus…Both American.

    You can draw your own conclusions.

    Both of the major support groups (which only accounted for 1000 of the supporters sitting in the Visiting section) have condemned the behavior…not sure what else people need.


  • Luis

    The details of the Montero loan are that there are no concrete details. Neither the League or Sounders have released any details, and all we know right now is rumor and speculation based on some very rough statements Fredy made.


  • sread

    In my opinion Ljungberg looked good. He is very quick on the ball and he pushed Seattle forward and helped set up Montero’s goal. I think that within a month he will be lightning quick compared to most MLS defenses.

    I am an RSL fan and I am not trying to make anyone look good. Seattle are what they are. They beat us up and down the pitch and I think our defense is pretty tough…or at they were last season. Look out Reds, they play on turf and are hungry just like your guys. Can’t wait for the match!


  • thc

    Zakuani looked dangerous and comfortable. Nice to know our college players are doing well. I know College can never compare to Youth Academies but in combination with that it we’ll have better young talent.


    Zakuani was in Arsenal’s Academy up to age 14.


  • Mike

    TFC fans damaged another teams SSS on purpose, pulling off railings throwing them onto the field and breaking the seats. Yeah real classy, this followed by idiocy after the match really shows the caliber of the “best fans in MLS”. Or maybe it was the “racism” crew logo or Jesus giving us the finger banner that offended all the casual fans with children that we should be mad at. I may not have been ticked at that, but the families pay for tickets too. To say this is an isolated incident is ridiculous too, remember how they tried to jump the crew away fans last year. Truely the class of the league, nice work Toronto!


  • Scott

    Joseph was a beast against NYR on Sat., and that last pass was as exquisite as it was timely.


  • Brant

    I was at last year’s (’08) Toronto-Columbus opener, and the two things I remember most about the Toronto fans were them drowning out the anthem singers with their own rendition of “O Canada” and the streamers they threw at GBS when he lined up for the first corner kick. That was the day the streamer insanity started that lasted for about 3 months but was thankfully pretty much gone by the All-Star break.

    I wasn’t at this year’s opener in Columbus, but I was told by some people that were that the Toronto fans were much more verbally aggressive this year; they also took out their frustrations on a few trash/recycle cans. And because their section is right where the main exits are, a lot more people saw their bad behavior. Even if no punches are thrown, it’s still unnecessary.

    It’s good to see the development of a traveling rivalry. It would be nice if it drew more headlines for what happened on the field than off it. Right now, I’m not convinced I could take my 6-year-old to a game in Toronto wearing our Crew kit without someone saying something completely inappropriate in front of him, if not trying to get outright physical with me.


  • pettyfog

    Look RedFans, the bloom is off your FanWow Rose. Now you have to grow up like Chicago and DC fans, then Crew fans had to.

    ‘only a few’.. doesnt get it. The whole LOT got the blame for bad actors in the above past examples, they handled it.

    And dont say it’s the Columbus security and Cops that werent prepared.. what, you need hall monitors? What happened there was ‘authority gave space’ then of course, overreacted.

    OF COURSE THE VAST MAJORITY of your fans are fun to have around and talk to. I’ve done it. It applies across the board in this league. None of that churlish attitude I hear of in UK crowds.
    But STILL take responsibility for your own and we’ll stifle ours.


  • Horatio

    Seems to me the MLS schedule/International schedule conflict issue and the poor attendance issue are related: wouldn’t most soccer fans prefer to be home watching their national team than out (in March weather, no less) watching their local MLS team that’s been depleted by international call-ups (probably their best players)? MLS needs to re-think their policy of scheduling their games when international games (especially WC quals!) are scheduled.


  • stephen

    “Shalrie Joseph hardly dominated the midfield. He was up against Sinisa and sassano in the middle and looked the least of the 3 imho.”

    WOW, which game were you watching (through your red bull colored glasses)?


  • BadgerB

    Week Two Worst XI:
    MLS for not just playing on a FIA date,
    not just playing home openers on FIA dates,
    but playing home openers AT THE SAME TIME as the Nats game on a FIA dates

    D’oh! Way to start the season right guys.


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